5 Tech Tips for Innovative Employee Training (Even If It’s Remote)
The biggest obstacle for employee training is rarely a lack of expertise. It’s a lack of time. Finding more hours in the day is somewhat of a specialty for us, so training is a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts.
Our technicians spend most of their working hours designing time-saving IT. Sometimes, it’s as simple as automating an invoice approval process; sometimes, it’s as complex as setting up phone systems that redirect incoming calls based on who is best suited to answer. Whatever it is, the focus is always on getting more done in less time.
Here are our tech-focused employee training ideas that will free up time on your calendar.
Tip #1: Intranets Give New Hires a Single Source of Truth
Conflicting and contradictory data has been a headache since the era of floppy disks. Employees forget to date stamp the newest version of a document, or can’t remember where it’s stored, or they’ve been updating one copy while another team has been updating another.
It’s chaos when a new person is trying to navigate a sea of unorganized information.
The solution to this problem is something called an intranet. A company intranet keeps all of your files in a central repository that can only be updated by privileged users. It prevents your new hires from getting off track with outdated or incorrect information.
A good rule of thumb is: “If it didn’t come from the intranet, you’re not ready yet.”
Microsoft Teams is the fastest and most cost-effective way to build an intranet. Learn more about Teams in our eBook, A 360° Look at Office 365.
Tip #2: Expose Trainees to Other Teams with Different User Roles
After a couple of months of training, a new employee should experience how other teams work. Whether that’s a full-blown rotational training program or just lurking in another team’s group chats and emails, it’s critical that everyone has a broad view of how the company works.
For example, a salesperson who thinks that “any sale is a good sale” might change their tune after witnessing firsthand how difficult a cheapskate client is for other teams.
With the right tools in place, you can automatically add trainees to chat rooms, email groups, and shared file folders simply by assigning them to a temporary team. When the training period is over, their privileges will be revoked as well as access to any sensitive documents.
Tip #3: Encourage Questions That Aren’t Job-Specific
Some of the best employee training happens outside of scheduled meetings and assignments. When a new hire has a question but doesn’t know who to ask, what do they do? If your current setup has them always going to the same person, we suggest something more flexible.
Create a digital space (a chat, email, or call group) where volunteers can answer questions from trainees like “Where is the company directory?” or “How do I get a copy of my paystub?” This takes the pressure off of the hiring manager to be constantly available and gives new hires opportunities to meet and interact with people outside of their team.
[Related resource: New Employee Tech Checklist]
Tip #4: Record Hands-On Employee Training Exercises
Take a second to think about the least valuable task your new hires need to be trained on. Do you assign a live person to give the instructions? Could a pre-recorded video achieve the same end?
The training video approach is easier than ever before and comes with several benefits:
- A single video can train multiple new employees.
- Staff can rewind or rewatch the video from anywhere, at any time (without bugging the presenter).
- Managers can see everyone’s training progress at a glance.
- Presenters can update videos on their own time.
- AI-powered speech-to-text tools can make video content searchable in the company intranet.
The healthcare industry is one of the best examples of how this can work in practice. A head receptionist could record a video series on patient intake processes, document handoffs to doctors, archiving records, etc. It’s more effective, cost-efficient, and consistent than face-to-face training.
Tip #5: Create a Public Employee Training Calendar
Have you ever been in the middle of training a new employee and thought, “A few long-timers should go through this process again”? It’s a great idea that can easily be managed by creating a shared calendar.
Any time a new hire needs to attend a live meeting, tag it as a training event. As long as other managers periodically check the training calendar, they can send other employees to join the event. That way, you use the same amount of time but more people benefit.
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