Online Training for Non-Technical Employees

Online Training for Non-Technical Employees

Some people, whether by choice, by trade or training, or by location have no need for, are not exposed to, or have no access to technology in the form of computers, tablets, or smartphones. They might be ice road truckers, or work in remote oil, gas, or mining operations. Perhaps they are writers or other creative types who find a pen and paper more conducive to the creative process than a keyboard and monitor.

The fact is, regardless of your industry, there will be those that love technology and those who don’t know how or choose not, to turn it on.

An online training solution is the most cost effective and efficient means of training your organization’s workforce with benefits that extend amongst the sales and customer service groups. But you have field workers who, unless it involves heavy machinery, have no time or need for office technology. Taking online training on a laptop or mobile device is not feasible. Unless the training is readily accessible with clear direction, it can be a challenge to get them on board.

What are some of the steps you can take to build commitment among non-technical workers?

Any steps should be designed to make the online training as bulletproof as possible for them?

Here are a few examples, drawn from experience, of the kind of challenges that can be faced along with potential solutions:

Issue Solution
1. Help desk staff assuming the employee calling in has a shared minimum level of knowledge. On a recent call to our support desk, a client claimed their email address (their LMS login credential) didn’t work. He’d entered it several times with the same unsuccessful response. A lengthy support call and internal discussion was eventually resolved when a desktop sharing session was set up so that support could see exactly what was going on. It turned out the client had not been entering ‘COM’ at the end of his email address assuming it didn’t matter because it came after the period.A rare occurrence that illustrates how something that was far too obvious for the support person to even ask about was anything but obvious to the client.
2. The employee is a neophyte in the world of technology. Before an online training course, these individuals would benefit from an ‘introduction to computers’ course. There are many available, most for free, from your hardware provider or through YouTube.
3. The employee has no email address. An email address is commonly used for registering employees in an LMS (Learning management System), assigning courses, and may be used as a login credential. These can be easily set up centrally and distributed in advance. Be sure to point out that the address includes the COM following the period.Along the same lines, an employee may not have a computer either, so be sure there is sufficient working platforms for your staff to take the course.
4. Remote workers can feel unsupported. These individuals may not be familiar with helpdesks or find them unhelpful because they only speak ‘Techspeak”  – a foreign tongue to them. Address the sense of non-support. Appoint an individual in each location as their local support. They become the conduit for issues raised by the local staff. If that’s not possible, be sure they have a ‘hotline’ to the helpdesk.
5. Your non-technical employees may need longer to complete an online course and test. Most online training today provides an estimated course length and the ability to set a maximum time period for the user to complete the course.  For those unfamiliar with online training, it can be disconcerting to be reminded onscreen of the ‘time left to complete’.  Either expand the length of time or remove the timing altogether.

All employees deserve the best chance at success when learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge. The fact is that some employees will learn faster than others, just as certain kids perform better in self-directed learning environments than traditional instructor-led classrooms. The key point to learn is that different learning styles must be taken into account when delivering an online training program in your organization. And that includes those employees who learn box scores and little else from a monitor screen.

I encourage you to download the ebook How To Create Performance Based eLearning in order to gain an understanding of learning styles. As always, your comments below are encouraged and sincerely appreciated.

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