One of the biggest challenges that many companies face is the task of properly training new employees and old pros on new processes, equipment and technology. Employees are finally revolting against the daylong seminar, and the group meeting that results in boring lectures. Yet over the last few years, rapid changes in technology have made training modules quicker, easier to comprehend, more cost effective, and more productive.
Illustrations and paragraphs of instructions have been replaced by videos, quality graphics and well-written content. Companies have adapted their own Learning Management Systems (LMS), a type of software that allows the administration, documentation, tracking and reporting of training events such as classes, programs and online events. All of these tools have made training modules faster and more efficient.
With all of these thoughts in mind, what will the future of corporate training look like ten years down the line? Here are a few potential changes and upgrades your company could be implementing in the near future.
Serious Side of Gaming
More and more companies are turning to interactive games and simulations in order to train new employees. The games and simulations are tailored to be hyper-realistic, using today’s most advanced graphic processing speeds and the best programming tolls to create them.
Photo by Images for the Future 2009 | CC BY SA
Training modes today often use a video or possibly an animation to make a point, but future training modes will allow users to actively manipulate items on the screen. There have also been advances in 3D technology, which would enable trainees to stand around a model of what they will be working with and manipulate it as if it were solid. This would also allow trainees to role play as characters in a simulation.
The introduction of Social Learning or Social LMS has changed the face of corporate training to be sure. Though newer, better versions are coming out rapidly, the best, top-of-the-line Social LMS platforms let the distribution of a relaxed and casual learning be implemented by the experts within the company. These platforms also allow users to collaborate on training secessions and share information, which becomes accessible to anyone within the company.
Companies are turning to platforms such as the Social LMS TOPYX and Saba’s Learning@Work and Performance@Work for the Social Learning needs. The programs provide a fully-comprehendible LMS along with all the benefits of social media communication.
More and more companies are turning to this type of training method. Rather than creating poorly-made, home movie-like training videos, companies are asking individuals and groups of employees to create their own high-quality training videos. After all, what better way to learn a new job or teach everyone at once than with a video?
Though the production time can be lengthy depending on the project, employees will not have to waste time repeating themselves every time someone new joins the team or needs more information about how to do a certain task. After the video is complete, it can be uploaded to the LMS so anyone in any department in the company can check out their coworker’s product and learn something new.
Slowly but surely, this method of training is garnering a lot of positive reviews and loyal corporate trainer followers, thanks to the explosion of smartphone users in the corporate atmosphere.
Photo by Claudia Regina 2011 | CC BY SA
In December 2013, Business Insider reported that one in every five people owns a smartphone and one in every seventeen owns a tablet. That’s not just in one country. That’s worldwide. In May 2014, Ericsson, the largest supplier of mobile networks in the world, estimated that within the next five years, over 5.9 billion people worldwide will have a smartphone, says Forbes magazine. Now is the perfect time to embrace mobile learning.
Using mobile learning would allow employees with smartphones and tablets to access data, videos and graphics wherever they are. A sick day need no longer be wasted. Who knows? Advances in this type of technology might actually lead to the replacement of a live instructor altogether.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
This method, similar to LMS, was first adapted by McAfee, the Intel giant. Before this was implemented, McAfee’s new-hire process was extensive and unnecessarily long. The whole process was over eighty hours long and required forty hours of pre-work, five days of on-site training and a syllabus (or more aptly named homework) of work to be completed at home, reports Jeanne Meister, a contributor for Forbes.
For obvious reasons, this method failed with many of the new hires who either learned faster, slower or better without someone there to lecture them. Instead, McAfee tried a new method. They created a MOOC that had all course materials, videos and lectures available online where users could discuss and debate the topics with each other as well as a professor. There are also tests and quizzes to test how well employees understand the information, which can be telling for what needs to improved or changed.
Tips for Training
Are you in charge of creating an effective training program for your company or organization? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re designing your program.
- Training is no longer a one-stop shop. Your coworkers will be learning all the time and at their own pace. So be sure you…
- Consider your coworkers in this process. Everyone learns at a different pace and in a different way so don’t get stuck in one type of training method. Use info graphics, videos, charts, anything to engage the reader and communicate the process effectively.
- The demand for skilled workers is high. You’ve already hired talented workers, but they need to keep on learning if they’re going to be useful to the company in the years that follow.
Of course, no one can entirely predict the future, especially the future of corporate training. We can only be certain that it will only get better and more efficient, given the recent advances in technology. Wherever we go, it’s bound to be better than what we’re leaving behind. But in the meantime, if you’re looking for a new strategy for training your employees, have a crack at one of these.
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