In the five previous articles, we have addressed common objections to using massive open online courses (MOOCs) in corporate training. Here, we take a step back to tackle a more fundamental objection—the objection to using technology at all.
Here’s a sentiment commonly heard in training departments and conference rooms:
We’ve always done instructor-led training. Our entire training program is based on face-to-face interaction, and I don’t think learning technologies can offer us much of an advantage. Using learning technologies just isn’t right for me or for my company.
“We’ve always done it this way” syndrome is rampant in companies, especially regarding adopting new technology, and it can be difficult to overcome. This objection usually stems from an unwillingness to learn something new. But while adopting a new way of doing things can be painful for some, it must happen for businesses to survive and grow into the future.
Customer Interaction Solutions magazine editorial director Tracey Schelmetic wrote: “When an unwillingness to learn about, let alone adopt, new technologies begins holding businesses back, it’s time for education. It’s time to learn the what, why, how, and where of new methods….Companies are standing on a precipice, and the deadline is fast approaching when they must make the decision to go forward or dissolve into rust.”
That was in 2005 and she was talking about adopting new telecommunications technologies. It was before everyone had a cellphone, and only a lucky few had a Palm Pilot or a Blackberry. It was five years before the iPad. Facebook was in its very early stages, and Twitter wasn’t even on the radar. How many companies can you name that have refused to adopt these new telecommunications technologies and managed to survive? My guess is: not many.
Ten years from now, we will be saying the same things about MOOCs and other forms of technology-enabled learning. The arguments about whether or not to use new online tools, social media, and so on will seem silly, because by then they will be the new way we’ve always done things.
If your company is standing on a precipice, here are three major reasons your corporate training program should fall on the side of using technology:
Technology is in the process of revolutionizing the corporate training industry.
This may sound like jumping on the bandwagon, but it is more accurately described as keeping up with current trends, which is essential for companies looking to attract tomorrow’s best and brightest. A new report from Visiongain predicts that the MOOC market will grow immensely in the next five years, especially for “companies looking to implement effective training programs for employees.”
A huge driver of this revolution is Millennials, who at latest count spend almost 18 hours every day consuming some sort of media and 14.5 hours per week on their smartphones. To these hyper-connected individuals, training that doesn’t incorporate some sort of technology seems antiquated.
Employees expect and need more training than they are getting.
Are you experiencing a skills shortage in your company? Do you have too many vacancies you can’t find qualified people to fill? This skills gap is happening in all sectors, and while many have laid the blame at the door of colleges and universities, but Wharton’s Peter Capelli suggests that the real problem is a training shortage.
An Accenture study last year found that 80% of 2014 graduates expected formal training at their first job, which is more than 30% higher than number of 2012 and 2013 graduates who received training at theirs. To reconcile these numbers, employers would need to nearly double the amount of training they offer—and that’s just for entry-level employees. Most companies are not in the place to double their T&D staff, but they can use technology to scale their training efforts.
Technology-enabled learning is simply more effective for training.
Finally, though many trainers like to argue otherwise, technology-enabled learning is simply a more effective way to train employees. Here are a few elearning statistics that I’ve noted before, but are worth revisiting:
- Technology-enabled learning tools and strategies can increase employee productivity by up to 50%.
- Technology-enabled learning can increase retention by up to 60%.
- Companies that use technology-enabled learning are 46% more likely to be industry leaders, 34% better able to respond to their customers’ needs, and 17% more likely to be market share leaders.
These three reasons each represent a major way organizations that don’t actively pursue new learning technologies will soon find themselves trailing behind. They will be unable to attract and keep top talent, they will be unable to bridge their skills gaps, and they will be unable to keep up with their competitors who are using technology-enabled learning.
No company wants to look toward its future and see a pile of rust. For organizations that want to get the most out of their training programs, now is the time to stop saying “we’ve always done it this way” and instead to start exploring better ways of doing it.
Copyright 2015 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.
Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– Being a big believer in Technology Enabled Learning, Bryant seeks to create awareness, motivate adoption and engage organizations and people in the changing business of education. Bryant is a entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual.
Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson