Leading a team, department or company is, literally and figuratively, a full-time job. No doubt you want employee training to be in your repertoire too, to ensure your people are engaged, individuals are on track to complete their learning goals, the workforce’s collective breadth of skills are constantly relevant and your return on investment (ROI) is riding high. How does one manage it all?
The answer is automation. The right training software can take on all those mundane, auxiliary and even crucial tasks and automate them, leaving you with the benefit of more time to spend on other processes. We’ll take you through all the ways training automation can benefit you and your employees, from recruitment to career advancement.
How training automation benefits employees and organisation
Robots aren’t taking over, but bots are making life much, much easier. Automation, particularly through an eLearning solution like a learning management system, benefits both employees and employers in highly personal ways.
Save time, reduce costs, more effective management of business processes: just some of the ways that automated training can benefit organisations.
Ah, the dreaded task of data entry. No one wants to do it, least of all L&D or training leaders. Let’s take into account the data that changes in troves every day. Take onboarding. When a new employee enters or leaves your organisation, there’ll be documentation and tasks they’ll need to complete to familiarise them with internal systems and processes. With an automated process, activities like onboarding can be set up once so there’s no repetition for employers populating it and to ensure consistency for all the employees using it.
Because skills have a shorter shelf life than ever, employees now need to have continuous and premeditated training so there’s no limbo period between when a need is identified or an employee requests training and actually creating the pathway for it.
LMSs imbued with workforce planning capabilities use learning data and can integrate with HR systems to understand three pivotal kinds of information:
- The roles currently filled
- Your people and the skills they possess
- The gaps that may arise in future.
The system then populates itself with content to upskill and reskill employees by addressing any skills gaps they currently have. This means there’s very little human intervention, if any, to ensure your workforce is skilled for the current and future state of your industry.
It can be hard to ensure all employees in, say, a 20,000 strong organisation receive the same compliance training or that a multinational workforce have access to the same content in their mother tongue. And without consistent training you may find your employees make costly and avoidable mistakes, putting your organisation at risk of fines.
Technology is an inherent part of training automation. Not only do you not have to manually monitor up to thousands of employees in possibly dozens of countries, it’s accessible for diverse, remote and distributed workforces through their own devices. No matter their location, they’ll receive the exact same content, instructions and feedback system as a an LMS can change languages and send out timely notifications as needed.
Many modern organisations smartly utilise insights from their employees to better understand engagement, the impact of training initiatives and workplace culture. The most common method of inquiry is the survey—and, you guessed it, this is just another training-related task that can be automated.
For large cohorts, surveys can be an administrative nightmare. An LMS allows you to design surveys which can be sent at predetermined intervals and completed online (meeting employees where they’re already converging; see above). An added bonus is that because the survey is implemented through your LMS, the data obtained can also be viewed, analysed and reported on in the very same system—giving back time to adjust and improve training programs based on that data, ultimately bettering your ROI.
Your employees will thank you for a system that acknowledges their achievements, allows them to control their own learning experience and gives them more feedback, more often.
People like being recognised. When people receive positive endorsement, they’re more motivated to replicate and exceed the progress they’ve already made. On the flip side, employees who don’t feel the warm glow of recognition are twice as likely to quit within a year. And in an organisation that may number thousands, it’s hard to commend the achievements and appreciate the effort of every single employee.
An LMS with gamification and certification features uses badges, points, levels, rewards and leader boards to recognise milestones along a learning journey. When a course is completed, employees can then earn a certificate that verifies their new skills and validates their work. Most LMSs will allow you to set these to be automatically generated with your brand logo and colours, so you need not manually create them for every single completion.
People learn in different ways and at different paces. Employees have their own professional strengths, weaknesses and schedules. How do you then cultivate a workplace in which they are motivated to learn?
- Use an online training environment to create pathways with unmissable milestones that employees can then navigate at their own pace and in their own time.
- Create personalised pathways to give people more reason to engage.
- Consider a cloud-based LMS, as it can make this an entirely more convenient process with anytime, anywhere, any device access.
- Employee training is then tied directly to their own ambition and uninhibited by normal hindrances such as travel costs, leave or conflicting priorities.
People need feedback, lest they stumble blindly along their learning pathway. It’s proven to have a big impact on continuous learning; effective feedback empowers the learner to reflect on their progress and the learning strategies they’ve used previously, so they can improve their progress in future. Feedback is important for training leaders, too. Without it, you can’t successfully plan the next steps to achieving learning goals nor will you have metrics for the specific qualities you intend to derive from employee’s training.
LMS assessment features are more advanced now than ever. Admin can create assessments such as quizzes that generate automated feedback if a question is answered correctly, incorrectly or only partially correct. All that’s needed from you is to plug the questions, correct answers and wrong solutions into the system, and it’ll take charge for every individual assessment undertaken.
Attracting and retaining employees using training automation
Bean bags, free coffee, ping pong tables: no, we’re not just describing a Google office, but rather a Google-inspired tactic that many organisations use to lure talented and committed recruits to their hallowed halls. The hiring market is competitive, least of all because employees want more than superficial perks.
Pray tell, how exactly does automated training help engage and retain employees? Let us count the ways. It’s as easy as:
The longer a role is open, the more money an organisation stands to lose—and the more it signals to potential recruits that an employer may have unrealistic expectations attached to the role. A favourable reputation attracts top talent (75% of jobseekers consider it before applying), reduces the expectation gap when new hires start and saves your organisation the resources needed (up to 150% of the baseline salary) to fill an empty role. You can see why it’s important to fill a role not only quickly, but efficiently.
Applicant and recruitment portals can shortlist candidates in line with job capabilities more quickly than a human could, as well as schedule interviews, administer pre-interview assessments and collate all this data in a central repository. This allows HR leaders to conduct interviews with better preparation and gives new employees a taste of the innovation in your company before they’ve even become a new employee, forging a strong and positive connotation with your brand identity.
Instead of having to create information packs every time new employees are hired, they can be directed to an automated onboarding program or portal that offers a more nuanced experience that is also a faithful representation of your brand identity. Any forms that may need to be filled out can be provided through this system alongside pre-commencement quizzes. This then allows you to concentrate people resources on providing the personal touch like assigning buddies.
An automated onboarding process also demonstrates the technology and processes new employees can expect from your organisation. If it’s seamless, intuitive and clearly represents your value proposition, you’ll inspire engagement and motivation from the get go. But if it’s a friction-filled experience where understanding new information is like pulling teeth, you may risk losing new employees within the first six months. It’s also a good place to start the feedback loop, and allows you to encapsulate learning and people data from the get go, rather than asking people to circle back in their minds at a later date.
What do modern-day employees really want at work? To make a difference. (So really, those bean bags are just a nice aside.) Without a sense of purpose, employees can find it difficult to connect with both their work and their organisation. But those who do feel as though their work is contributing to a bigger, better picture, showcase increased productivity, morale and job satisfaction.
In fact, most millennials find a job with purpose takes them from bystander to active participant in change. This is important for organisations to take note of, because it’s an opportunity to build a more engaged workforce. The best way to retain loyal and committed employees is by gauging their experience of their work and the impact your organisation has through a survey. This will convey to your employees you care for their contributions. Another happy side effect of automated training is it’s another way to communicate that you’re willing to or actively hiring from within—which, in employee speak, translates to: we value our employees and consider them a crucial part of our success.
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