Employee training and enrichment programs are a continual process. Not only are companies faced with training new employees, it's also important to keep the existing pool of employees up to date on the industry and the overall focus of the company.
Your IT training center can be the centerpiece of the training process, developing tools to make training cheaper, streamlined, and effective.
These training tools also free up conference rooms and take less time away from the work process.
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Some IT departments utilize DVDs for employee training. DVDs are ideal for training contractors and traveling sales forces who aren't always in the office to train. The benefit of DVDs is they don't require an internet connection or even access to the company's internal servers, which makes it a secure way to train remote workers. Travelling employees and contractors can watch the DVDs at their leisure anywhere in the world, even in places where they can't access an Internet connection.
DVDs can be created for training specific job skills as well as to introduce company policies and procedures. It's a good idea to develop a set of company wide tutorials for all employees and then task specific training according to departments and assignments. After the initial videos are made, all IT has to do is burn enough for employees and update videos as procedures or policies change. DVDs explaining the company's business philosophy can also be given to clients or prospective clients to showcase the unique qualities of your business.
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Large companies with huge numbers of new employees can make use of online training. Online courses can be completed in groups or individually, depending on the needs of the company and preferences of the IT department. IT can include testing sections on the material to assure the training is doing its job.
Online courses can be incorporated into the company's on site servers or IT can choose to use a cloud server to house training materials. The benefit of using a cloud server is the training materials don't take up valuable space on the servers used for everyday business operations. Office workers can complete training right at their desks, making it unnecessary to dedicate an entire room to employee training. This is also an inexpensive alternative, because training sessions only need to be created once and the company incurs no costs for reproducing text materials like books, CDs. or DVDs.
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Industrial environments present special challenges for IT trainers because employees don't necessarily have access to a computer. That's why eLearning modules are very effective for meeting this need. Large automotive manufacturers set up kiosks inside the factory where employees can enter their employee ID number and automatically pull up the training they're scheduled for.
The eLearning modules can also be equipped with test sessions at the end of the training program to keep track of how well the employee absorbed and understood the material. Process managers can help the IT department determine an appropriate passing grade and develop plans to address employees who fail the exam. Modules can include training on safety issues as well as job skills and corporate culture.
Companies who have a mix of in-house staff and telecommuting employees can use email to train employees. Emails with training materials can include a link to online training, video attachments, written training materials, and detailed instructions for completing the training. This also allows employees to print out training documents to read when they're away from a computer or to keep for reference in the future. Employees can even answer questions on the material in the email and return their completed exam to the IT department or their managers for scoring.
Email is an ideal way to assure training among different branch locations is cohesive and consistent. Instead of employing a full-time trainer who incurs travel expenses to visit branches around the country or the world, IT can develop a single training program and send it anywhere.
A huge benefit of sending out emails is it's absolutely free. Once the company pays for materials development, there's no cost to train new employees or even an entire new branch of employees. Simply send them the emails they need and give them a deadline for completion.
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Another approach to training employees across long distances, while dealing with issues like time zone differences, is by video conferencing. The same technologies your IT department can use to solve expensive and time-consuming travel issues for conference attendees and meetings can be employed in training. This is an interactive form of training that leaves open the possibility for questions and interaction among trainees and between the trainees and the instructor.
A basic video conferencing system can be set up for as little as $300 per office and high-end systems are available which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The benefit is, these same systems can eliminate travel expenses for managers who need to meet with their counterparts far away. After the initial investment in equipment, maintaining the video conferencing system is easy and almost cost-free for IT staff.
All of these training methods can be easily employed by your IT department, allowing them to free managers and other employees from the time-consuming process of training. When developing programs, tailor specific materials for introducing company culture and values, explaining the departmental processes, and how to do each job within the department where the employee will work.
Be sure to update materials as procedures and policies change within the company or the separate departments. It's important to keep the IT staff informed of changes in processes so they're able to make appropriate changes to the training materials. Your IT staff will be able to help you decide which of these training methods will work best in your work environment.