How does the digital transformation change the concept of training?

How does the digital transformation change the concept of training?

bored people in an office

“Digital Transformation” is one of the most used terms nowadays: the economy is becoming more digital, companies, personal and business interactions and assets rely more and more on digital resources and everybody’s supposed to know what this transformation entails. And, of course, cope with the changes it brings.

OK, there’s nothing new here. But we need to be careful: precisely because it’s so commonly used, the term can be misleading. We often forget the human factor behind it. Many companies believe they’re ready to embrace the digital transformation by simply being open-minded and trying/adopting new digital resources; for instance, new software to perform daily tasks. And to guarantee that employees will be able to use these resources, they normally provide some kind of training: presential, with online materials, from shadowing or doing handovers with their colleagues. Training is thus an integral part of the so-called “digital transformation”. However, combining these two brings about many challenges. This article will explore some of these challenges and propose a solution to face them.

What are the key challenges of Digital Transformation?

To start with, we need to reflect over some digital transformation fallacies. First, coping with the phenomenon by adopting digital resources alone is not a solution. Worse, if this is done without due consideration to people’s needs, the whole transformation becomes actually counterproductive: having digital resources which people are not able to understand and operate with can bring discomfort, wasted hours and frustration to the workplace. This may in turn escalate to hamper productivity and employee motivation, ultimately compromising the whole company.

Second, while training is a valuable resource and for many the only way to guarantee that employees can perform key tasks and procedures, traditional ways of training are not immune to the effects of the digital transformation. While presential courses with exposed contents accompagned of some paper or PDF material was the best we knew in the past, this is no longer the case. They are no longer effective, if they’ve ever even been so. Or better, they are no longer tolerated. Today’s learners (ourselves!) know a plethora of resources and expect to learn at their pace, having multiple senses involved and without wasting time. They expect to be engaged and even, somehow, entertained while learning. They want to learn as fast as possible, to focus on what is useful and to put their hands dirty as early in the process as possible.

3 Typical issues of including digital resources in the training process

Let’s imagine the following scenario: you need to learn how to use a given software in your new job. You’ve never used it before and you’re not a computer expert. You are offered a training session, but you know that this often means:

  1. Being away from your actual job for some hours, if not days, and then having to cope with an enormous amount of work when you come back.
  2. Being bored to death while watching some Powerpoint presentation and taking notes, if not actually falling asleep during the presentation.
  3. Reading some kind of extra material to actually have a chance to grasp the content presented – and here, again, who wants to read manuals or PDFs full of texts, hypothetical situations and screenshots?

This point is even more problematic than the first two: you will probably have to reconsult these written resources every time you need to go through a task, basically having to hop from book/PDF to the software, forth and back. And all the hassle just to arrive at 4: you know you will forget half of the stuff you “learned”, if not more, as soon as you leave the training venue. Sounds familiar?

We’ve all been there. But all of this can be avoided. How? By doing some shadowing with a colleague? Not ideal either, as you’re probably just watching, learning from someone who’s not an expert at teaching and worse, taking away productivity from you both. We’re back at the bleak scenarios from the previous paragraph.

What is user-centric training and why is it the best way to face Digital Transformation?

The answer is we should definitely embrace the digital transformation and adopt new digital resources, but in an efficient way. This can be done if one knows one little secret: today’s consumers and users expect you to listen and respond to their needs. Yes, we are fine with the idea of “training”, if that’s the best concept we have. But training needs to be user-centric. It needs to be contextual, straight-to-the-point, engaging. And all of this at the same time, without forgetting to optimize time and resources.

The good news is that, at least when it comes to software, we have a tool which can empower you to do all that at once: Newired. With our solution, you can offer help right where it is needed – in-app – when it is needed, as many times as needed. And even more: with Newired, you avoid ineffective trainings, you show users only what is relevant to them (as you can show specific Journeys only to the job groups concerned), you keep users engaged (as they perform tasks real time) and they get their hands dirty right away. All because Newired is a user-centric digital solution, because we’re passionate about one idea: turning software into more friendly resources for everybody.

Written by Natalia Kawana

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