Training in the workplace – whether through e-Learning, on the job or otherwise – is essential. There is often a gap between the skills young people acquire in school and those that they need every day to do a job. Some of those are soft skills, like effective communications. Others are hard skills, such as dealing with a particular piece of proprietary software. An employee, whether new or seasoned, can always improve, grow and change, but only with the full support of the employer, executive and/or management team.
What is change management?
Change management is the process by which, not to put too fine a point on it, change is managed in an organization. Change can include: new or different processes, new product lines, a melding of business silos or a division of same. It can include the acquisition of another company and the absorbing of its products and processes, or it can be something as simple as a new software program.
Regardless, it is essential that change – and that includes training – be handled with a specific process and plan that addresses fears that employees may have about it.
What does change management have to do with training?
In a word? Everything. Change management begins at the top. If the senior levels of an organization are on board with training as part of change management, it’s more likely that staff will be as well. Change is unsettling, so people naturally look upwards to see what the prevailing attitude is at the executive level.
When it comes to self-directed e-Learning in particular, it’s important to have the buy-in of the executives and management so that if an employee schedules time in their day to engage in the training, they are not in any way made to feel that they are being less productive. Training is an essential part of organizational growth.
Training is a critical component in change management but it, and the resulting organizational changes, will not be embraced by employees who feel that they are, at worst, penalized for engaging in training during company time or at best, feel that management is indifferent to the training.
And while e-Learning tools are useful in that they allow the student to engage in the learning at a time and in a place that suits them best, this shouldn’t mean that an employee is required to give up their personal time to do something that is integral to their and the organization’s continued growth.
What are the benefits of workplace training?
- Addressing weaknesses in workplace skills and increasing productivity;
- Improved safety in the workplace, where this is a concern;
- Improved employee engagement and satisfaction in the work;
- It creates a consistent background of knowledge and experience for employees;
- Improved and consistent customer experience.
It’s part of most any job to learn. It’s the role of a good employer to train. Use the principles above, and don’t hesitate to take advantage of e-Learning tools to maximize your training potential.
Have any inspiring workplace training success stories? Share them in the comments below!