Employee training challenges and what you can do about them

If you have implemented a new enterprise technology tool, it is absolutely imperative that all employees begin using it. Failing to adopt the technology risks your investment and will mean staff are less productive.

Unfortunately, the most common training methods found in today’s organizations fail to ensure people use new technology as planned.

Let’s explore some of the biggest training challenges today, then see what you can do about them.

Major Training Challenges today

  • Challenge #1: Knowledge Retention

Training at most organizations involve staff attending a physical ‘lesson’ where they are shown how to use a technology. This is all well and good, except it does not actually work!

Various reports indicate that most people forget 45 percent to 60 percent of the information they receive within 24 to 48 hours. 

  • Challenge #2: Declining attention spans

People’s memories are getting worse. Research by Microsoft and Time magazine in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and found that since the year 2000 the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight. Thanks to mobile devices and endless notifications, people are struggling to focus in classroom environments.

  • Challenge #3: Doesn’t match up with what people really need

Today, most training comes in the form of a traditional classroom. But is this what users really want?

The reality is that most employees neither want nor need training. Instead, they’re looking for answers at their moment-of-need, when they’re confused or unsure. Delivering long lessons which feel irrelevant is of no help if they aren’t going to use what’s been taught for several weeks.

  • Challenge #4: Reliability

“Google it!”

We’ve all heard this advice before when stuck using software. However, as anyone who has ever heeded that advice knows, finding clear and accurate instruction online (or in a help folder or a learning management system) is time consuming, confusing and can take a lot of time out of your day.

Unfortunately, after a trainer has finished delivering their lessons and employees try to apply their new skills, many will lack useful resources that can help them when they’re stuck.

So, what can you do about it?

The alternative to training is to use the self-directed e-learning model. This approach puts the learning tools right inside the work setting where employees perform the task. On-demand, contextual, microlearning support is provided in the user’s workspace. It enables workers get help when and where they need it.

In the book Performance Support: Insights From Jane Hart, organizational learning expert Jane Hart describes why on-demand learning makes sense:

“When people are faced with learning or performance problems, they tend to look for quick and easy on-demand solutions, which they can just pull down as required. Rather than processing a package of eLearning courses…people prefer to pick out things as and when they need them.

Let’s explore some of the benefits of this approach:

  • Matches the reality of people’s focus

Research shows that the average viewer’s attention span for videos on YouTube is around four minutes. In other words, people get what they need from a resource and then leave it. Don’t force them to spend an afternoon attending lessons or watching webinars!

  • In the Flow of Work

The most effective learning is that which takes place ‘on the job’. Don’t force people to leave their workflows and head to a classroom or online resource to learn. Instead, give them training at the moment of need.

What does this approach look like in reality?

Training that is delivered at the moment of need, that is short and easy to consume and that occurs in the flow of work sounds great! But what does it look like in the real world? Here are some key features of this kind of training:

  • Microtraining

Microtraining provides learning in short, digestible, focused segments. It can come in the form of videos, walk-throughs, images or any other content. Microtraining works because it’s sticky – the principles get absorbed and retained – and it doesn’t overwhelm learners with too much information.

  • Training in Context

Contextual learning is training that is delivered while you are completing a task in the workflow. Training content is delivered at the moment the worker is confused. If they don’t know how to do a specific task, they can review and receive training at that instant, without having to leave their working environment.

Employees prefer learning in the flow of their work

Entrepreneur Magazine cited a survey of over 1,000 office workers that revealed “33 percent prefer to learn by feeling or experiencing what they’re learning about. Hands-on training gives employees the opportunity to apply what they’re learning directly to their job”.

Contextual microlearning perfectly corresponds with how people want to learn. It is effective, matches their attention levels and makes more sense to them.

Is it time to replace traditional training?

 If you are planning to deploy a new technology platform, is it time to replace training with the more popular, effective and impactful contextual microlearning?

Learn more about this approach in our blog.

Related Posts