Just like employees need a safe place to work where they feel comfortable and needed, they also need a safe environment to learn in where it’s okay to fail. Failure is the only way to grow as long as we also learn from it.
And of course, it’s also essential to help employees use company software effectively for their job. One of the most important aspects of training employees on software is to provide them with a safe environment to learn in.
And no, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t laugh at them of course you shouldn’t. It means they need to be able to explore and fail without fearing their job or messing up company systems.
That’s where software simulations come into play. They revolutionize the way employees learn company software and how easy it is for them to succeed with it. Good software training with simulations seamlessly transitions employees from novice to exactly as proficient as they need to succeed in their jobs within a safe and controlled environment.
Good software simulations create a world where mistakes are welcomed and learning is easy without the fear of irreversible consequences. This is precisely what software simulations offer – a virtual playground where employees can experiment, make errors, and master company software at their own pace with a good amount of direction that guides them in the right direction.
There’s no time or patience for tedious and monotonous training that drains both time and resources. With software simulations, employees are no longer confined to dull manuals, passive tutorial videos, or simply watching a trainer show you.
Instead, they are immersed in a dynamic learning experience that mirrors real-world scenarios, allowing them to apply their knowledge in a risk-free environment. By choosing simulations as the primary way to learn company software, you empower your employees to take ownership of their learning journey.
They can explore different scenarios, learn about extras that they’re interested in, and do all of this without any fear of disrupting critical business operations. Employees can gain confidence and proficiency in using company software with each interaction, ultimately enhancing their productivity and efficiency.
This learning experience that good software simulations create helps employees transfer what they’re learning to their jobs. That’s because those processes are nearly the same but with a helpful guide to help them learn.
There’s nothing better than professional development that boosts employee engagement and retention which is exactly what good training does. Providing a safe environment for employees to master company software is paramount in today’s technology-driven world.
Software simulations offer a groundbreaking training solution that helps employees learn easier and empowers them to do their jobs better and reach their full potential. There are many limitations of traditional training methods when it comes to company software, let’s start there.
The Limitations of Traditional Training Methods For Training On Software
It’s important to mention that this isn’t necessarily about traditional training methods. It’s more about traditional thinking when it comes to training software. eLearning is a modern training method but it too can be just as poor for training software as anything else if done right.
So, even the ideal medium for delivering software training can still be done wrong.
But, this section is about the limitations that you might find for training company software in traditional methods of training. Here are a few traditional methods of training that don’t work well for software training:
- Classroom-based (or conference room-based) training
- Lecture-style training
- Lengthy, text-heavy manuals or user guides
- One-time, generic training sessions that are process-focused only
- Relying solely on theoretical knowledge without practical application
These methods fall several short providing an effective and engaging learning experience for software. They simply aren’t suited for learning software. Because software is such a hands-on activity it requires hands-on practice.
When employees need to do tasks in company software regularly they need to know how to do it by heart. That means they need regular practice of those processes and that requires practice and context.
There’s a good chance employees will be left with train brain if they’re stuck in an instructor-led training session for an hour watching them click through software. It’s simply not a good way to learn how to do something employees must do.
Traditional training methods are a great way to leave employees feeling overwhelmed and struggling to grasp the intricacies of complex systems. Real practice in a safe environment is where software simulations thrive. They are the ideal solution that is far superior to the limitations of traditional training methods.
The Benefits of Software Simulations for Employee Training
Just as employees must feel like they can share information and be safe to learn effectively, that also must be true for software simulations. There’s nothing worse than being thrown into a new job with systems you’re not entirely familiar with.
Or maybe employees are familiar with the system but not specific processes which are typically unique. Practicing and learning to do the job in the real system is a horrible way for employees to be treated.
Software simulations provide a virtual playground where employees can learn at their own pace and in a safe way. Traditional training methods may offer a safe environment, but not one that’s also effective. Realistic software simulations make it safe to make mistakes and in turn, foster continuous improvement.
In addition to a safe environment, software simulations have many other benefits. So, let’s take a look at some of those to promote a deeper understanding of company software.
Risk-Free Learning and Experimentation
One of the key benefits of software simulations is the ability to learn and experiment without any real-world consequences. Employees can freely learn how to do their work in a guided process while even sometimes being able to explore a bit.
There’s nothing better than learning how to use company software without actually breaking company software or messing up essential data. There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than not being sure what you could break.
I’ll tell you a quick story that helps emphasize people’s desire not to break things. I used to work for a school district and was helping the office manager use Microsoft Publisher to lay out the school newsletter.
I didn’t exactly know how to do what she was looking for but with a bit of exploring and clicking around, I figured it out. She commented that that’s probably how I got so good at computers, I wasn’t afraid to explore and play around.
And you know what?
That’s exactly how I got good at computers. I’m not afraid to click around and explore and I’m not afraid to break anything (sometimes to my detriment). When people aren’t afraid to break stuff, they’re more free to learn instead of living in fear.
Empowering Employees to Take Ownership of Their Learning
Software simulations empower employees to take ownership of their learning journey. They no longer have to rely solely on a training session or user guides for guidance but can actively engage with the simulation to acquire new skills and knowledge.
This level of autonomy fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability among employees, leading to increased motivation and self-directed learning.
Personalized Learning Experience
Every employee uses company systems differently. A customer service agent would use the CRM very differently than a salesperson might. For each large group of employees, a different software simulation can be created that helps them use it precisely how they will for their role.
That means there wouldn’t just be one course that goes over general processes in the CRM, it would instead be more pertinent to each role’s job. There’s nothing more personalized than learning how to use company software in the same way you’ll use it for the work.
That also means realistic scenarios can be created to help employees learn processes as well as decision-making skills. That’s because it’s also important to include soft skills within technical training.
This adaptability ensures that on a high level, each group of employees gets to learn relevant to their position and what they need to do in the software.
Boosting Employee Engagement and Retention
Engaged employees are more likely to stay with a company and contribute to its success. Software simulations provide an engaging learning experience that keeps employees motivated and invested in their development.
Taking training that moves at your own pace and lets you do the process is a lot more motivating and interesting than simply watching a trainer. Even if the trainer is super engaging and lets some people do select processes it’s still not enough to engage everyone.
The interactive nature of simulations, coupled with the ability to apply knowledge in realistic scenarios, enhances employee engagement and retention. Training has never been so fun!
As employees become proficient users of company software, they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities. There’s also a really good chance it will reduce employee turnover. That means they feel loved and supported by their leaders. Don’t you want employees to have that feeling of support?
All these benefits of software simulations can easily be achieved while creating a safe learning environment. But why is a safe learning environment important for employees? Don’t they just want to succeed and do better no matter the cost?
The Importance Of A Safe Learning Environment For Employees
No, employees don’t want to succeed at any cost. We humans are risk averse meaning we’re going to avoid risk at any expense. That doesn’t mean we don’t care, we just want to avoid catastrophic failure.
However, software simulations can easily eliminate the risk of catastrophe when failing in learning. That means the learning process will be a lot more enjoyable and failure won’t seem too bad. That’s when failure becomes helpful rather than harmful.
Creating a safe learning environment is crucial for employee development. It allows employees to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow without fear of negative consequences.
This is especially true when it comes to learning company software, as errors can have significant implications for business operations. A safe learning environment fosters confidence, encourages exploration, and ultimately leads to more effective learning outcomes.
Real learning in company software can’t happen until employees feel safe to explore and fail.
Creating a Safe and Controlled Learning Environment With A Software Simulation
It’s not that easy to create a good software simulation while also keeping it safe and helpful. To create a safe and controlled learning environment for employees to master company software, certain considerations must be made.
Each of the following topics are things we consider when making top-notch company software simulations that are relevant, engaging, and help employees use the software to do their jobs in the context that they will use it.
Identify the Right Simulation Tool
Choosing the right simulation tool is essential for creating an effective learning environment. But it’s not just about the tool, it’s also about using the tool in the best way possible.
Both Captivate and Storyline have built-in software simulation capabilities but those features aren’t ideal for creating software simulations. You instead have to get creative. So, identify the right tool for your software simulations but also use them in the best way possible.
Creating Relevant and Realistic Scenarios
Simulations should replicate real-world scenarios that employees will likely encounter when using company software. Their learning should closely resemble how they use the tool to do their job rather than covering how the software works in general.
By presenting realistic challenges within the simulation, employees can develop problem-solving skills and gain practical experience in a controlled setting. This ensures that they are well-prepared to handle similar situations when using the actual software.
Providing Ongoing Support and Feedback
Ongoing support is crucial throughout the learning process. Employees should have access to resources such as performance support including tutorials and knowledge base articles, FAQs, or someone to contact when in dire need.
We find it the most useful when we can provide information about where employees can find additional resources so they can help themselves later rather than calling the help desk. It’s also nice to provide a contact at the end for any additional questions.
When there’s likely to be a lot of support needed, scheduled office hour calls are a great way to support those needs. With the communication for a new software rollout, it’s always good to communicate a series of office hours where employees can ask questions.
Providing a safe environment for employees is beneficial to the organization in every way, especially for something as scary to most as company software. Since employees need to effectively use company software to be successful in many roles, effective quality training is something every employee should provide.
Software simulations offer a groundbreaking solution that revolutionizes the way employees learn. It’s also a great way to empower them to unlock their full potential in a safe environment. Providing that safe environment is the only way to help employees succeed.
By using software simulations to train employees on company software, organizations can create a risk-free learning environment that promotes real learning, engagement, and being prepared well for the job.
If you’re looking for someone who can help you master helping employees learn company software, schedule a free consultation. We’re experts in company IT training and would love to discuss your project and how we can help make it a success. Our goal is to help your employees do their job more effectively and quicker with company software.