The following is an excerpt from our whitepaper Micro-training In Context: The Path to Faster Technology Adoption. To read the full paper, click here.
There is a growing gap between the training that organizations provide and what learners need in order to be successful at their jobs. According to the Association for Talent Development, 92 percent of learning professionals believe the most popular tool is traditional classroom training, but only 38 percent believe that [it] meets their learners’ needs.”
Challenge #1. Knowledge retention
Imagine for a moment that in two months you’re planning to travel to a location that’s unfamiliar. You decide to attend a lecture about the region you’ll be visiting. The lecture will be your primary introduction to the area. This lecture turns out to be very informative, revealing some great spots to visit, and leaving you with several things to think about.
When you touch down at your destination two months later, how much of that lecture do you think you’ll recall? You likely shifted your focus to work and family issues, everyday tasks, events, and more which popped up during the period prior to departure. Now that you’ve arrived, would you benefit from some guidebooks, maps, etc. to help make the most of your trip?
This example points out a critical issue when it comes to training employees. Many times, they aren’t ready to apply the knowledge they acquired immediately following the training session. So what happens to that knowledge?
More formal learning environments, such as instructor-led training classes, can, indeed, provide in-depth information about a new system. Organizations spent an average of $1,208 per employee on training and development in 2013, according to Training Magazine. But, according to various reports, most people forget 45 percent to 60 percent of information they receive within 24 to 48 hours. Would Ben Franklin say that was money well spent?
Attention spans have been shrinking at an alarming rate. In 1998, the average attention span was 12 minutes. By 2008, that span had decreased to 5 minutes. Social Times estimates that, by 2018, the span will shrink even further. So even with immersive classroom training, memory retention becomes a problem from the moment they leave the training room.
Challenge #2. Lack of effective training and support tools
Despite growing into a multi-billion dollar industry, employee training hasn’t been able to adequately transfer knowledge in many cases. Look at SharePoint adoption, for example. A 2014 AIIM survey showed that almost 50 percent of SharePoint-enabled enterprises reported that "lack of expertise" was the top ongoing issue with platform adoption.
Task expertise among end users is typically low when new systems are installed, and traditional classroom training or a "Google it" approach doesn't quickly provide the necessary task competency levels that companies are looking for. The primary reason is that employees need training – more specifically, performance support – when they have a moment of need, not at a predetermined time.
They also need clear and accurate instruction that is easily accessible from a reliable source. Search engines, help files, and video channels can be challenging to get the best answer efficiently, and may lead to confusion among workers. Most current training or knowledge sharing solutions don't get the job done effectively and efficiently.
Companies in almost every major industry struggle with training employees on solutions such as SharePoint and Office 365. And sometimes, the results are disastrous.
Employers are feeling the strain of poor training outcomes, and traditional methods aren’t living up to expectations. A 2015 survey of over 200 employees from multiple industries revealed that more than one-third said their company’s techniques aren’t a productive use of time and another third said they weren’t interesting or engaging.
Unfortunately, once a trainer leaves the training environment and employees try to apply their new skills, there are few efficient and effective resources available to support the application at the workspace. Workers routinely wish they could be able to review training content at a later time.
Consider this: MIllenials are a key employment group these days. By 2020, millennials will form 50 percent of the workforce, and they are driving the way companies instruct their employees. Fifty-nine percent of millennial workers have indicated that organizations must provide state-of-the-art training to convince them to accept a position.
So...what is the solution to these significant challenges? Read the whitepaper Micro-training In Context: The Path to Faster Technology Adoption.