August 2017 Cover Stories Innovate On The Cover

Incorporating Technology into Training


Written By: Tim Broom, CEO and co-founder, ITProTV

If you’ve been in business for a long time, you know that the rise of the Digital Age brought on a whole new era of opportunities for business owners to leverage technology and be more efficient. If you think about it, your company relies on software for scheduling, bookkeeping and even basics like email, all designed to streamline from the simplest to the most complex everyday operations. Just think back to having to use a Day-Timer and how time-consuming scheduling meetings or events was before the internet.

These developments in tech have given us a wide range of productivity tools that have greatly improved organizational efficiencies and allowed employees to do more. It’s no mystery that the success of your company is directly linked to your employees’ ability to do more and be more effective. As the leader, you must help unlock their workplace success.

Consider this — what can you do to further enable your team members to be more productive? It all boils down to investing in them. In recent years, conversations about workplace productivity were largely focused on the sociocultural core of a company. We’ve all heard of companies like Google that strive to help employees manage work and life balance by having game rooms and field days or offering fitness memberships to employees. It’s true that these amenities have proven to increase employee engagement and boost happiness, but let’s not forget about the most common way that we have already been conditioned to enrich our lives: by being encouraged to learn. Giving your employees on-demand access to education that will further their professional development can supercharge your company’s and their successes.

One of the pillars of my business is the idea that a good company or employee is always learning. As a CEO, I am always learning new ways to better my business and investing in efforts that add value to my company. I’m always thinking about the CEO ITProTV needs me to be 12 or 24 months from now and learning all I can to grow into the leader the future of the company needs. Online training provides opportunities for your employees to do the same, to better their skills, or to learn new things and grow professionally. With the right training plan in hand, online courses can do a lot for your organization.

Here are some key benefits to consider:

Employee Enrichment –
Giving employees opportunities to grow professionally will increase their job satisfaction. It lets staff members know that you are invested in them, and they will be encouraged to advance and bring more value to your company. Enabling them to learn and do more will not only boost performance but is also one of the best ways to discover untapped talent within your organization. Investing and compensating employees for higher-level skills learned will be a return in value for your company. Chances are, your staff turnover will also slow down as employees feel that they are valued assets to your business.

Organizational Enrichment –
Employee turnover and retention have a big impact on organizational efficiency and company culture. The time and money lost training new hires and losing seasoned employees is a big burden on any business. Online training gives you the opportunity to have current, on-demand access to educational programs that can be easily adopted by employees. Here is an example of how my company, ITProTV, offers an easy solution to a growing IT department in a hypothetical bank:

No Name Bank has five IT employees who maintain all the bank’s technology. Recently, the bank has expanded services and experienced rapid growth, so the CEO has purchased new technology and software to accommodate the scaling business. But, here’s his dilemma: How does he ensure his IT team learns the new tech without disrupting operations? Sending the team to train at the same time would be expensive, considering the cost of travel and accommodations, and it would leave his business vulnerable to digital threats while they are away. With the fast cycle of technology, staggered training would mean that by the time the last person is trained, the first one’s knowledge would be obsolete. A standard training option doesn’t work in this instance, but an online training solution will.

So, why online training specifically? Here are some things to consider:

The Cost –
How much of your budget currently goes to training? Consider all the costs — employee paid time in training, the costs associated with travel and employee absence, the cost of the physical space needed, the cost of experts and guest speakers and the technology needed. And, of course, all that ties back to the value received from the knowledge attained. Can a one-time or few times a year training really have as much value for your employees as access to online, on-demand trainings on a variety of the most current topics relevant to your field? Online training combines courses with additional resources like supplemental readings, practice tests and labs, as well as admin tools to help manage all training efforts. Some training providers like ITProTV, Pluralsight, or Lynda also offer access to forums and chat rooms where employees can inquire about topics and get answers from peers and instructors.

The Analytics –
Most online training providers allow you to see the course of employee training and manage all efforts online. That’s real, measurable data showing you performance that you can analyze frequently and make decisions on improvements; it allows you to better assess if something is working or not working and find the optimal solution. Traditional options are not as easily measurable, but with online training, you can really see how far your training budget will take you.

Online/On-Demand –
Let’s face it: Learning in a classroom is boring, and as research over the years has shown, it is not the best way to learn for a lot of people. Online education takes the boring out of the classroom by allowing employees to access training content anywhere, anytime, and have the option to start and stop at their convenience rather than being lectured in a dim room. Online training videos and supplemental materials in an easily digestible format offer a well-rounded, comprehensive education for every type of student. Also, because the training content is available on multiple devices, chances are that you or your employees will not need to invest in new tech to learn.

Tailor Made –
When it comes to traditional training bundles, you are usually limited to choosing a program that is already in a package and you buy the package even if it’s not exactly the perfect fit for your business. Most online education can be customized in a package that works for you and is both scalable and measurable. You also have more choices in topics available for your employees to explore. Even an IT professional building a tech portfolio could benefit from taking a Microsoft Office class or learning the basics of programming.

Online training is an employee-oriented solution to improving organizational productivity that you may not have considered for your company. It is an educational resource that will save you time and money, and as described in detail above, it can be a key way for your employees to be more effective and an integral part of growing your business. As technology and productivity tools continue to improve, online training providers will be able to offer the most premier and current training solutions for businesses, with traditional training options staggering far behind. Get ahead of the curve and explore your options until you find the right long-term online training partner to support the future of your business.

 

TIM BROOM is the CEO and co-founder of ITProTV, an online, on-demand provider of the most current IT training and certification courses. He’s a father, husband, and leader on a mission to disrupt the technology learning marketplace and empower the world by delivering engaging and effective educational content daily.

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