Adapting employees to new workplace technology requires creative training programs.
Technology is becoming an increasingly significant player in the modern workplace. As newer and more efficient systems are rapidly introduced, companies have been asking their employees to keep up with the fast pace of technological change by upskilling to become a ‘technical employee.’ In turn, training teams have had to get creative in the rollout of programs that both educate and engage the learner around technical skills development.
Here are five tips you can use for increasing employee engagement in technical skills training:
“What’s in it for me?”
Organizations invest in new pieces of technology to improve the efficiency and productivity of the people and systems that leverage that technology. Although the transition period between the old and the new can cause some friction for employees, if they are reminded of the impact the new system will have in their day-to-day jobs, they will be more likely to engage, participate and retain the learning presented. If you can explain “What’s in it for me?” in the communications announcing a training course, the benefits of the course and the supporting documents thereafter, you are more like to increase engagement for your learners.
Organizations in a variety of sectors have been adopting experiential learning programs for the simple fact that they work, with some companies even adopting virtual reality to enhance the way they deliver their experiential training. As Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Providing learners with a sandbox or test environment that allows them to practice the content at their own pace, strengthens the learning experience overall and leads to a more engaged community.
When it comes to technical skills training, less is actually more. Learners often feel inundated with information when trying to understand a new system, and traditional training programs that deliver the entire curriculum at once limit their ability to retain the information. Giving your learners the ability to break down a new platform or technology into bite-sized pieces of learning will not only give them an opportunity to master a process before moving on to the next, but it will also improve the success of the program long-term.
Technical skills have a unique ability to fit very easily into a gamified learning experience. By giving learners the ability to win awards or badges as they expand their skillset or compare their results with those of their peers, you will allow them to not only receive information in an innovative way but also become more engaged in the learning process as a whole.
Although encouraging continuous learning can benefit retention and recall of principles in all types of programs, it becomes increasingly more important in technical skills training. Whether it’s keyboard shortcuts or new workflow processes, if the learner doesn’t have the opportunity to practice the skills learned after the program is delivered, engagement will decrease.
It’s your turn now! Consider how you can incorporate these tips in your technical skills training. Challenge yourself to leverage at least one of the strategies listed above in your next learning program.