Since the industrial revolution businesses have had to constantly evolve and adapt. This adaptability was also a prelude to the industries or that particular businesses survival. The reasons why they needed to evolve constantly changed overtime. At first environmental and geo-political changes at the turn of the 21stcentury were major concerns. This later gave way to changes in economy and adapting to new technology. The 200 billion dollar world of corporate training is no different. In the past seven decades it has seen its fair share of paradigm shifts. And in an era were connectivity amongst people is at an all time high coupled with the needs and demands of the modern workforce,corporate training is poised at another one of these shifts. In order to better understand this. We have to look into the past.
Training like all learning systems has its inception in the classroom. Where a trainer would pass around self-authored slides known as foils which would contain the training material and the tests. The first big change that the corporate trainers had to adapt came with the popularization of computers.
The trainers now went ahead and started to create Training CD-ROMs, where the content wasn’t limited to slides. It had videos and explanatory graphicsas well. These training systems were very expensive to create and would only work on a single pc. The major challenge was to track the progress of the trainee, as these systems weren’t interactive units. As computers networks were born sharing information become easier. Training companies came up with learning management systems (LMS). These systems tracked and stored data received from the e-learning databases that the trainee was given.
Web browsers came into the market during the 90s. E-learning saw a considerable rise. Trainers could now build instructional website using HTML and flash. The entire industry was shifting to an online university model where courses were designed and trainees could enroll and learn.
At the turn of the century search engines had improved drastically, people now wanted to learn and get instant answers to their problems. But the world of training was slow to catch up. As video content came into the picture, people flocked to it. It was easy to log into YouTube and Khan academy and learn the latest material. People were now learning faster than ever before.
The training world during this time was focusing on talent management. Training employees to be better and more effective at their jobs. Not embracing the learning needs of the workforce.
In order to be more competitive training companies started building their own video libraries and started the channel based learning system. Which incorporated related videos and relevant content suggestions.
As training has moved into the video and playlist sort of format, it is important to remember that corporate training is a different industry and it might not be the best way to move forward. The next big paradigm might not be caused by newer and better technologies but rather it would be influenced by the way people think and learn.
The main problem with the shift to this relevant content approach is that the content creators such as Netflix, Spotify and New York times, want the consumers to spend more and more time on their mediums. This type of content consumption can’t take place at the work place. Therefore, we have to move towards a more integrated solution. Some of these training methods are already in use by some of the larger companies out there.
The average employee today just doesn’t have the time to devote to learning at the workplace. It is estimated that at max an employee can spare 24 minutes a week on their learning. One innovation in training which might be a game changer in this paradigm is the introduction of pin point learning and flow of work training methods. These micro learning models would allow for a more effective learning experience.
Employees simply can’t spare the time to browse through informational content while working. They need tools and information which makes them more productive while they work. So instead of providing them traditional means of training. We need to adapt and bring about flow of work training methods. These methods would allow an employee to see content and information which is relevant to the problem at hand. Helping them solve issues more effectively, while learning new methods to solve the same problems. These tools are in some form available today. Employees of software companies are giveneBooks’ and aids for instant assists while the employees are coding. Teaching them as they work and answering their queries, if they have any.
These integrated training tools could take advantage of the existing video libraries, sending employees small instructional videos with safety or sales tips on their connected devises, not only serving reminders but re-informing them of the training they already have. So while a machine operator is about to perform a function on a newer machine; he or she gets a small video which familiarizes the employees to the machines operation and reminding them of the necessary safety precautions that they need to adhere too. All while taking their feedback of how the machine works and performs and their confidence in that particular task. So that next time, based on this information they could receive more relevant content.
A sales employee in the field might benefit too. They could receive small videos that remind them of their training, the features of the product being sold along with tips to better negotiate. This type of on the job training where the employee get to use the training immediately would help retention of information as well.
Whether it is sales, manufacturing or a service based industry. The main goal of imparting training to your employees is to make them more adept at their jobs. The same can be achieved with integrated training tools which use micro learning and flow of work training. Not only would it move this multi-billion dollar industry into a new and interactive direction but would also ensure immediate and effective results.