technology-training-for-employees

Employees who receive technology training can demonstrate increased efficiency and productivity and help the organization become more competitive. However, it would be unrealistic to suppose that all employees would be ecstatic at the possibility of technical training. Any change in one’s daily routine can cause anxiety and worry about being amplified when new technologies are introduced.

technology training

The influence of workplace technology on enterprises is mostly beneficial. Companies would not continue to invest in computers, software, robots, and automation if they were not successful. Adapting to new technologies, on the other hand, frequently puts employees at odds with their employers. Workers are concerned that they will not adjust to the latest developments, lowering their self-esteem and productivity.

What is the Effect of Technology Training on Employee Retention?

Small business owners frequently worry that if they invest in staff training, the trained individuals will likely depart for more significant opportunities elsewhere. However, research indicates that the contrary is true. Like decent salary and pleasant working circumstances, paid training increases employee loyalty, especially when employees know that more training chances are coming up in the future.

This fact is true for all employees, but it is especially vital for younger workers. In fact, according to recent research, if given career training and development, 86 percent of millennials would be less inclined to leave a job if all other circumstances were equal.

Combating the Downsides of Implementing New Technology Training

Depending on what the technology entails and how it will affect employment in the organization, employees may be excited or nervous about the prospect of technology training. Employees are understandably apprehensive about technology that automates manual tasks. From plowing fields to filing documents, technology has already replaced 90% of humans’ jobs a century ago.

Self-driving vehicles are poised to replace taxi, bus, and truck drivers. Today, automated checkouts are replacing grocery store and retail workers, and self-driving vehicles are poised to replace taxi, bus, and truck drivers. These are only two instances of what might be coming down the pike. If you’re training a few critical employees to use new automated equipment or computer programs, you might expect them to feel discouraged if they think it implies some of their teammates will lose their jobs shortly.

There’s no denying that technology can both generate and destroy jobs. Analysts disagree, however, on whether the globe will have fewer or more net jobs as a result. According to the Gartner Group, approximately 1,800,000 jobs will be lost soon, while another 2,300,000 will be created. On the other side, the World Economic Forum predicts that 7,100,000 jobs will be lost, and only 2,000,000 new jobs will be created.

Technology training is indeed beneficial in several aspects. However, if the technology you are introducing has several flaws, change can be undesirable. It’s even more unwelcome when the technology you are altering worked wonderfully well earlier for the affected personnel.

We know what it’s like to be informed that a technology you currently enjoy and appreciate has to alter. It’s upsetting and stressful. What can you do as a learning and development professional to make this scenario more bearable, or maybe prevent it from occurring in the first place?

This essay by Dorothy Leonard-Barton and William A. Kraus in Harvard Business Review talks about managing technology change in enterprises. As the article pointed out, many technical developers work in a vacuum and are highly competent in technology but ‘little to no skilled’ in the human impact of technology. They do not believe it is their responsibility to consider employees’ feelings who will be affected by new technologies.

Lack of Correlation Between Employees and Developers

In many cases, developers are never introduced to the person who would be the end-users. Between the developer and the potential end-users, there is usually a project manager. Is using an intermediate to transmit messages a good idea or a bad one? Here, you might recall the old telephone game where one person whispers a message to another, and then another, and so on. When a message reaches the end of a long line of people, it is frequently unrecognizable from where it began. This experience is a common occurrence in businesses. It could happen during the creation of new technology.

It could be worthwhile to try having developers meet with future end-users in person. The project manager is welcome to attend, but solely to help with the conversation and take notes. It should be a meeting driven by the developers’ information, with the developers asking the employees questions about their reactions to the material they’ve presented. “How do you feel about technology as it currently exists?” should be the first inquiry. Whether the group of developers is small, the developers could walk from person to person, asking each person if there is anything they would like to see changed about the technology.

And, if so, what exactly are those things? If not, they should consider whether they want to keep the technology as it is. If the vast majority of future end-users like the technology exactly as it is, the developers will have to explain why it might need to change in the first place. Here are a few examples: to integrate with new technology the company has added, because the current technology won’t be operable for much longer if it isn’t updated, and so on. The developers should next make preparations to utilize the technology in its current condition as if they were end-user to see how it works and why staff are so enthusiastic about it.

After promising employees that they would learn what it’s like to utilize the existing technology, the developers should ask the staff what they enjoy.

Before finalizing the new technology, end-user personnel should be asked to showcase it. Employees should be able to complain in a meaningful way while there is still time and ability to make changes—a way that may result in the items they’re talking about being fixed.

An Understanding Among Employees for Introducing a Technology Change

There should also be a dialogue among executives on why particular technologies need to change. Is the requirement for all employees in one department to use the same technology, for example, a sufficient reason? What if one technology works well for one business unit within the department, but another finds that different technology is preferable? Should a company be forced to abandon a system with which its employees are delighted? Is having the latest and greatest a good enough incentive to change? What if the previous version of the technology works fine, but the employees who have used the newer version dislike it?

It’s a fantastic slogan to follow: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It may run counter to the new wisdom of perpetual improvement, but when it comes to technology, “better” might mean unduly complex and cumbersome processes for end-users who aren’t IT professionals. You could be performing a “favor” for employees who have never requested one.

How to Implement Technology Training at Your Workplace?

Getting all of your staff on board with new technology can assist ensure not only that the training goes smoothly but that the technology is adopted as well. Your team should be informed sooner rather than later if the technology will make their work easier while also contributing to the company’s success.

Even if the new technology leads to a worst-case situation, such as staff reductions, individuals must understand why this technology is essential. Cutting 10% of the workforce isn’t fun, but it’s better than going out of business and laying off everyone.

Obtain Feedback From All Parties Involved

Obtain feedback from all parties involved in the new technology. Larger businesses may wish to consider forming user groups to ensure that all departments are represented. Please inquire about the characteristics they’d like to have and why they think they’re vital. Inquire about how they feel the transition from the old to the new procedures should be handled.

Because this personnel is familiar with the previous practices, they are more likely to provide you with valuable, cost-cutting advice.

Explain to everyone the benefits technology will bring to employees and the firm after the transition to the newer technology. When employees are kept in the dark, the employer runs the danger of spreading unfavorable rumors.

Getting Ready for a Great Training Experience

Training, like technology, should be discussed with personnel ahead of time. Tell them how long the training will last and when it will start. Inquire about their preferred training methods.

Employees who are very mobile and ambitious, such as a sales team, may prefer online training that they can access whenever convenient for them. Customer service professionals may choose separate training sessions away from their desks to concentrate on what they need to learn. Some people prefer to train during regular business hours, while others prefer to come in after-hours so that it doesn’t interfere with their work – mainly if they will be compensated for the extra time.

Employees are considerably more likely to look forward to and benefit from training if they have a say in how it is provided.

Addressing Stereotypes and Age Diversity in Training

Studies have revealed that senior employees don’t consistently achieve the same favorable effects from technology training programs as their younger peers during the last decade. Due to a reduction in fluid intelligence, reduced cognitive processing speed, and reduced working memory capacity, technical training may be more difficult for persons approaching retirement. This is, however, the exception rather than the rule.

Older employees are affected far more by stereotypes about age and learning new technical skills than by their ability to learn these skills. According to studies, more senior employees are more anxious about training and achieve lower outcomes due to lower self-confidence and a fear of being evaluated by their younger coworkers for being older, implying that they are also more technophobic.

When it comes to elderly employees, instructors are not immune to this prejudice and might create a self-fulfilling prophecy. When instructors anticipate that older employees will be less successful in training due to their age, they will often provide less instruction than younger employees, resulting in poorer results.

E-learning vs. In-person Training

It’s crucial to note that teachers might be misled by prejudices even while teaching in a virtual classroom in an e-learning setting. When comparing e-learning to classroom instruction, both have benefits and drawbacks. Companies employ both, either together or separately, regularly.

Employees can study at their own pace using e-training, which they can access whenever convenient for them. Text, audio, or video teaching can be used to fit different learning styles, and it can be accessed via computers, tablets, smartphones, or even e-readers like the Kindle.

The advantage of classroom training is that an instructor is present to provide one-on-one education, ensure that critical skills or concepts are reinforced, and answer questions on the spot.

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Closing the Gap Between Perception and Reality

Workers over the age of 50 aren’t the only ones who may be hesitant to learn new technology. As anyone who hasn’t grown up with touchscreens and smartphones can attest, the amount of change that society has witnessed in the last decade or two can be mind-boggling. The more people get involved from the start, the more likely a new technology will be adopted successfully.

Allow staff to voice their concerns and reservations. Describe the advantages that the impending modifications will provide. Allow them to have a say in how the technology will be implemented and how training will be delivered.

Conclusion

So, how can you assess the need for technology change in your business and then ensure that it is implemented, so that future end-users are pleased rather than irritated by it? For starters, each of the actions mentioned above will help to lessen negative opinions of the technology while also assisting in its successful implementation.

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