Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The "On Boarding" Challenge

I heard an interesting presentation from a major corporation a few months ago about the high cost of on boarding new employees. At this particular company, it’s not usual for a new employee to have to endure up to six weeks of classroom training in order to become certified to use the company’s applications. Six weeks! While I’m certain that the scenario described above is probably more the exception than the rule, it underscores the challenges that many companies face when on boarding new employees, especially in job roles where there is high turnover.

Imagine if you could cut the required new employee training by a third, or even by half or more. Think about how much this would benefit your organization. Results like this are possible with a Performance Support system (EPSS) like SHO Guide from Transcensus. Rather than focusing on techniques to help users remember how to perform a multitude of software-related job tasks, your classroom training, if it is even necessary after implementing a SHO-based EPSS, can be directed toward helping the employee understand how to use Performance Support resources. Such workflow-embedded resources can assist the employee, in a very repeatable and predictable way, with completion of their important job tasks. Besides, the reality is that the new employee is not going to remember much about the classroom learning experience. Studies have shown that only a small amount of information presented during a classroom session is actually remembered.

If this sounds intriguing, let us help you determine where there’s a good fit for a Performance Support system in your company. I’m confident that such a conversation will help redirect your thinking about ways to provide compelling on-the-job assistance to new employees.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Next Learning Frontier

Years ago, I spent a considerable amount of time as a classroom instructor. In the early days, I used transparencies on an overhead projector to teach people how to perform tasks in complex engineering software applications, as crazy and inefficient as that sounds to us today. When the digital projector made its debut, it was a significant innovation because one could actually demo a software application to new users while they followed along on their own systems. It wasn’t easy or especially efficient, but it was better than other alternatives at the time. Surpisingly, this methodology is still widely used today.

In the 90’s, a rather dramatic shift toward a new learning concept called “e-learning” occurred. Companies started to explore new and more innovative ways to teach some of the same concepts that were traditionally taught in the classroom environment, but in a new medium that allowed someone to access the information directly from their desktop.

Organizations rushed to embrace this new methodology. Results, however, were mixed. Many e-learning initiatives failed because the materials were nothing more than static, reformulated classroom resources that didn’t fully leverage the power of this newly discovered online medium. By many standards, the promises of e-learning were not fully realized in terms of measurably-improved worker productivity. Some became rather disillusioned by e-learning due to disappointing and unrealized ROI.

The “e” revolution eventually got legs, however, and new technologies, such as software simulations have emerged over the course of the last few years that have demonstrated even greater promise from an IT skills development perspective. However, the core issue—preventing someone from having to memorize countless procedures in software applications in order to complete job tasks—is still not addressed, even by these newest forms of learning. As a result, companies and organizations have continued to look toward the next learning innovation, the one that will finally help them to fully realize the promise of e-learning.

So what is on the horizon for the industry? What new innovations have emerged or will emerge that will significantly change the way we transfer knowledge? As I look ahead, I truly believe we are on the verge of another revolution. Performance Support (EPSS), a process by which learning is embedded directly in the workflow, has emerged rather dramatically in recent years as companies and organizations have started to realize the substantial and measurable benefits that can be gained by providing workers with on-the-job, task-embedded learning resources.

Performance Support is not traditional e-learning. It is a new and improved form of “e” in which emphasis is placed on delivery of content that helps someone complete job tasks by providing the right information to the right user at the right time. It’s learning at the moment of need—and it’s revolutionary in the way that it addresses the market need.

Our SHO technology takes all ambiguity and guesswork out of complex procedures that involve the use of software. It provides the capacity for even novice users of an application to be immediately productive in completing job tasks by providing step-by-step instructions to the user that interact directly with the graphical user interface of the application. There is nothing quite like it on the market today.

I would like to invite you to contact us to learn more about how SHO technology can change your thinking about the importance of the on-the-job component of your overall learning strategy. Visit us at http://www.transcensus.com/ for more information about our exciting Performance Support technology. I guarantee that you’ll be impressed and amazed by what you’ll see.