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Training in the digital age: outdated or essential?

Technological developments and changes in the workplace contribute to an increasingly dynamic working environment. Employees are bombarded with emails, messages and other impulses. Less time remains to keep skills and knowledge on a sufficient level. Find out why, especially in this time, it is important to keep hold of your training.

The overwhelmed employee

digital age vrA recent report of Josh Bersin describes why employees feel overwhelmed these days. A large part of the work day is spent on searching for information. Besides that, the employee is constantly distracted by incoming messages. Ironically enough, a large part of these messages are coming from work-related media. Additionally, it became clear in the report, that the average office worker spends 25% of the work day reading and answering emails. Furthermore, the contemporary employee takes almost a week less vacation compared to in the 90’s. However, time is still a scarce resource for many employees. Two-third of the knowledge workers complain that they don’t have enough time to do their jobs as they would like to. That might be the reason that the time spent on training and development is declining. Because only 24 minutes per week is still spent on this, even though continuous training and development is so important to accomplish lasting results within an organization.   

Keeping up with time

As a result of being busy constantly, the employee wants to train as mobile as possible, states the report. With the help of new technologies new training programs have to be ‘delivered’ to the participants. The possibility to train on smartphones is a good example of this. It is expected that this dynamic way of training is becoming the standard in the future. The most important development in the training industry might be the increasing personalization of training programs. The training needs of contemporary employees are unique and ask for more than a standard training program made for multiple departments. If a busy employee makes time for a training program, it is expected that this program is valuable for the specific role of the employee. Specialized training programs for a department, team or even a person can form the base of a smoothly operating organization. Moreover, research from Deloitte suggests, that if there aren’t enough training possibilities, dissatisfaction can arise about the learning and development possibilities within an organization. The same research also shows that managers highly value the importance of training and development within their organization. Therefore, the will to create a good development plan won't be the problem.

Why now?

“But if the contemporary employee is so short on time, why would I even let them train?” I hear you asking. Firstly, the Bersin report shows that that over 80% of all organizations would describe their business as ‘complex’ or ‘very complex’ for employees. In this case it is is important for the employee to gain and sustain enough knowledge and skills to perform well. This applies even more to new employees who still have to internalize the organizational communication. Therefore, a training program in order to fluently integrate in a new working environment might not be a bad idea. Besides that, it is also important to not forget about the people behind the technology. In many industries digitization and automation are flourishing trends. A training program can not only help employees to work with these new technologies, it is also a sign of confidence. A training program for employees means that the development of the staff is still being invested in, and that they don’t have to worry about the automation in their industry.

Download the case study and discover how Lekkerland obtained 100% participation in their online training program!

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About this blog

Professional communication is an art. We want to help people reach an unexpected level of competence and as a result become more comfortable, happy, effective and successful in all possible areas of professional communication. We support organisations that train their employees in this. Here you can read our insights. You'll find updates on our platform in the Product Blog.