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The Crucial Role Training Plays in Technical Enablement

In a fast-paced world far-far away, technology is changing every day. Nope, not very far away at all. If you’ve ever spent a day at a company, you know technology is changing daily, and you have a lot to learn to get up to speed.

Adopting cutting-edge technology typically increases productivity and effectiveness- or at least it seems that way since new technology is constantly being adopted. Either something’s working, or the salespeople at these tech companies are very persuasive.

That’s where technical enablement comes in. It’s the process of providing employees with the necessary tools and knowledge to use technology efficiently, essentially empowering people with technology. We wrote a post about technical enablement if you want to learn more.

Training is an essential part of enabling employees to do their jobs better with technology. It helps ensure employees can do their jobs correctly using company technology. This technology may be generic tools like Microsoft Office or custom software. It may also be specific processes for software that are different for custom or generic software.

You can’t have technical enablement without training.

Training is often seen as a one-time event, yet its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Only companies that provide sufficient professional development opportunities for employees will reap the benefits of technology that’s supposed to help the business perform better.

The importance of training for technical enablement is even more evident for larger companies. The more people using software wrong, the worse damage can spiral out of control.

Training also helps ensure employees are aware of the technical capabilities of their company’s systems and how they can use them to maximum effect. I can’t count how often I see missed opportunities for improved communications and efficiency because employees aren’t trained properly.

Training plays an integral role in technical enablement, which is why it’s so essential for companies to invest in it. This post covers the role of training in technical enablement. You’ll also get some practical tips on ensuring you’re getting the most out of your training program.

Let’s get started and explore the crucial role of training in technical enablement.

Understanding Training’s Connection to Technical Enablement

Training is a critical part of sales enablement, but it’s also essential for technical enablement. How else are employees supposed to know how to use company technology? It provides employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively use technology.

Whether you’re dealing with nurses, social workers, salespeople, customer service representatives, or any other role, the need to use technology is inevitable. By investing in training, companies ensure employees are equipped to handle the latest developments in the field and maximize the potential of their technology capabilities.

Technical enablement is all about empowering employees to leverage technology for improved productivity and effectiveness.

Employees can’t reach their full potential without training. Not everybody is in IT, and it doesn’t matter what age group you’re dealing with (training based on generations is a bad idea); people need training for most workplace technology. If companies want value from their tech investments, employees need the tools, resources, and knowledge to excel with the tech.

Training applied in technical enablement means no employee is left behind because they can’t figure out or use the technology correctly. It also means no employee is left feeling lost and unsupported by their employer. Another positive side effect is that the organization will likely have less turnover.

Assessing Training Requirements

Before implementing any training program for technical enablement, assess your organization’s specific requirements. Every company has business goals that leaders outline. These goals steer the ship toward profitability and growth.

So, every assessment should focus on identifying employee skill gaps with technology and filling them when it helps lead to meeting business goals. There’s always a way to connect necessary training with business goals. If it’s impossible, then the question should be whether training or technology is needed.

A thorough assessment should consider factors such as:

  • Business goals or even IT goals that are connected to business goals.
  • The current skill levels of employees.
  • The technology tools and systems currently used within the organization and what is changing.
  • Employees’ specific roles and responsibilities and how they relate to the technology they’re expected to know and use.

By conducting a comprehensive analysis, you can tailor corporate technical training programs to address your organization’s specific needs to achieve better technical enablement. This ensures that training is relevant, impactful, and aligned with the business strategy.

Tactics For Implementing Technical Enablement Training

Implementing effective technical enablement training that provides value requires careful planning and execution. Here are some strategies to consider:

Identify Key Training Objectives

Determine what you want to achieve through each training program. Not everyone needs to become an expert on every technology in the organization, and it is often unnecessary to make people experts in the software they use for their jobs.

It’s all about finding the right objectives and goals, so it’s just what’s necessary but not too much. This will also help you determine the best type of training. It might not be necessary to provide a full-blown eLearning course, but rather reasonably sufficient to provide performance support that’s available if employees need it but doesn’t waste their time if they don’t.

Are you aiming to improve overall employee proficiency or enhance specific technical skills? Clearly defining your objectives will help guide the development and delivery of your training initiatives.

Figure Out What Needs Developing

If you conduct a proper needs analysis and know your key training objectives, determining what needs to be developed should be easier. Not all employees will need the same resources, and not every project needs comprehensive training.

The goal isn’t to provide full coverage in case somebody wants to learn it all. Training aims to provide only what’s necessary and when it’s needed. That’s where a user guide may be a complete waste of time, but performance support, a short self-paced course, or possibly some other form of microlearning is a better option.

It’s essential always to identify the specific technical skills and knowledge that need to be developed and pair those with the project’s goals. That’s when you can choose the appropriate training method.

Develop Engaging/Relevant Training Content

Engaging content means content that is relevant and useful to employees. Relevance is king in training, so if the content is not relevant and helpful, no matter how exciting you try to make it, it will be boring and useless to all employees.

Peppa Pig putting lipstick on.

It’s like putting lipstick on a pig. Adding interactions, quizzes, and other fun activities won’t make irrelevant and useless training more engaging and interesting to employees.

Connecting real-life examples and scenarios while giving realistic practice is always helpful. People engage with real experience rather than content that’s removed from reality or just theoretical. The more relatable you can make the content, the more engaging it will be.

If training is relevant to the goal, it could also be engaging to incorporate interactive elements such as quizzes or activities to promote active learning.

Provide Ongoing Support

One of our favorite things to do for any course or performance support we develop is to provide additional support methods should the resource not answer all questions. It could be a person to reach out to, an email address, a phone number, or where to search for more training resources.

Every training intervention should end with a way to get additional support or ask specific questions. Training shouldn’t end once the initial sessions are completed.

Ongoing support can make or break your technical enablement initiatives.

There’s also the option of offering ongoing support through resources like knowledge bases, online forums, mentorship programs, or simply providing a hashtag that can be used on the company’s social media network, such as Viva Engage. Social learning on the enterprise social network is an important way for employees to learn things that might not be in the official training. They could also pick up tips from other employees.

Every training strategy should encourage continuous learning by providing access to additional training materials or opportunities for professional development.

Foster a Learning Culture

No matter what you’re developing training for, fostering an ongoing learning culture is the job of every L&D professional. Providing ongoing support and the means to find answers or ask questions is an excellent start to fostering a learning culture and, by extension, encouraging continuous improvement.

The more you enable employees to support their development, the better off your organization will be. L&D should be seamlessly paired with many resources and the encouragement for employees to seek these resources out.

The company’s social media network can also encourage a great learning culture. That’s an excellent way to motivate employees to seek learning opportunities and share knowledge with their peers.

Another great option is to recognize and reward individuals who actively engage in training and demonstrate a commitment to professional growth. You can strategically use gamification in training to accomplish this.

Measure Training Effectiveness

Measuring the effectiveness of training and technical enablement in general is essential. If you don’t measure it, then does it really happen?

The only challenge with this one is a new launch for training. You can measure employee improvement from old to new, but it isn’t easy to know if the technology or training helped make the improvement. The best you can sometimes do is assume that both contributed to improving employee performance.

If you didn’t measure training effectiveness, then was it effective?

Defining key performance indicators (KPIs) early in a project is necessary. Once defined, measuring the KPIs makes it easier to evaluate the impact of your training initiatives. These could include metrics such as employee proficiency levels, productivity improvements, or customer satisfaction ratings.

Use this data to identify areas for improvement and refine future training programs or the measured program accordingly. If you can iterate to improve based on feedback, then that’s great, do it.

Challenges of Technical Enablement Training

While technical enablement training offers numerous benefits, it has its fair share of challenges. Some common obstacles include:

Time Constraints

Finding time for training can be difficult, especially in fast-paced work environments where employees have multiple responsibilities. This challenge alone is one reason we’re a big proponent of eLearning rather than instructor-led training (we don’t even create any type of instructor-led training).

If the training folks weren’t brought into the project early enough, time constraints on creating the training can be debilitating. It’s essential to give sufficient time for the training department to do an analysis and create training.

It’s also essential to balance providing adequate training and ensuring minimal disruption to daily operations. Sometimes, asking employees to take an hour or more to step away into a training session that they can’t pause, step out of, or take care of important business is unreasonable.

Resistance to Change

This is why change management is essential to every organization in general and especially for technical enablement. Change management is critical to technical changes, and training is also essential to change management.

It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Some employees aren’t comfortable with change or flat-out resist it. It’s typically due to fear of the unknown or a preference for the familiar. Overcoming resistance requires effective change management strategies that address concerns and highlight the benefits of technical change.

Keeping Up with Technological Advancements

Technology evolves rapidly, and it can be challenging to keep training materials current. We’ve developed courses that, for various reasons, weren’t launched when they should have been. With rapid changes in technology, what do you think that meant? It meant that the training was outdated before it was even launched.

While we do everything to avoid this scenario, it does happen due to the occasional corporate red tape. Technology moves fast, and keeping training in line with changing tech can be challenging.

Your training content should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest advancements and ensure that employees have the most relevant knowledge. Rapid training development and ongoing updates are also necessary, as things often change during the training creation process.

The Future of Training for Technical Enablement

Just like technology, training for technical enablement has a bright future. As long as IT innovations continue, so will the training. Nobody “just gets it” with technology, and younger generations are just as likely to need technical help as previous generations.

The future of technical enablement training looks promising as technology advances rapidly. Here are some trends that are likely to shape the future:

Personalized Learning

Training programs will become more personalized, catering to individual roles and requirements. Maybe some people in a role require training while others do not. It would be great to understand these requirements so that not all employees are treated the same and have the same requirements.

Adaptive learning technologies will enable employees to learn at their own pace or to their requirements. Training professionals could then focus on areas that need the most improvement.

Virtual Reality (VR) Training

VR technology will play a significant role in technical enablement training. It will provide immersive and realistic learning experiences where you can see somebody performing certain tasks. We’ve seen some fantastic examples of teaching people about mechanical processes using VR.

For high-stakes jobs, VR will save a lot of expenses as well as lives. Employees can practice using complex equipment in a safe virtual environment, enhancing their skills without real-world consequences.

Just try not to have too much fun with this one.

A woman with a VR headset on moving her arms rapidly forward and back.

Continuous Learning Platforms

This one is already picking up pace in 2023 and will continue to gain steam. These platforms, known as learning experience platforms (LXPs, as opposed to LMSs), offer a wide range of training resources and opportunities for continuous development with resources from within and outside the organization. The great thing is that fully curated learning paths can help employees achieve larger goals.

These platforms may include online courses, webinars, microlearning modules, and collaborative learning communities. They likely integrate with learning platforms such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy and provide one seamless platform for all training content.

One source to rule them all.

These platforms are more advanced and complex than traditional learning management systems (LMS).

Wrap Up

Without training, there is no technical enablement. Training plays a crucial role in technical enablement by equipping employees with the skills and knowledge needed to leverage technology effectively and add value to the organization.

It bridges the gap between technology capabilities and employee proficiency, improving individual performance and overall organizational success.

Training bridges the gap between technology capabilities and employee proficiency.

To ensure successful technical enablement training, companies should assess specific requirements, implement effective tactics and best practices, and address common challenges.

Organizations can stay ahead in the ever-evolving technological landscape by investing in ongoing training initiatives and embracing emerging trends. One of the best methods of delivering valuable training for technical enablement.

If you’re looking to improve technical enablement in your organization, training is an essential piece of it. Working with a technical instructional design consultant will help create the right strategy to help you meet your technical enablement goals with superior corporate IT training. Schedule a free consultation so we can learn about your next digital transformation initiative, and we’ll help you determine if training has a role to play in making it successful.

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