3 effective ways to train your staff in a technology driven world

Thursday 20 October, 2016 | By: Justin Murray | Tags: training, HR, management, technology

One of my first jobs was in the deli section in a supermarket. I still remember how excited I was to walk in on that first day to be handed a little paper hat that would eventually become the source of many jokes from my mates for years to come. My first few days were typical for many entering a new business; classroom ‘training’, forms to fill out and a middle aged woman telling me how lucky I was to be a part of the company.  


Butcher or deli manager working behind counter in supermarket 000083423607 Large 2 min


The thing was, after a few days I realised that I knew more about the pattern on the carpeted floor of the training room or the hobbies of my potential girlfriend on the cashier at aisle four than I did about the ideas I was meant to have understood. Perhaps more frightening than that, I had completely missed the stuff I needed to know to stay safe and to be effective in my new role. I wasn’t concentrating. I was distracted. It was my fault, but the result was my new employer’s problem.

In a few short weeks, I proved to be pretty good in that little paper hat, but I learned when I was ready. I wasn’t incapable of learning, I was just incapable of learning effectively when my new employer’s timing doesn’t match my timing. Without being able to put it into words, I was telling them that I live in an ‘on demand’ world and I wanted to learn on demand.

Fast forward a few years on and ‘on demand’ has become a widely used term that we have all become accustomed to. We have movies and TV ‘on demand’ with Netflix, transport ‘on demand’ with Uber, Airbnb, Airtasker, the list goes on. If we want to know something, we have Google, YouTube, Twitter or “there’s an app for that”. The point is, when we want something, we can get it, and when we don’t want something, we don’t want to be given it.

Let’s look at three ways you can meet your employees in this on demand world:

1. Meet them online
In a world where we have access to content wherever, whenever; provide training that your employees can get wherever, whenever. Let them sit on the couch and flick between Instagram and fire safety training. Trust me, they can do it. Don’t get me wrong, we still need to make our staff accountable for their progress with deadlines, performance monitoring and face to face learning opportunities but give them the chance to take charge of their own learning pace and timing. (If you want to give this a go in your business, CCIQ offers a free trial of its online training system and members get up to 60 training sessions free.)

2. Meet them in 720p (video)
Use video and don’t worry about making it great. We consume content through video more than ever before and a growing percentage of it is filmed from a webcam or phone. We have moved towards a distrust of produced‘ video and engage more readily with the bearded guy in the shed showing us how to build a chair. This is great news for businesses. All you need is a phone and a Vimeo account and you can create engaging and effective training resources that your employees can consume over and over again when they need it.

3. Meet them on the phone
According to Adobe Digital Index, the share of digital videos viewed on a smartphone is up 33% year on year and growing. Australians use smartphones for news more than any other nation according to a study at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. Make sure your team can access your learning resources from the same place they get their news education. If their phone is always with them, so is the opportunity to engage with your training.

I’ll put on my little paper hat and come to work. I’ll even enjoy it. But the crucial lesson I learnt during this time was that in a world where we have access to content wherever, whenever; businesses will have greater success if they provide training that their team can get wherever, whenever.

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About the contributor:

As the founder and owner of Smooth IT, Justin delivers technology advisory services and online induction and training learning management software and services. Justin is positioned as a subject expert in areas including e-learning, hospitality venues, customer loyalty, staff culture and matching technology to your operational needs. Justin has over 15 years’ experience in the implementation of enterprise software solutions into businesses of all types nationally. Website: http://smoothit.com.au 



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