Employee training and development is a program or a suite of programs designed to increase the skills and knowledge of employees. Deployed periodically and at regular intervals, this type of employee training method helps in the professional and personal development of the employee and the overall growth of the organization.
Employee training is equally essential for new and more experienced employees to develop, enhance and refine their job-related skills and knowledge.
The following employee training programs are typical of the above:
b) Technical skills development
c) Products and services training
When an employee training plan is structured clearly around specific goals, regulated and assessed, it is a game-changer.
It creates and sustains the common knowledge of a staff where learning becomes a cultural norm. It increases productivity, morale and it positively impacts staff retention rates.
In most workplaces, employee training is a compliance requirement.
Imagine a workplace without training of any kind. It would be akin to entering a building zone without a high vis jacket: incomplete, unsafe and careless.
In the broader workspace, an absence of employee training would translate into a lack of staff cohesion, purpose and a fall in productivity. While the absence from the perceived tedium of some training could appear to be a short term boon, it can quickly become a breeding ground for staff discontent and subsequent exits.
Employee training is one thing; quality employee training is quite another. And it appears that keeping the human element in employee training is one dimension that can easily be overlooked despite its capacity to deeply connect others and enrich learning experiences.
An awareness of enduring employee training techniques, an introduction to what is currently rating on the employee training landscape, and the benefits of utilising the human element in training is imperative for all training courseware designers and employers.
Employee training techniques that have stood the test of time
Interestingly, ‘training’ started with storytelling, a most valuable but somewhat scarce human element in this increasingly technologically driven space. It is the human element in employee training we will return to later.
Here are five points that summarise the evolution of employee training:
- Group learning facilitated by storytelling /oral history
- Master and servant characterised by top-down instruction
- Features of ‘distilled content’ and a ‘bums on seat’ (1) / learning circle approach with an outsourced presenter and an outdated PowerPoint. Training consisted of an employee training video or employee training manuals and that’s about it.
- Enter technology and PC’s become commonplace
- The rise and rise of eLearning in employee training
The learning strategies (or instructional technology) that technology has brought to employee training is breathtaking: learning designers can utilize mobile learning and apps, virtual and augmented reality.
Employers have a host of eLearning employee training programs to choose from that are created by an emerging generation of learning designers who have grown up in a tech-driven world.
Because our focus here is on quality employee training, let’s have a look at how one key microlearning programs is currently delivering in the eLearning workplace.
The Leading Employee Training Program
Once personalised computers became commonly available to employees around the early-mid 90’s, the mode of delivery for training programs quickly morphed from the ‘bums on seats/ learning circle’ approach into the diverse customised content we see now.
It is clearly, cleverly and conveniently ‘AAA training: anytime, anyplace and anywhere’. (2)
This mantra is personified by multi-award-winning EdApp, a key leader in corporate employee training LMS. Utilising microlearning, gamification, spaced repetition and other LMS features, EdApp is a mobile-focused system that enables employees to perform training on their own mobile devices.
Using a mobile LMS is more than just moving away from the PC. It’s a dedicated system that uses smartphone technology and microlearning to deliver training on the go and on-demand. Learner driven training is one example of the human element in EdApp’s LMS.
Another key feature of EdApp is its gamification option where potentially mundane tasks are turned into a game.
Gamified learning motivates learners and leads to more personalised engagement with content that subsequently enhances message retention.
It is the vital element of ‘play’ in EdApp’s gamification that remains a proven mechanism for productive learning in employee training.
When combined with microlearning and mobile learning, eLearning gamification is taken to another level: short, topical training lessons feel like smartphone games. Gamified course completion rates are well over 90%, while the mobility of workplace learning on a smartphone puts the learner at the centre of the learning experience.
A further key feature of EdApp is its Editable Course Library.
Forget the distilled content of the ‘bums on seats’ employee training of the past. EdApp’s editable course library is a thankful move away from the ‘distilled’ training content that may have only been subjected to updates on a yearly or five yearly basis.
Quality content is key in training or in any learning pursuit. Providing it is structured around clear learning objectives, quality content drives engagement and deliver results. EdApp’s editable course library means content can be customised and updated to meet the changing objectives of the training quickly and efficiently.
It is clear that the needs of the learner remain central in these features.
Keeping The Human Element in Technology
Employee training has evolved exponentially over time, and given all the instructional technology we have at our disposal, its evolution seems destined for further stratospheric heights.
Due to its power to enrich and connect, it’s timely to return to finding and keeping the human element in employee training. Marked by their intensively human features, this can be identified as including:
Storytelling (this can be as simple as prefacing the start of a training session with colleagues telling their stories of their work in the industry, for example), combined with mentoring (an extension of the master and servant mentioned earlier and also known today as job shadowing) and play (as in gamified learning) allows employee training to become a multidimensional and dynamic force for change characterised by the power of shared and shareable knowledge.
Human emotion generated by storytelling, mentoring and play incites people to act, connect with others and support productive relationships. These outcomes are beyond measure and make a solid return on investment in employee
training. Keeping room for the human element in eLearning is critical.
By the way, EdApp is completely free. And this might be the happiest human element of all.