Ranjit Singh looks at the shift towards in-house training development.
You could argue that everything in modern society is changing through technological advancements, whether that’s in our day-to-day lives, or in education and business. We’ve already digitised a wide range of tasks and processes, but one area which could improve further is corporate training, and the options offered to staff for professional development.
Sourcing external training for employees in any business can be a challenge; not only are there limitations when it comes to budgets and the number of employees, but it also isn’t necessarily personalised to address the direct needs of the employee or business, nor does it support their desired outcomes.
Kimoglu, Ozturan and Kutlu (2017) argue that corporation training across the world requires ‘technological transformation’. So what alternative opportunities are available to organisations?
Cue in-house training; with the influx of 21st Century technology, corporates are now able to host and deliver their own training internally using a wide range of effective resources and tools to make it as cost-effective, relevant and time-efficient as possible, ensuring they are able to upskill employees without breaking the bank.
With the vast amount of technology available, there’s no reason that organisations can’t utilise this to further improve in-house training for corporate staff.
Distance learning and virtual training programmes offered by schools and universities work reasonably well, but this is currently under-developed in the professional development sphere, and companies are expected soon, if not already, to give this serious thought. It is estimated that by 2022, the global elearning market will grow 20% in 2017 alone.
While elearning and virtual training works for many, sometimes it’s not enough. With the vast amount of technology available, there’s no reason that organisations can’t utilise this to further improve in-house training for corporate staff.
Individuality is important for training, but one way that people learn universally is through experiential training, specifically focused on a hands-on approach. Combining this with technology can help skills to develop more quickly, as well as facilitating an individual approach to development, allowing employees to learn in a way which best suits them, whether it is case studies, team-building exercises or brainstorms.
Advantages of using technology with training
Corporate companies may be wary when it comes to using technology for in-house training. For example, they might worry that using technology can lead to a lack of face-to-face communication in the office, and have the idea that learning will become an inhuman process.
Some people prefer sociocultural learning, through which, we learn with others through conversations and collaborative activities. Knowledge is constructed in our minds through sharing information by conversing with others, analysing problems and meeting goals together.
Technology facilitates this by providing a constant platform of communication which can be accessed anywhere at any time, as well as creating digital collaborative spaces that can incorporate a wide range of content and functionality.
For example, if staff are using interactive technologies for brainstorming, then the social process of learning is maintained, but is also enhanced using dynamic sources like images and video to enrich the content. One example of this could be the use of interactive displays.
Video collaboration can be extremely useful if you have an office that is split across different cities, or even countries. Using the right technology will allow for a corporation to train many sites at once – meaning everyone is learning the same thing which allows for consistency, and also means that no time is lost being out of the office.
Collaboration across teams can be even more seamless using collaborative working spaces, which allows for multiple staff members to work in the same cloud space and therefore can share their thoughts and experiences with their colleagues.
Another challenge which has been highlighted within research, is the worry that individuals may struggle with the technology and motivation to engage with training will be lost. However, technology has been found to be a very effective tool due to its potential for differentiation in learning.
Various approaches can be adjusted to suit individual abilities and preferences when it comes to learning styles. Using interactive boards allows for businesses to annotate, share ideas and comment with other meeting members. Technology is more likely to encourage staff engagement with each other, rather than restrict it.
Using technology within training can be convenient and cost-effective for the company. Investing in technology to assist with internal training means that the resources can be regularly updated to match the pace of the business, both internally, and more generally in the world today. By investing in technology, it is a long-term investment which yields great results.
With the use of technology ever growing, if it has the potential to improve corporate training, and if it is used properly, it will provide benefits to everyone in the company.
Technology is a long-term, cost-effective plan and provides an easy way to update and improve training provided to staff, allowing staff to utilise technology with a hands-on approach which can improve all levels of confidence with technology.
About the author
Ranjit Singh is CEO of Genee World