Digital Training And Upskilling
Training and upskilling processes are due for a change to keep in line with the ways we consume content—which is primarily on our phones and computers. Not only is it a necessary change to meet workers where they’re at, but when it comes to retaining information the data also shows that digital, particularly mobile, learning is more effective. Deskless workers now make up 80% of the global workforce, which means that there are around 2.7 billion people working outside of the traditional office environment, and outside of conventional workplace norms. It’s critical for training and upskilling to be available for deskless workers since they do not work at a computer or a desk.
A recent survey, conducted by eduMe, on what deskless workers are saying about the current state of the industry revealed what managers need to know to improve operations. The survey results showed there’s a massive need for digital transformation when it comes to training and upskilling. The findings offer insights and trends for the industry at large as the world shifts to a more hybrid environment and we’re seeing more remote employees. Switching to digital can help make the training process more efficient, bridge the upskilling gap, and allow companies to better understand their employees.
1. The Old Ways Of Training Are Outdated, Slow, And Inefficient
Traditionally, companies have done training and onboarding in person. Even as the number of remote workers continues to increase and the on-demand industry is growing exponentially, companies are still hesitant to adopt new training methods. Considering the technology that is available, it is surprising how much they rely on using in-person training and onboarding processes.
According to the deskless workers’ survey, 61% of training and onboarding is currently face-to-face or one-to-one, which is disproportionately high given their inefficiency. In-person training is more resource-heavy than fully mobile solutions for several reasons—they require a venue (physical or digital), instructors (often employees who need to be pulled out of other work), and on average, take more time to complete. They are also limiting for companies in terms of the volume of people they can train and upskill at once, whereas digital lessons can be sent and completed by multiple workers, regardless of their location, at the same time. In spite of the many cons of Instructor-Led Training, just 8% of operations managers are utilizing integrated and seamless mobile technology to train workers across their lifecycle.
Using digital training, specifically mobile training, allows for the content to be served at the right time, and for repetition of learning which results in employees better retaining the information. Knowledge retention is achieved by repetition at spaced intervals, which in-person training does not provide because people can’t go back to reference it again once it’s been delivered. Ultimately, in a sector where success in the market is determined by the rate and scale of growth, companies are atypically reliant on dated means of upskilling their workforce with relevant information.
2. Digital Training Is Needed To Improve Productivity, Retention, And Operational Efficiency
Upskilling needs to be a key focus for companies to improve their operations and workforce. It is a valuable and underutilized tool to improve worker performance. Providing digital options is an effective way to offer ongoing training with fewer resources and at a lower cost.
According to the survey, 76% of deskless workers are not being upskilled digitally and 46% are not being offered training at all, which is alarming. On the other hand, 67% of deskless workers said they want regular training, delivered digitally, to improve their skills on the job. This shows a clear discrepancy between what workers want and what companies are providing in terms of training resources. And the less “served” deskless workers feel by a company, the less likely they are to stick around.
Though most leaders appeared relatively happy with new hire productivity, 97% said they believe the overall performance of their workforce could be improved. This points to a strong onboarding process, but subpar ongoing training and skills development. Once onboarded and up to speed, the desire for employers to continue training their employees drops off. Digital training offers a way to continue learning and development past onboarding in an easy, time- and cost-efficient way, without the need to use all the necessary resources for dedicated in-person training.
Investing in workers’ skills is mutually beneficial. Deskless workers want to learn new skills and improve their performance because it directly correlates to the amount of money they earn. When you empower workers with information that helps them earn more, they are more likely to work more often, and to a higher standard. Though historically, upskilling is an area that has been underinvested in, it is a proven method to improve retention and productivity. So in order to improve operational efficiency, digital transformation needs to be embraced by companies.
3. Using Digital Training Can Help You Measure ROI
Digital training can be used as an effective tool to gather insights about your employees and operations by collecting qualitative and quantitative data in areas that you previously couldn’t, like training, onboarding, and upskilling. Instructor-Led Training is difficult, if not impossible, to measure, as you can’t monitor things like the progress made or quiz scores. Additionally, it lacks standardization, as the information delivered inevitably varies between sessions, whereas with digital training you can send out the same message to 10,000 people, ensuring consistency.
To stay ahead of the competition, operations teams need to understand and report on the ROI of any initiatives they launch. When there is no way to access data or track metrics like start date, progress, completion rates, and scores on given courses, lessons, assessments, surveys, or notifications, leaders cannot set KPIs and measure performance against them. Access to invaluable data, facilitated by mobile training tools, not only allows companies to better understand and improve their operations, but also provides employers with an opportunity to deliver crucial training straight into the hands of their workers. Collecting this type of data gives companies the knowledge to tweak and improve upon their current offerings, which in turn will help in several areas, such as curbing turnover and improving productivity.
Another benefit is that digital trainings provide companies with a digital record, which is important for remaining compliant. It also exposes knowledge gaps or problems with current training materials, which is helpful for measuring impact, and revising and improving content—and by extension, workforce performance.
When it comes to training, companies are using far too many resources and far too much money because they are relying on in-person training. Digital solutions are not only easier to implement and more cost-effective, but they are also better for workers to learn and retain information. It makes providing additional training and upskilling much easier, which is a huge benefit for increasing productivity. Implementing digital training also allows companies to develop valuable insights about operations and improve ROI, in a way that in-person training can’t provide.