How Best to Support Performance Within the Flow of Work

Bringing in new employees to an organization is a very strenuous task, and one that takes careful preparation. People learn in a variety of ways, and extending employee knowledge in a quick and efficient manner also means newcomers are able to join the workforce at a much quicker rate. Knowing the proper training techniques ensures that fewer mistakes will be made during the initial few weeks when the training wheels come off, but that there is a solid foundation for workers to build off of in order to continue their learning process every day that they are on the job.

Out with the old, in with the new

Some people might be surprised to learn that the “formal” method of job training is quickly becoming a thing of the past. If not going away entirely, formal classroom training is definately getting less of the attention that it once did in larger employee learning strategies.  As technology has evolved and grown over the years, so has the way in which how training tasks are handled. Many companies have strayed away from the typical methods because they are simply not very effective anymore. Furthermore, with decreased budgets set aside for employee training, managers are challenged to find the most cost-effective strategy that will still have the same goal – stregthening employee performance and efficiency. It’s been a known fact that people learn better when they are aware of how their training affects the overall performance of a job, and that’s exactly why there are more active modules available. Some examples include attending webinars, conference, and seminars online or watching online videos. Others have even discovered ways to integrate social media in the training arena. All of these show how the word “training” has changed into something very different from the years past.computers

There are many different learning techniques that can be associated with training, but one of the biggest methods is known as utilizing performance support. Unlike the methods listed above, performance support doesn’t take away from the working environment. Things like videos and sample e-mails are great starting points, but there is one thing that both of these things can’t accomplish: they are distractions for those that need to work. A person must stop what they are doing in order to watch a video or read through messages, and that keeps them from helping customers or performing. That’s where performance support comes in; it trains someone while they are working.

Learning while working

Some people may wonder how someone can learn and work at the same time, but the concept works seamlessly. People are always learning, and they can learn while they perform certain functions. While some people may be able to know where buttons on a screen are just by reading about them, it’s much easier for them to find the same button when it is shown to them as they are following a process. This is a much more interactive type of learning and it one that many companies are adopting for training purposes. This enables a person to solve real-world issues and help customers while still learning at the same time.

CoworkersEven though the idea of performance support if very optimistic, there are people out there that will challenge the effectiveness of such a concept. One of the best examples of performance support can be seen with WalkMe, a new and innovative way to push training in a new direct. WalkMe works like an interactive GPS, giving users a guided mode for what buttons to press with instructional text boxes for detailed instructions. Users simply follow the directions on the screen to progress to the next step, where they are given even more instructions. The benefit of this is that customer’s won’t be aware of the fact that they are being helped by someone who is still in the learning phase of their career.

WalkMe can also be used to train advanced employees as well. New programming can easily be implemented and taught in a quick and effective manner without any downtime for the learning process. Employees can use the program time and time again until they get a firm grasp on what is expected of them. There is no worry about how a quickly a person learns, because they can go back to using WalkMe as many times as they want, or just rely on it from that point forward.

It’s easy to see why so many companies are changing their training methods to incorporate something like WalkMe. With this technology, there is no longer a need for extensive manual reading sessions or lengthy discussions about sample scenarios. Anyone looking into training their workforce in an effective manner should look to the future with performance support.

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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