Can you still remember how companies trained their employees in the past? Employees would attend a training program for a week, complete with a 12-inch manual and module on being a successful manager or supervisor. They will have written exams. The company will even hire a management coach to complete the training. While that worked before, this isn’t the way to do things right now. As technology develops, so do plenty of opportunities to equip your employees with the right knowledge and information about how to successfully run an organization.
But these strategies don’t work anymore. They are boring and outdated. They don’t contribute to the success of the organization. Rather, they keep people from developing their skills since training such as these keeps them in a box. If you want to improve your employees’ potentials, you have to arm them with the right tools and knowledge through the proper channels. In today’s world, that means using modern methods such as extended reality, gamification, buddy programs, upskilling, and succession planning.
Foster a culture of ongoing learning in your organization. This means providing opportunities for your employees to reskill and upskill themselves. In Singapore, employees are encouraged to attend a work-study program where they can learn additional skills that will make them more competitive in the ever-changing landscape of the job market. Sometimes, simply allowing them to get off work an hour earlier to attend a study program is a huge step toward collecting new skills and knowledge.
Also, support employees who want to attend various events, conferences, seminars, and workshops. These are excellent ways to improve their network, too, from where they can learn more about their chosen industries. But if you truly want to push them to upgrade what they know, you also have to compensate and incentivize them. Promotion opportunities are one way of keeping them interested in ongoing learning.
Seminars, conferences, and workshops tend to be boring because they truly are. Engaging young employees must be done through different modern methods. One of these is gamification. Not only will games teach new strategies and tricks, but they will also foster healthy competition in the workforce. This can create engagement and motivate employees to learn more about a particular topic.
What are the ways to integrate gamification into your employee training program? You can reward employees with “badges” after completing certain activities and develop a dashboard or tracker where they can monitor their progress. You can also encourage them to work harder and achieve more by creating daily and weekly goals. Learning can be more fun when you integrate mini-games and quizzes.
The traditional way of training employees wherein a manager or supervisor acts as the “professor” no longer works. Using extended reality—virtual reality and augmented reality—is now a norm in most organizations. This allows employers to immerse their workers into a multisensory environment that they can access through their smartphones, computers, tablets, and desktops. They will then use these tools to get a hands-on experience of new tools and equipment that can be used in their field of work.
This is better used when the company is going to launch a new program or tool. The employees can “experience” this new tool in augmented reality first before actually handling it. This shortens the participants’ time to learn and reduces the possible mistakes done along the way.
The employee buddy program isn’t a novel idea, but it helps new and old employees be responsible for each other. The idea behind this is that someone who’s more of an “expert” in the organization’s workings can share his/her experiences with a new employee. This creates instant camaraderie. Not to mention, the new employee will learn directly from someone who’s been with the organization for a long time.
Buddy programs are not only being used at work. Most schools also have these programs for the proper integration of new students. Even before, this has been an effective way to guide employees through their respective roles.
Losing your well-trained employees is not in your mind when you start to think about reskilling and upskilling them. However, the reality is that plenty of times, your organization might be a stepping stone for them to achieve their goals. You shouldn’t feel bad about this. You’ve probably done the same thing before.
The practical thing to do is prepare for it. Whenever there is a big change in your company—a retirement or an impending promotion or an end of the contract—make sure there is succession planning so that those in a position now can train their replacements for the job. A smooth transition is going to soften the blow of change in your company.
If you want to keep your organization going strong, you have to modernize how you train your employees. Companies have to look for new ways to engage their employees and encourage them to seek continuous learning. This will lead to happy and energized employees who are driven to succeed.