This post was originally published on February 26, 2018 in MBA World.
No matter what industry you’re in, and no matter what size your company is, all companies can benefit from using technology to create a positive culture of learning, and facilitate important additional in-house training. There are many positives to providing training in-house, and although the initial investment in technology may be costly, it can benefit a company by saving money and time in the long-term, boosting staff retention and making sharing knowledge across the business far easier.
Training should be a key consideration for all companies. It often comes in the form of externally-sourced sessions, where employees attend workshops and seminars offsite in order to gain additional knowledge thought to be of value to the company. While there are many excellent external providers out there, and companies should certainly engage with external training, providing in-house training gives a company an autonomous, personalized approach to learning, which can be shared across the business through technology.
So, how can technology facilitate valuable in-house training?
Using interactive technology in the office allows for a variety of group training tasks to be completed online. An employer can use online platforms, such as learning management systems, to create group courses and activities which allow for greater collaboration between employees. In addition, using technology like interactive whiteboards can allow a training session to be delivered in-house with brainstorming sessions recorded digitally, meaning contributions and ideas can be saved and easily referred to when needed.
Facilitating group work can bring employees closer together and sometimes offer more opportunities for interaction and engagement than individual external training.
Collaboration with international offices
Technology can also facilitate improved communication between international offices. Many companies are already tech-savvy and use technology to enhance international relationships, but for those who may have just started to expand internationally, or even those with regional offices, technology can be invaluable for effective internal communication. When it comes to training, technology can ensure that all branches of the company are on the same page in regards to the training that employees are receiving. For example, companies such as McDonalds utilize an online learning platform to help train all new employees across the business. This ensures that all new staff start with the same training and knowledge, helping to avoid disparities across branches of the business.
For those who are just starting to expand their company, using learning management systems can therefore be an effective way to spread the company’s key messages across the business, and ensure consistency in the training of employees.
Creating ad-hoc courses
Learning management systems can also be used to create online training courses which are stored in a centralized system and made available to all employees. This is a great way to use technology for two reasons. First, it allows the company to create courses that can be accessed by all employees, again, making sure that everyone is on the same page with their knowledge and skills.
Second, employers can create courses that best reflect the needs of the company. If someone in the C-suite believes employees are not strong enough in their networking opportunities, a course can be developed to provide top tips on how to be a better networker. This way, ad-hoc courses can be created, viewed and updated as much as the employer wishes, saving a lot of time and offering training tailored directly to each company’s specific needs.
Another challenge that businesses often face when it comes to training staff is how to engage all employees with the learning process. Adopting technology in a business environment can be a very effective tool for engaging learners because it can provide opportunities for differentiated learning. Various learning approaches and techniques can be adjusted to suit individual abilities and preferences. Using interactive screens and learning management systems also enables businesses to annotate, share ideas and comments with other team members, making learning more personal and unique.
Ability to reflect on progress continually
Using various online platforms in the business also allows for employees to continually track and evaluate their performance. This is ideal for those who wish to improve their CPD and reflect on their performance on a regular basis, rather than having to wait until their mid-year reviews or other planned training sessions.
Investing in technology for in-house training and development can have a wide range of benefits; it can reduce costs, save time, and offer convenient and personalized training to employees. Ultimately, staff are the experts in what a company does, as a result, having the technological resources which make it easier for them to share their knowledge and experience can help create the positive training and learning culture which is so important for business success.
Graham is the CEO and Founder of CYPHER LEARNING and MATRIX. He is a serial entrepreneur, e-learning enthusiast, published author, and educator.