Studies and surveys indicate employees are more confident and more engaged with their work when they feel they have sufficient training. Additionally, engagement tends to increase when employees feel they have opportunities to grow in their roles. The ambitious workers who can offer your company the greatest value are also the workers who want to know they aren’t stuck in dead-end jobs.
That’s why it’s important for HR to provide employees with additional training and development opportunities. Workers’ growth isn’t over once the onboarding process is complete. Ideally, they should routinely have chances to build their skills.
This has long been true in almost all industries. That said, new innovations have made it possible for companies to offer training and development opportunities that aren’t limited to traditional informational sessions. The following are just some of the ways you can leverage new tools and technology to offer your workers more chances to grow than ever before.
Conducting employee training sessions can be difficult at a large organization. If workers are spread out across the country or the world, finding a way to bring them together for training is challenging.
Thanks to virtual reality, that might not matter anymore. Companies ranging from Walmart to Honeywell have already begun using VR to train employees. With VR headsets, workers can “travel” to training sites and interact with the people conducting sessions without ever leaving the office.
Although you will need to spend some money to purchase the hardware and software necessary for virtual training, the long-term benefits may be worth the investment. Honeywell alone predicts using augmented and virtual reality in this capacity can reduce the amount of time it takes to train employees by as much as 60 percent.
Obviously, not all employees will choose to participate in optional training programs. These development opportunities exist for ambitious workers who want to boost their professional value. However, in many instances, the skills taught during these sessions are useful. The more employees participate, the better.
That’s why some businesses strive to make training more attractive by using technology to “gamify” sessions. As the name implies, gamification involves modifying otherwise boring tasks to make them more fun for participants.
For example, perhaps your company wants to train product design teams to use new programs for creating detailed models of products currently in development. You could coordinate with programmers to add a score-keeping feature. Perhaps the training session could show participants a model created with the program and ask them to recreate it on their own.
Those who create the most accurate models in the shortest amount of time are awarded the most points. These points could even be redeemed for things such as a free lunch, leaving work an hour early, or taking a leadership role in a real project. While this approach won’t be practical for all training sessions, it is a smart way to attract more employees to certain optional sessions.
The digital age has made it easier than ever for companies to offer training programs to employees. Although some programs must be conducted in-person, in many cases, sessions can be recorded and saved in the cloud or shared on a platform like YouTube.
It’s easy to understand why this is beneficial to both companies and their workers. Instead of trying to gather all workers together in the same place, companies can save money by making training programs accessible digitally. For employees, this means not having to wait for the company to schedule training programs. When an employee feels ready to acquire a new skill, they can simply access the relevant program.
However, recording and storing training sessions digitally isn’t enough to meet the expectations of today’s workers. Thanks to algorithms used by everyone from Amazon to Netflix, people are used to personalized service. They may want the same degree of personalization from employee development programs.
For instance, your company might host a large collection of training videos on its own platform. This platform could use an algorithm to track individual workers’ responsibilities and accomplishments. Thus, instead of having to discover a relevant training program on their own, an employee can receive personalized recommendations, ensuring they’re provided with training videos that meet their current needs and skill level. Taking steps to offer personalized development opportunities may also help to boost engagement.
If you’re an HR professional, it’s important to keep track of these innovations. Once again, part of your job will always involve finding ways the company can help employees grow. Simply hosting occasional training sessions is no longer enough. These examples clearly illustrate how your organization can use technology to improve development. Consider taking advantage of them now to get an edge over the competition.