Over time, software has experienced so many upgrades that unless you have been using the software for some time and have been adapting to each new version, you will find the subtle distinctions to have added up to quite a bit of complexity.
In a designer’s office, for example, the latest version of Photoshop may not be too intimidating at first glance as the layout resembles many office apps with a familiar toolbars, ribbons, and icons, but you need to know how to access the different functions based on your knowledge of what each icon can do. Since there are numerous icons, as well as layers within each, formal training is necessary to learn something as simple as cropping an image or increasing image size without distorting the pixels.
Many specialized business apps require extensive training to learn how to use them properly. Learning to use Business Intelligence (BI) software, for instance, is not something you can learn by sitting in front of a monitor and clicking around the user interface until you can see how things work together. You need to understand the powerful features in PowerPivot, Azure HD Insight, and SQL Server to get the most value out of this powerful technology.
Perhaps, there was a time when on-the-job training could be simplified to an orientation day, shadowing someone for a few days, and learning through trial and error, but for companies leveraging the power of technology to run a competitive business, the quality of training employees get can make a huge difference in the bottom line.
With that in mind, here are 6 training technologies that your company can use to get your new hires up to speed.
1. Hosted Training Lab Environments
Hosting vendors like Ready Tech allow you to provide new employees with online instructor-led training, classroom training, employee training, and self-paced training. With the technology behind the training almost invisible, corporate trainers can focus on providing virtual or hands-on training, providing support, and giving students access to all the materials they need. This training also works for learning from proprietary materials that employees had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to see.
2. Web conferencing
It’s no longer necessary to create travel arrangements or book a training space at company headquarter or a hotel to provide employees with live meetings. All presentations can be done through the Internet, and attendees can ask questions in real time and participate in a variety of polls.
This form of online media allows users to download files through a feed either onto a computer or a device that has an MP3 app. Podcasting offers many benefits in an informal way. Learners can access the training at a time and place that is convenient. Time and location are no longer constraints. Learners can listen to a podcast when they are commuting, going for a walk, or on a business trip. They can listen in through a laptop, smartphone, or MP3 player.
While not a standalone training platform, blogs are an excellent way to provide supplemental materials to a training course. It’s the electronic version of an industry standard publication, except that it’s far more dynamic. A variety of authors can share their opinions, invite reflections, and open a discussion between readers. Moreover, updating course materials, commenting on it, or getting feedback on how well people are learning are all easy to discuss using this media.
Essentially, blogs help to create a community around a discussion, and it’s easy to invite outside experts to share their perspective through text, video, or audio materials published on the blog.
5. Collaborative Workspaces
Through integrated virtual environments, teams working on a project can share ideas even if they are in different geographical regions. They can do anything that an in person team can do from providing tutorials to brainstorming to having a round-table discussion. This shared virtual space can be used formally or informally, it can be used by a closed team or as an open interdisciplinary meeting place where different departments or agencies can share their perspectives . Popular platforms for this type of training are Moodle, Zoho, Google Docs, and Sharepoint.
A wiki is a website that can be edited by a wide number of users. An organization can use wikis to do many things that are more flexible than options offered by a standard static website. Managers can outline best practices, offer reference guides, or provide reports on internal processes. Instructors can create reading lists. And authors can create, edit, and hyperlink content to relevant web pages.
Employee Training In the 21st Century
The 21st Century office might superficially resemble the offices of the last decade of the past century, with minor variations like more glass tables and stand-up desks and more ergonomic chairs, but the real difference is the technology available behind every computer screen. Interpersonal telecommunications and collaboration are now far more sophisticated through the shared resources available at a lower cost through cloud computing.
While many of the newest technologies are as user-friendly as their predecessors, with GUI interfaces and an intuitive layout, they are often far more complex when it comes to mastering functional details. All things being equal, the use of industry-specific customized courses are the difference between companies that focus on optimizing performance through technology.