Technology can be a big benefit for those willing to embrace it. Training is one area that stands to benefit greatly from technological advances. The technology has been around for years that allows employees to attend meetings virtually, through conference calls and even video conferencing. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s take a look at some of the various ways organizations can utilize technology in employee training.
Here are a few of the many ways employers can utilize technology in employee training and professional development:
- The latest HR management software can be used to manage employee career development paths.
- Training can be developed and administered completely online—sometimes even without the assistance of an instructor. This can allow employees to take the training at any time. (This, of course, has been true for many years, and it remains true as advances in software and applications make the development of such training even simpler.)
- Learning Management Systems (LMS) can assist organizations in tracking training progress and compliance. They can also serve as a repository for optional training materials—allowing employees to “self-serve” and get or request additional training as needed. With or without an LMS, organizations can create internal repositories of training and information to allow employees to have access to information they may not have even known existed.
- Online training can be made interactive, including quizzes to assess understanding.
- Training can be administered by way of mobile applications, allowing individuals to complete training truly on the go.
- Individuals can even attend live training sessions without having to be in the same location, thanks to video conferencing options. Like several items on this list, this has been reality for many years but advances in technology and Internet speed and reliability make it even easier to use than in years’ past.
- Online collaborative tools allow employees and teams to share knowledge. Even things like instant messaging and social media can allow employees more types of interaction, which can better facilitate knowledge transfer between individuals.
- There are more online sources of information than before, including blogs, online videos, electronic databases, electronic versions of books (which may have been previously unavailable in electronic form), user forums, and user-populated online data repositories. Employees have the opportunity to make use of any of these to gain topic-specific knowledge.
- Training materials can also be presented in a video game format to increase employee engagement with the materials. There are also forms of task simulations that can be utilized as training before starting work or while learning a new procedure.
- Tablets and smartphones are increasingly used both in educational and work contexts as a means to access information, including electronic versions of textbooks or manuals.
Many of these advances allow employers and employees to complete training programs much more efficiently because they allow employees to take training on demand rather than to wait for a live session to occur. They can also reduce costs because no one has to travel for such a program. Technology will continue to change and enhance how we work, including how we gain access to information that assists with our jobs and professional development. It can also allow training to be broken into much smaller, more digestible pieces, which can increase retention—which is beneficial for both the employee and employer.