The goal is always to make things so simple that training isn’t required. Unfortunately, that’s a reality that won’t be achieved, ever, especially when it comes to technology. Even Google, the simplest website on the internet requires a bit of training if you want to use it effectively.
Yes, behind the simplicity of a home page with only a search box and a button, there are infinite possibilities for searching. Even Apple’s software requires training and help. That’s why you’ll find they’re pushing more and more the tip app which is essentially microlearning (it should be called microtraining) that teaches you how to do things in Apple’s software.
If you want to go the generational route then you’d think that today’s generations coming into the workplace don’t need technology training. They just get it because they grew up with computers and the internet, right?
The fact is, generations have nothing to do with how tech-savvy employees are. What does determine their tech-savviness is how much they care about or have used tech. I know some 60-year-olds who can outmaneuver an 18-year-old on the computer.
I know that’s not conclusive data because it’s just my experience, but it does tell you something. Technology isn’t easy for everyone and not everyone just gets it no matter if you grew up with it or not.
No matter how simple an application is, it’s never easy enough to never need training. That’s why customer software training is nearly always essential to technology launches from IT or some other department. Somebody has to create training and make sure employees are ready to use it effectively when new technology launches in your organization.
Not Just New IT Project Launches
It’s not just new tech launches that need training. Employees who are onboarding still need the same training for company-specific software. Ongoing training can be difficult if you rely on in-person or even virtual instructor-led training. It can take either a lot of someone’s time or there’s a delay in getting the training so it’s less helpful to employees.
We worked on a project that was for training on a procurement system that was previously virtual instructor-led training (vILT). When we went through a deep analysis and converted the vILT session to eLearning it effectively saved every employee at least 30 minutes and the organization tens of thousands of dollars yearly.
That’s why self-paced training, aka eLearning, is so helpful. It can be available whenever an employee needs it. But what happens when no training is available and job shadowing is the only strategy for onboarding employees getting up to speed at a new job?
If there’s a structured training program for shadowing then it may go well. But, what I see too much is that it’s up to someone being paired with another on their job. All of this happens while the trainer still needs to hit their benchmarks. That’s a recipe for disaster.
It becomes a situation where the new employee watches while someone quickly goes through their job without explaining anything. That means the new person feels overwhelmed and has very little recourse to pick up the job properly.
They either pick it up with a great deal of stress or they leave the job. That leads to high turnover which isn’t good for any organization even if the role is expected to have high turnover. Too many leave those jobs which is why without proper training, high turnover will constantly plague the organization without good digital training to mitigate high turnover.
And not having proper training, especially technical training is at the root of that. That’s because people learning a job aren’t all inherently comfortable with technology, especially specialized technology that is not commonly known by everyone.
So, not just new technology launches need good training. A good IT department will never launch a project without proper training support initially and ongoing. That’s because technical project managers and change managers who do their job well foresee the need to bring training into the mix of every technology project. The IT department that doesn’t have a good training strategy for their projects are those with a bad reputation in the organization.
Why do you think there are entire shows based on bad IT departments and support?
Those nightmare stories and shows aren’t far from reality if IT doesn’t plan for proper launch and ongoing support.
A Match Made In Heaven
Training and IT go together well. That’s because a lot of projects come out of IT that have a broad effect on the entire organization. That and employees don’t always understand the need for the changes as well as how to get through them. There’s a lot to know when IT launches new technology.
All of these changes take a lot of change management. There are two huge parts of managing change in an organization; communication and training. Communication can handle a certain amount of messaging and letting people know things are coming but it can’t fully prepare employees for the change.
That’s where training comes in. It’s where the value of a technology launch is either made or falls flat. Without employees fully on board and ready to use innovations, they will fail.
IT brings innovation in delivering better ways to work and do things in the organization, training delivers the best way to use it and helps people make the best of technological innovations.
What value does training bring to IT?
Without proper training and support for tech launches that employees across an organization use, it will likely be a failure. Employees won’t know how to use the technology right, will make mistakes, and IT risks having to roll things backward or at the least have a big failure. For an IT department to have to move backward, that’s never a good look.
Beyond just a single project, technical training can bring a ton of value to IT and cost saving to the organization. When people run into issues with new technology, their first instinct is to call the help desk for support. For employees who haven’t been provided sufficient training, that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
That means the IT helpdesk will be overwhelmed and trying to frantically keep up with questions and help employees with common questions that could have been answered in training. The helpdesk then becomes a one-on-one training solution, the most inefficient way of training employees. Not to mention, helpdesk employees are trying to keep up which means rushing. That means rushing calls, delivering subpar support, and needing to hire more staff unnecessarily.
So, proper training for employees brings a lot of value and advantages to IT and the entire organization. Here are a few of the benefits of properly trained employees:
- Save money on fewer helpdesk staff.
- Increases adoption of new systems.
- Improve satisfaction with the IT department overall.
- Decreases employee turnover due to lack of support.
The average IT helpdesk technician position yearly salary is $47,706 in the United States according to Salary.com.
If one course could prevent the need to hire one of these positions then that would be a savings of more than $47k! And yes, one course can take enough helpdesk calls off the books for the year to add to more than one position or possibly more.
That means the helpdesk technicians can spend more valuable time on what they’re supposed to spend time on, solving problems instead of training employees. Digital training solutions are a much more efficient way of helping employees and empowering them to help themselves.
A Course Over A Class
But you could send out a trainer to train employees or hold classes to train them. That’s also an inefficient way to do things and won’t help IT as much. Synchronous training is difficult to do effectively because it takes so much time, is hard to organize, and is difficult to get everyone to drop everything at the same time.
Most classes, whether virtual or live, take at least an hour to cover the same material a self-paced course can do in 30 minutes. But, sometimes staff needs to be able to ask questions, that’s where office hours are extremely helpful. They can be optional, held less often, and give employees the chance to ask their questions one on one without wasting everyone else’s time.
That’s why training employees in technology through self-paced courses and performance support is often the most effective training for IT. Courses are almost consistently better for technical training than classes even if in certain cases courses require separately scheduled office hours.
Whatever way you look at things, good training helps tech projects be more successful than when little to no training is available. That’s a difficult fact to argue with. It makes projects run more efficiently, increases adoption, reduces call center calls, and overall is great for IT’s reputation.
How can training bring even more value to IT?
Even though technical training is essential to the value of IT, there’s always more the training department can do. IT needs to be closely aligned with the overall business goals. Otherwise, the value that IT brings won’t be aligned with business goals and won’t be as valuable as it could be.
Just as IT must align with business goals, technical training must align with the business goals too rather than only aligning with IT. That means training will have even more value than if it was simply aligned with IT goals only. That’s because sometimes there is some information that gets lost in translation between the two goals.
During our training design process, we always ensure we know your organization’s and IT goals. Those help direct a meaningful training solution that targets solving the right problem in addition to helping employees adapt to changes.
With proper alignment, all training even for technology will not only effectively help employees with changes, but it will also help align IT and their projects with the overall goals of the organization. That’s how training can maximize value to IT and the organization.
No matter how hard we try, few things will be simple enough to never need training. Any time the assumption or goal is that technology will be so simple it doesn’t require training, it fails. That’s because there are all different levels of comfort and skill among employees even in the most tech-savvy organization. Everyone is at a different level so one person’s so simple to use without training is another person’s difficult to use and not gonna do it.
Training helps employees with every new project deployed from IT as well as ongoing support for employees. With well-built training, employees will have fewer issues adapting to technology changes in the organization. That and new employees who are hired will have an easier time learning their job and being more productive quicker. Not to mention when new employees are properly trained it reduces turnover and overall makes them a lot happier in their job.
Nobody likes feeling overwhelmed and unsupported in their job.
That’s why it’s so important to bring together IT with good technical training. Techstructional was founded with that mission in mind, delivering great technical training for every technology project and making that available to every organization.
Every project manager and change manager in IT should take into account the need for training. If this is something on your mind and you’d like to discuss it with an expert, schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your next technology project.