The training closet...in many organisations, this is just as common as the supply closet. It’s full of training manuals, fill in the circle tests, and other documents used to train and onboard employees. All of this stuff may be adequate, but does it really deliver the kind of engaging training your employees need? Of course it doesn’t.
There are so many better options when it comes to training and compliance. It’s time to ditch the paper and digitize. Not only will you save space, you’ll have training programmes that are much more effective. It’s easier than you might think. Below are some tips for taking paper based training online.
The Training You Need is no Longer Available in Paper Form
Around 90% of companies say that their employees lack the skills they need when it comes to digital competencies such as data analysis and social media. If you’re relying on paper manuals to train your employees, they aren’t learning those skills. In spite of this, 46% of companies are not making changes and don’t plan to.
Think about that. All you have to do is digitize your training programmes, and there’s a very good chance that you will put your team at a competitive advantage.
Talk to Your Training Providers
Chances are, you source your training from a variety of sources. For example, you might have a combination of training programmes you’ve developed in house, materials provided to you by government regulatory agencies, and training materials provided by the vendors that you use. It’s time to talk to your third party providers about upgrading to the online versions of their training programmes. There are benefits to doing this that you may not have considered, including:
- Automating training updates in the future: You paper based training may be woefully behind.
- Saving time and money. Your suppliers may be charging you extra for the time and trouble to serve you offline.
- Giving you access to better quality training that your employees can use nearly anywhere.
- Ensuring you remain up to date with regulatory compliance.
What do you do if your vendors don’t offer online training options? To be honest, it may be time to consider other options. At this point in time, a company that is relying on paper based training may not be one you want to stay with in the future. It begs a few questions:
- Are they phasing out support for those products?
- Do they lack the resources and funds required to develop digital training programmes?
- Can they be counted on to deliver up to date training?
Take Your Knowledge Base Online
None of this should be taken to mean that your paper materials are worthless. If there are manuals and other docs that your employees are still referencing, then clearly they hold some value. The key is to get them online. There they can be accessed by people across your organization, even remote workers. Even better, the online versions can be indexed and made searchable.
For manuals and other docs that aren’t available online, consider using a system to capture and store them online. An intelligent document processing system will make quick work of even a large library of documents.
Identify Training Needs And Shortcomings
Of course, the point of all this isn’t to simply go paperless. It’s to modernize your training offerings. There’s a digital skills gap that is impacting 54% of businesses today. The only way to close it in your organization is to find effective, online training in areas such as analytics, content marketing, digital media, social media, and big data.
All of this starts with identifying your needs. A company wide assessment might be in order. Query supervisors, managers, and staff to find out where they believe knowledge is lacking. Once you know where the gaps are, you can start seeking out training options to close them.
If your organization is particularly large, or you’ve got teams with wide ranging training needs, you might consider sourcing this task out to a third party, training provider. They will likely have the assessments and other instruments needed to effectively determine what your organisation needs.
Digitizing your corporate training could be a very significant undertaking. Depending on your situation, it could be a project that lasts several months, even years. You’ll need to map out exactly how you should proceed. Here’s an example of the steps you might take to bring your training programmes up to date and get them online.
- Address offline training that is outdated and no longer meets compliance standards.
- Update mission critical training.
- Create online knowledge bases.
- Get vendors to update their training products.
- Select new vendors where needed.
- Begin the process of developing in house training programmes through online learning management systems.
By taking a phased approach to digitize your training programmes, you may find the process to be more manageable. In any case, it’s time to bring your outdated training programmes into the 21st century.
Independant inbound marketing consultant with 5+ years in the industry, including coaching and developing e-learning courses. Bylines at the Huffington Post, Tech Cocktail, Hackerspace by Lifehacker among others.