The accelerating pace of software and technological development has made adaptability one of the most treasured assets to have in business. To that end, successful companies are investing immensely in learning and development (L&D) for their employees. Being able to pick up new skills and knowledge is paramount to maintaining productivity in an ever-changing market.
Companies implement technical training for this reason. While “soft skills” like time management, teamwork, and communication also matter, these “core” capabilities ensure employees can work with the technical aspects of the job, such as understanding how new tools and technologies work, and how they can support modern business processes.
The critical distinction between technical skills development training and other forms of staff training is that technical skills are exclusive to a specialized employee’s roles and responsibilities rather than universally necessary skills like decision-making and critical thinking.
Technical training is a win-win for everybody involved. Management teams enjoy a higher level of productivity, fewer errors, and reduced employee turnover.
Employees become more skilled and confident at their jobs, which in turn results in professional development and increased job satisfaction. A study by LinkedIn verified that 94% of employees would stay with a company that’s invested in their learning and development.
These benefits are especially vital in highly technical fields, where obtaining the knowledge would be otherwise difficult without a formal business training program.
Empowering staff with new technical skills takes more than just passing around manuals and PDFs. Technical training must be a full-on program at your organization for the best results. Here are the steps to get you started on the right foot.
Know what you aim to achieve with a technical training program. What skill gaps do your employees have at the moment, and how can you prepare them for the future of the industry? You can assess what type of training you need through these methods:
Identify the technical skill gaps that are holding your employees back and turn them into learning objectives. These goals will guide your training program as it progresses, so be careful to choose goals that:
The business cliche of “SMART” applies here, as goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This level of detail will ensure your technical training effort is deliberate and impactful.
Technical training in today’s business world primarily revolves around software and technologies, specifically how to use them to your advantage while on the job site. L&D teams should look to make the training content more interactive as a result, encouraging knowledge retention and promoting real-world experience with the content.
Graphics and videos are an excellent starting point, as illustrating a concept is often more impactful than merely describing it. But you can also take advantage of scenario-based role-playing to get a more “realistic” lesson. For example, many cybersecurity training courses simulate a cyberattack to test an employee’s disaster recovery and damage mitigation skills.
Much like school courses, professional training must also have assessments to check on employee progress. Gamification, the practice of incorporating competitive elements to a course, also does wonders for engagement rates.
Don’t forget to decide on the training medium. There are 4 primary types of technical courses available to businesses.
Many companies consider a combination of these methods, depending on staff availability and how the company lays out its workflow. Regardless of the course format, many employees with busy schedules would often prefer online training, or eLearning, for its flexibility and accessibility. It’s also easier for the company since it can manage course content online.
The content of technical training courses is only as impactful as how you organize and deliver it. Technical skills training software is now available for developing and managing employee coursework. Typical features of these platforms include:
Software platforms are the best tools to run a technical training program, as they streamline the experience for staff and boost the return on investment you will receive from the effort.
It takes plenty of time, funding, and resources to pull off a successful technical training program. If you ever need to convince upper management of its merits, you’ll have to measure the impact of your employees’ newfound knowledge and skills.
Most technical training platforms offer performance tracking to calculate a return on investment for this reason. It can also inspire employees to continue learning, as they can see the fruits of their labor.