Education is far from a precise science. Imagine trying to fly an airplane in a universe with no distinct laws of aerodynamics and you’ll have some idea of the struggle companies go through when considering how best to train their new employees.
Each student responds to specific strategies and initiatives differently, making it difficult to find one approach or method that guarantees a successful outcome. In fact, there’s one thing researchers seem to be able to agree on, according to an article in Forbes: what businesses are doing now isn’t working.
This fact is highlighted by a 2010 McKinsey & Co. survey which found that training had improved work performance in just 25 percent of cases. Spending on training programs has increased since then, but Forbes argues that monetary investments offer little in return without addressing the real problem.
The most critical of mistakes commonly made by companies, charges Forbes, is lacking a strategy all together. Students are sent for training they don’t need while others are over trained for tasks they may be performing years down the road, by which time they will have forgotten what they were sent to learn in the first place. There’s no better way to make training worthless.
While Forbes focuses on this lack of managerial efficiency, the magazine also places blame at the feet of the training programs themselves, saying that many are, at most, either “interesting” OR “useful” instead of bringing these two important qualities together. Usefulness addresses the near-term needs of the company while “Interesting training enriches your life, energizes you and ideally makes you more loyal to the company.”
What’s needed in this case is a clear strategy and execution plan outlined by a few core goals, says Forbes.
There’s an elephant in the room
While a clear strategy is critical in every business pursuit, the article fails to point the elephant in the room – one of the best ways to improve training – moving to the cloud.
Cloud based training still requires human input for the “interesting” and “useful” factors, but it offers several advantages that do away with managerial efficiency issues. For example, students don’t have to be sent anywhere for training – their office computers, or even their mobile devices are enough.
As pointed out in the Forbes article, “The most effective training is done in short bites.” Logistically, this is accomplished with ease and no cost when running a cloud based training lab. There’s no need for long, expensive seminars or simulations.
Additionally, options for personalization in the cloud do away with inefficiencies and overlapping training while a truly advanced and carefully strategized educational process can be integrated into the workflow, constantly refreshing an employee’s knowledge on subjects they may face only once or twice a year.
It seems that the cloud is a perfect partner for the formulation of a clear strategy. The two together will no doubt result in a happier workforce and a more efficient operation.