All training has challenges but corporate technical training has a unique set of challenges. If you’re tired of dealing with the challenges of corporate technical training then we’ve got some tips for you.
What employees need to know to do their work is always changing and it’s nice to equip employees with the necessary technical knowledge to do their jobs better. Many employees entering the workplace surprisingly lack the technical skills for their jobs. That goes against all the disinformation about younger generations being tech-savvy but lacking people skills and other soft skills.
It’s never good to focus on generations, learning styles, or anything else like that for training. This post will break down some of the challenges in corporate technical training and give you some strategies that can help you break down those challenges.
It’s time to pave the way for a more effective and efficient learning experience that focuses on performance. From outdated training materials to disengaged employees, numerous obstacles stand in the way of employees successfully learning technical topics.
What are some of the common hurdles you may encounter in the realm of corporate technical training?
That’s an awfully good question and one we’ll jump into next. We’ll cover things like rapid technology changes, outdated content, and disengaged employees. There are endless more challenges but these are some of the most prevalent.
After you learn about some of the challenges, some approaches to help you overcome them would be helpful, right?
Yes, yes they will be. The approaches will help mitigate some of the challenges of corporate technical training. From gamification to microlearning, we’ll explore helpful techniques that will not only boost employee engagement but enhance employees’ success with company technology.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a toolkit filled with strategies to tackle pesky corporate technical training challenges head-on. Before we get to that, let’s get into some of the challenges we’re going to try to overcome later.
Corporate Technical Training Challenges
When it comes to corporate technical training, there are several challenges that organizations often face. These challenges can hinder the effectiveness of technical training and prevent employees from learning how to use the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these challenges and next up you’ll learn some ways to overcome them.
Rapidly Advancing Technology
One of the most prevalent challenges is the rapid pace at which technology is advancing. With agile software development processes comes the need to also rapidly build training resources or provide training to employees.
It’s not only about new tools being implemented every day, the tools and processes employees are used to change rapidly too. As new tools and software emerge, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with the latest changes and ensure that your employees are up to speed.
Employees can’t be expected to simply “move with the times” and “figure things out”. IT’s job is to maintain and improve company technology and the infrastructure that runs it. But that’s not all about doing tech work, it’s also about making sure employees are trained.
It can be a daunting task to constantly update training materials and make sure they’re accurate. Every change in an application means perhaps hundreds of changes in a course or among performance support.
Outdated Training Materials
Because technology is rapidly changing that means there’s always going to be outdated training. It’s not as easy as it sounds to audit training content for accuracy and make sure there’s a plan to keep it all up-to-date.
Not only that but it can be challenging to figure out exactly where all the changes are in training. Making a connection between product owners and training can be difficult. Updates are made to software about improving it for employees, not making it easy to update training.
If there is printed material out there that’s not easy to update. Even digital training is a challenge to figure out exactly how much each change in an application affects training.
Imagine if you’re taking a course and what you’re learning doesn’t match up to what the system looks like. You’ll get bad information that doesn’t make you feel engaged with your job. Imagine the frustration for employees who learn one thing and then have to figure out how to apply it to updated systems.
That leads us to the final challenge, maintaining employee engagement throughout the training process. Taking training sometimes feels like a necessary evil. It can be boring and sometimes if the training isn’t built well it’s impossible to see how it connects to your job.
Then there’s the problem that outdated training has on employee engagement. They’re forced to take training but the training content isn’t even up-to-date! That’s going to immediately kill the motivation of employees and they’re likely to tune out.
Employees also get disengaged when training is long and boring or overly complex and filled with jargon. None of that is going to help employees learn company software. Corporate technology is already difficult enough, it doesn’t need complex training to make it even worse.
When employees are disengaged, they’re less likely to retain information or apply it effectively in their roles. Fear not! There are ways to overcome disengaged employees and help employees tune in, see the value, and see value in their training.
Overcoming The Challenges
If you can overcome the three big challenges we pointed out above, your corporate technical training will be more valuable to your organization. It’ll also help employees do their job better which means it will earn its keep in the organization.
Each one of these methods to overcome corporate technical training challenges can be applied to any of the three challenges above. I’ll help point out some of those ways and how they can minimize or remove challenges.
Let’s dig in!
If you haven’t heard of gamification, now’s the time. While it’s not a blanket solution for disengaged employees, with the right strategy it can be useful to improve employee engagement. Just please don’t start throwing badges and certificates on everything and call it gamified.
Gamification is an effective strategy for boosting employee engagement and motivation when done well. By incorporating game-like elements into technical training, such as challenges or simulations, you can create a more interactive and enjoyable learning experience.
It’s not all about making training fun either. When training is engaging then employees might want to take it and pay attention. You know what happens when people pay attention? They probably will learn.
Every employee needs to know something slightly different for their job. When you build training that’s broken down into small topics, employees can personalize their learning path and choose just what’s relevant to them.
Not only that but some learning experience platforms can suggest content that’s relevant to employees based on previous choices and other factors. Learning just what’s relevant is a great way to make technical training more engaging. Relevance is king of learning after all.
By making each piece personalize you’re also making it easier to work around rapidly changing technology. With shorter videos and/or job aids for each task, it will be easier to keep that content updated and find it to update it.
The Potential of Microlearning
This one ties in closely to the method above, personalized learning. By breaking things down into single tasks, microlearning, you’re helping employees learn easier and get just what they need and no more. That helps them personalize their experience and microlearning is extremely powerful too.
There’s a reason video platforms are popular for learning, it’s easy to find a short TikTok to learn from and YouTube videos are sometimes short too depending on the topic. Microlearning is an amazingly valuable strategy for corporate technical training and is a great way to overcome disengaged employees.
Microlearning is not only more engaging but it also helps you overcome outdated training material as well as rapidly advancing technology. It’s a lot easier to put out a one-page job aid than building a course or creating a video. It’s also a lot easier to search for content as long as it’s labeled correctly. That makes it easier to update it. When it’s short it’s also easier to update.
With microlearning, employees can get just what they need when they need it and nothing more. Each specific topic can be searchable by employees which makes it that much more helpful for them.
Engaging And Realistic Scenarios And Practice
Sometimes it’s impossible or unnecessary to break content into small chunks to be considered microlearning. That’s perfectly okay as long as the content is engaging and meaningful.
Ideally corporate technical training content will have realistic scenarios that make it more engaging. This also helps employees tie in what they’re learning to their job. Good scenarios that employees connect with help them apply their knowledge and skills in a practical context.
This not only improves learning outcomes but also boosts confidence and job performance while creating more value for employees.
Traditional assessments such as multiple-choice tests may not effectively measure employees’ understanding or application of knowledge. It’s also somewhat annoying for employees who don’t perform well in abstract tests (me!).
Interactive assessments help engage employees and put them into positions where they’re using the technology (or at least that’s the way it seems). Rather than answering generic questions about using company software why not have employees do it and get tested on specific tasks?
There’s also an opportunity to give employees the chance to test out of taking training altogether. That will save them time and make them thankful that they don’t have to take training for something they’re already knowledgeable in.
There’s also the added benefit that these methods of assessment provide a more accurate reflection of employees’ abilities. It also helps identify areas that need further improvement in a better way than traditional assessment methods.
Collaboration and Peer Learning
Most people like people and collaborating with their peers. That could mean allowing employees to create their own user-generated training content in a controlled environment.
There’s a lot of potential in using an enterprise social network for training to encourage employees to learn from each other and ask questions in public. That means any answer can be provided public for others to benefit from.
This helps your training efforts by making it less costly to develop training for every possible need. Now rapidly changing technology isn’t as big of a deal because new content is being created all the time and old content can be removed as needed. No more outdated training materials!
The added benefit is that creating opportunities for employees to work together, share knowledge, and learn from each other’s experiences fosters a culture of continuous learning in your organization. That’s learning gold!
It’ll enhance the training experience and promote teamwork and innovation within the organization.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
This one is tricky but in some cases, it may make sense for the topic. Of course, it wouldn’t be realistic or necessary to use VR or AR for most software. But, for technical training topics for real-world tech such as engineering or medical technology, it may just work!
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies allow employees to engage in realistic simulations or scenarios that replicate their work environment. By providing hands-on experience in a safe virtual setting, organizations can enhance skill development and improve employee performance.
I think most employees would be pretty engaged if they got to learn their work with VR or AR.
But for most corporate technology there’s another method that makes for amazing training when combined with some of the strategies above.
Realistic Software Simulations
This is one of our favorite methods of overcoming corporate technical training challenges. While it doesn’t help with rapidly advancing technology or outdated training material, it sure can help with disengaged employees.
One of the main goals of training is to help employees perform better. That means they need to be engaged and interested in their training. Not only that but they need to be able to apply what they learned directly to their job.
There’s no better way to help employees apply what they learn in training to their jobs than realistic software simulations. Not only are they powerful at helping employees learn how to use company software, but they also create a safe space for employees to learn and fail while learning from their failures.
Practical experience and practice with software applications or systems employees will be using in their roles go a long way. By offering hands-on practice opportunities, organizations can ensure that employees are confident and proficient in using the required software while keeping them engaged with training.
Corporate technical training challenges are inevitable but can be overcome with a few good strategies and approaches. By addressing challenges such as rapidly advancing technology, outdated training materials, and disengaged employees, organizations can make technical training more effective.
Incorporating gamification, personalized learning, microlearning, engaging and realistic scenarios and practice, interactive assessments, collaboration and peer learning, virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as realistic software simulations, organizations can create a more effective and efficient learning experience that helps employees perform.
That’s what it’s all about in the end too, better-performing employees. We’re always on a mission to help companies improve the effectiveness of their corporate technical training. Schedule a free consultation if you’d like to discuss your next technical project and we can help you overcome any challenge that may exist.