In this unpredictable world, it has become important for businesses to look for smart solutions to optimise their operations. Technology offers a way to not only smoothen the operations but also to bring in profits. Employee training programs is one such area where technology can be used to the maximum effect. These programs help in aligning employee development with growing business needs.
Employee training programs are conducted to upskill the employees and to improve their overall performance. Embedding technology into these programs is a cost-effective and efficient way to achieve better results. Immersive technologies like Artificial intelligence (AI) and gamification have further transformed employee training programs by giving a personalized experience to employees.
Benefits of Employee Training Programs
Employee training programs are conducted in different employee focus areas. Successful completion of these programs leads to a productive and engaged workforce. Some of the benefits of employee training programs are:
- They boost employee performance and morale.
- These programs help to build strong collaboration between team members.
- Businesses will get a higher Return on Investment (ROI).
- These programs make the transition to new technologies easier.
- They help employees in adhering to quality standards.
Using technology to deliver training
There are several types of employee training programs, each with a distinct set of competencies and skills. This calls for adopting tailor-made approaches for each of these training programs.
Depending on the recipients, skills and the subject matter, an individual training method or a combination of training methods should be used for effective delivery. For example, Soft skills training can be delivered using a combination of Web-based technologies (WBT) and Instructor-led training (ILT).
Let us look at some of the training delivery methods which employs cutting-edge technologies:
- Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) – This is an ILT converted for online delivery. Participants from across the world can connect using this with the instructor. This includes live sessions or pre-recorded sessions. Through VILT, interaction with the instructor is possible in real-time as it imitates two-dimensional space. This is a cost-effective solution for businesses.
- eLearning – This refers to training that is delivered online through any digital device. Training programs and courses are mostly hosted on LMS portals where learners can access them any time. Some of the e-learning modalities are web-based learning, mobile learning, gamified learning, interactive online learning etc. This method can be used to impart personalized training to employees irrespective of their location.
- Augmented Reality (AR) – This technology superimposes digital content into a real-life environment using the device’s camera and microphone. AR provides easy visualisation of objects, thus enhancing the user’s experience. Training programs are increasingly using AR to give realistic feel and experience to employees. Following are some of the scenarios in which AR is used.
- To provide a 360-degree view of sensitive and heavy-duty equipment.
- To create simulations for training pilots.
- To provide realistic onboarding training for new employees.
- To provide AR projections of human body parts during surgeries.
- To speed the loading and unloading operations of cargo by providing realistic projections to the crew.
- Virtual Reality (VR) – In this technology, users can interact and immerse themselves in a simulated environment using a VR headset. Training programs are using this to provide a safe, hands-on experience of the work environment to the employees. VR has certain advantages over AR as it can simulate dangerous and risky environments without trainees visiting these places. Following are the examples in which VR is used:
- To simulate a battle environment where soldiers can experience real-life scenarios.
- To simulate an oil spill setup where environmental workers are required to handle the disaster efficiently.
Tracking learner experience and participation
An online platform is required to effectively host and deliver online courses or training videos. This is where Learning Management System (LMS) comes in. LMS has become an important tool for delivering quality courses to users situated in different parts of the world. This system includes the latest technologies and gives an interactive experience to the users.
For example, an LMS can be used to create a course on employee orientation. This course will contain different segments like the company’s goals and missions, employees’ roles and responsibilities, employee benefits, further career opportunities etc. A course like this will cut down repetition in HR responsibilities paving the way for digital HR transformation. To know more about this, click here.
The benefits of LMS outweighs traditional methods of imparting online learning. Some of them are:
- Providing a single platform that provides 24×7 access to online learning to anyone, anywhere in the world.
- Providing the flexibility of hosting different types of training material.
- Tracking and monitoring the progress of employees.
- Enabling training administrators to generate various types of reports such as completion reports, user assessment reports, training evaluation reports, and so on.
Most of the latest LMSs include Tin Can API or xAPI for accurate tracking of learner experiences outside the LMS. These learner experiences align with skills and competencies identified for career growth and are recorded in a xAPI records store. These can be viewed by the reporting manager or LMS administrator to evaluate progress.
Implementing Gamification strategy in employee training
Gamification is fast replacing several eLearning strategies because of its immersive and interactive user engagement. This technology introduces fun and game-like elements into the training courses. Gamification uses techniques such as earning points and rewards, clearing difficulty levels, listing scores on leader boards, introducing time constraints etc in training courses.
Some of the advantages of including this technique in training programs are:
- It facilitates higher motivation.
- It triggers behaviour change.
- It creates sticky learning.
- It helps in knowledge retention.
- It fosters a high completion rate of courses.
To give an even better immersive and hands-on experience, some companies are designing gamified training courses with AR and VR in their training programs. Let us understand how this can be implemented with an example.
A course to teach the techniques of firefighting to the employees of the fire department can be created using a gamified strategy. As it is a high-risk operation, training them in a virtual environment can be safe and cost-effective. The course can consist of two parts: using WBT and VILT for learning the basics of firefighting and using VR for scenario-based training. For the second part of the training, wearable apparatuses such as VR headsets and other gears can be given. Trainees can be evaluated based on the way they apply the training to mitigate the disaster in a lesser time frame.
Using these technologies will help the trainees to learn quicker with a hands-on approach in a safe environment. The gamified strategy will foster competition among them and help to avoid making mistakes.
How can Apposite help in building employee training programs?
Apposite helped one of the largest petrochemical companies in India in developing training courses on deep-sea exploration. We used gamification techniques in creating a highly interactive training program. Our training modules and deep-sea simulations helped in improving the performance of our client’s employees.
We held extensive consultations with SMEs to understand the different concepts of deep-sea exploration. We researched extensively on the different scenarios and created e-learning solutions. These included interactive graphics like 3D models of the exploratory equipment to give trainees a better understanding. Our training courses helped them in
- gaining an in-depth knowledge of deep-sea explorations,
- practising technical skills required for handling robotic equipment,
- completing the courses in a time-bound manner,
- reducing deep-sea accidents.
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