I was sitting with a couple of friends over drinks a week or so ago listening to their complaints about the new company email system, which from their point of view was more complicated than it needed to be. Most of all, they were irritated that they were expected to train themselves on how to set it up, and any help they needed they were expected to get online. Both women were valued, seasoned employees. But when one of them asked if there was going to be any backup training, especially if they had questions about applying the new system to company operations, she was told no. When she expressed concern, it was suggested that she might be more comfortable somewhere else.
A little drastic? For the employee, probably. A little shortsighted on the part of the employer? Potentially.
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We have noted any number of times in this column that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace. And given this limitation, managers are best served by providing a mix of training, ideally with some access to person-to-person contact. But in-person training takes time and costs money, whether it’s onsite or at a supplier-sponsored workshop or seminar. This is what makes online training so attractive—buy the package, sit the employee down in front of a computer, and voilà.
For some employees, yes, but to get the optimum from this kind of training, managers should be well informed about their employees’ needs and learning capabilities and they be clear on what they’re trying to accomplish with whatever training they decide to implement. They, or their human resource advisers, should also be up to speed on the pluses and minuses of online training, including the tradeoffs: is shaving dollars off the bottom line worth the risk of losing valuable experience and irreplaceable corporate memory when apprehensive employees opt out?Add Grading & Excavation Contractor Weekly to your newsletter preferences and keep up with the latest articles on grading and excavation: construction equipment, insurance, materials, safety, software, and trucks and trailers.