The modern methods of communication and the rise of computer technology have changed how organizations train their employees. In particular, technology has a major role since younger generations of workers have used the internet from the time of its birth. Bob Clary, Strategic Partnerships Manager here at DevelopIntelligence, discusses the impact of technology and social media on modern day employee training tactics and the future of employee training programs in 2017.

What training methods do you use with DevelopIntelligence clients and what results have you seen?

We customize all of our training to suit the needs of our clients, so no one course is the exact same like other companies. Our learning solutions are focused on each company’s people, current project needs, and skills needed for boosting productivity. Because of the customized nature, we see great results. Over 98% of our trainees say they are completely satisfied with their course and would recommend our courses to their colleagues.

ON “BITE SIZED” TRAINING…

It’s no secret that, as a society, our attention spans are shrinking, hence the rise of so-called “bite sized training”. What are some bite sized training methods you’ve had success with?

For us, we feel that bite sized training comes down to spacing.

Some training sessions take advantage of our natural energy ebb and flow. After 90 to 120 minutes, most people’s alertness dwindles and they crave rest and recharge. Most people tend to start staring out of the window and thinking about lunch. Anything they try to learn in this time is lost.

Bite-size learning takes advantage of our short attention span by combining sharp bursts of energy with just the right amount of reflection time. This triggers the light bulb moments that have a lasting impact on the way we think and behave. This is especially true with those students we train on comprehensive web development technologies.

ON USING INTERACTIVE TRAINING CONTENT…

Many employees, especially younger generations, find static content like a presentation slides and multipage training manuals to be ineffective and downright boring. How do you combat this with your training programs?

We’ve found that our clients require interactive training content that is an extension of their comfort with technology.

One method that many clients see benefits with are custom bootcamps. These are instructor-led, multi-day programs that are designed to create a foundational knowledge by way of significant lab time. So they are an efficient way to quickly ramp up your development team through engaging, interactive sessions.

This fast-track, hands-on approach covers multiple related concepts and technologies in a condensed fashion. Bootcamps are aimed at increasing the team’s productivity at a foundational level. They are positioned to interact within the inception and implementation phases of the software development life cycle.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRAINING PRACTICES…

With the rise of Millennials in the workplace, we’ve seen an increase in social media friendly offices. How can companies implement social media into their training programs?

Millennials are the social generation, heavy users of Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other social sites. Many companies find that putting training videos on Facebook and YouTube actually increased employee engagement since it feels less formal and easier to follow for their Millennial employees.

What other ways besides posting videos to Facebook and YouTube, can companies use social media for training purposes?

Considering the routine use of your personal social media channels can help teach your team about a new process, as an example.

For a real world application, start by creating a group for your team on your social media platform or online collaboration tool such as Basecamp or Jive. Post a message to the group that, by following the new process, their workload will decrease and their opportunity for extra commissions will increase. Within minutes your team starts commenting on the post, asking questions, and engaging in conversation.

In essence, your teaser created an outlet for a discussion which sparks the learning. Then, you respond to those questions with specifics around how the plan will work, and what changes your team needs to make to succeed. By the end, you’ve created purposeful, on-the-fly eLearning, delivered in bite-sized chunks that your team reviews at their convenience.

ON THE USE OF VIDEO TRAINING CONTENT…

Video content management systems are becoming more and more common among organizations’ training tools. How are businesses using videos to train employees, and what video platforms they using?

Businesses will only continue to increase their usage of video training content in 2017. How-to videos and remote diagnostic help for field techs are on the rise, and so are video file sizes and the number of videos. Millennials want to search for just what they need in the moment, and technology has to provide stable streaming of video on any device.

For sharing videos with new employees, there are many tools and platforms out there. As I mentioned before, one option is to upload videos to a platform like YouTube or Vimeo. Once you’ve uploaded the video, you can email links to new employees prior to their first day as a welcoming tactic or gather new hires on their first day for a viewing. Videos uploaded to YouTube can be set to private for up to 50 users; however, know that YouTube utilizes progressive download.

Some companies are concerned with privacy and security of their training content and will instead, upload their video to an existing Learning Management System (LMS) or employee portal using a platform like the KZO Video Suite, where you are able to monitor and control who accesses your video.

ON THE FUTURE OF eLEARNING…

The concept of eLearning has been around for a while , but what, interesting eLearning methods do you foresee companies utilizing in 2017?

For younger generations, who grew up with working and playing online, eLearning is a natural method that they will feel at home with.

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing with our clients is the increased use of mobile technology.

Mobile has transformed the way companies work, interact, and collaborate. With global penetration rates skyrocketing, organizations are putting a lot of time and resources into mobile development.

However, I did some time researching this, and found that only 10 percent of companies are using mobile Web-based learning solutions. Some 8 percent are using mobile learning apps, 5 percent mobile performance Web-based sites, and 4 percent are using mobile performance apps.

I think the goal for most companies will be the use of internal mobile apps, whether created for their specific company, or using third party apps like Yammer or Slack.

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