Employee Training Software: an Overview of Top Methods and Solutions
When you introduce new software to your company, be it an internal messenger or a massive CRM system, you will inevitably have to go through the employee training process. The selected method of training will impact how quickly the employees will be able to wrap their heads around the new technology and use it to the company’s advantage without creating any bottlenecks.
SoftTeco has rich experience in designing and implementing scalable and user-friendly training software so in this article, we’ll share our thoughts on selecting the best solution.
Things to consider before selecting the training software
According to The American Society for Training and Development, companies that invest in employee training have a 24% higher profit margin compared to the companies that do not provide employee training. These numbers come as no surprise since training not only boosts one’s skills and productivity but positively impacts employees’ motivation and loyalty to the company. 94% of employees would remain in an organization for a longer period of time if it provided them with training and 70% of employees would be ready to leave a company for one that would offer them sufficient training.
The flip side of the coin is the cost of employee training. On average, a company spends approximately $1,000 per employee on training and the number will vary heavily depending on several factors:
- The size of the company: small businesses will face higher training costs compared to major enterprises;
- Company domain: some industries require very extensive and complex training (i.e. healthcare) that would be quite expensive and resource-demanding;
- Personalized and role-specific training: while this one can be hard to implement, personalized training may help achieve better results;
- Training methods: some methods are less expensive than others but it’s vital to consider their efficiency and relevance in the first place.
Also, don’t forget about hidden costs associated with employee training (in addition to the costs of the training software itself). While these costs may not be so obvious, they still add up to the total cost of training and might come as an unexpected surprise if not considered in advance. They include travel costs, administrative costs, engagement of supervisor’s working hours, and many more depending on the training method that you selected. So to give you a better idea of what training methods are available out there, let’s have a closer look at the top 5 most popular training methods and the pros and cons of each.
The most common employee training methods: an overview
As said above, the training method that you select will heavily depend on your business needs, the skill level of employees, the industry that your company works within, and other factors. Note that it’s not obligatory to choose just one method and stick with it: you can combine different training methods or switch from one method to another, depending on how your employees progress and depending on the functionality of the training software.
Video training is one of the most popular and used forms of training due to its simplicity and efficiency. Educational videos are usually very self-explanatory and present important information in an easy-to-digest format. The best part about video training is that the learning process is fully managed by the users and they can go back or pause the video at any time if more explanation is needed. As well, video training is a one-time cost spent on production and then the video can be used for as long as needed.
The drawbacks of video training, on the other hand, are lack of personal contact with the mentor and lack of personal feedback. As well, some training videos are too long and employees simply do not wish to invest their time into them.
Another immensely popular form of training is e-learning in the form of online courses and e-learning portals. The biggest advantage of this training software is its rich functionality and diversity of components (i.e. video lectures, audio lectures, text, quizzes) so every user can select the ones that work best for them. As well, online courses can be accessed from any device, be it a laptop or a smartphone. Finally, many online courses offer personalized training and personalized feedback which is often very important.
As for the cons, if an employer wishes to design a custom e-learning platform, it might be quite expensive and time-consuming. Readymade solutions may be expensive as well and their functionality may not correspond to the specific needs of employees.
Mentoring or instructor-led training
Instructor-led training is a traditional training method that is loved by many due to the direct interaction between instructors and trainees. Instructor-led training usually comes in the form of lectures with supporting materials such as presentations and provides great personal guidance. However, instructor-led training does not allow trainees to learn at their own pace and this training method may not be efficient enough for complex topics such as the operation of complex machinery.
Certain domains and certain jobs require hands-on experience and skills and this is where OTJ shines. On-the-Job (OTJ) method implies learning directly in the flow of work. That means, employees perform real-life tasks and in this way, learn.
Of course, it would be pointless to just hand the tasks to employees and expect them to figure these tasks out independently without any help. Hence, OTJ training implies the use of in-app and on-screen walkthroughs as well as the presence of a mentor who can guide an employee. In this way, employees learn both through observation and practice.
This training method is highly efficient since employees learn specific skills and are immediately immersed in real-life working conditions. The drawback though is the cost of a mistake - if an employee makes one, it might have real-life consequences. With this in mind, let’s move on to the last but not least training method aka simulations.
Simulation training is somewhat similar to the OTJ since it presents employees with real-life work scenarios. The biggest difference though is that simulations take place outside of the real work environment and hence, allow employees to make mistakes since these mistakes won’t have any serious consequences.
Simulation training software usually contains not only actions to perform/learn but also detailed and user-friendly walkthroughs, guides, and tips. This is important since every new action must be explained to an employee in detail before they start performing it. As for the drawbacks, one of the biggest cons of simulations is their cost: most often, companies request the development of custom solutions which is quite expensive and time-consuming. On the other hand, custom simulation training software is a great investment in corporate learning and will deliver high ROI in the long run.
A case from SoftTeco: simulation training software
One of the most interesting and challenging projects that we’ve worked on was to design a simulation training software that would mimic the employer’s software and walk the employees through it from start to finish. The main unique selling point of the platform is that it can be used as a template for training and is suitable for different companies and industries. In order to customize the platform, admins can add and create new pages and tasks thus tailoring the platform precisely to the needed software.
The product consists of three components: the admin panel, the user panel, and the page with analytics. In addition to managing the pages, admins can also manage highlights and add comments to the areas that demand attention and focus. Users receive training via the user interface and the analytical page provides insights into employees’ progress and performance.
There were several challenges associated with product development, such as the implementation of all requested features, scalability, and flexibility of the platform. SoftTeco managed to not only meet the client’s expectations but exceed them and as a result, delivered a fully customizable efficient training solution that can be used in any domain and by companies of any size and type.
Top readymade employee training solutions
While custom training systems are highly efficient, their development also requires a massive amount of time and resources. Thus, small and middle-sized companies often look for readymade training software available in the market - below we will briefly review the top 5 systems that employers around the world swear by.
Skyllful is a field workforce training software that specializes in simulation training and provides an excellent range of solutions. It is a platform that was designed specifically for frontline workers that use mobile devices during their work. Hence, Skyllful offers convenient simulations that involve microlearning (that means that the learning process may happen during one’s course of work) and features a Skyllful IQ Analytics feature that lets employers immediately check the progress of employees.
Skyllful aims to solve a number of issues that many employers face, such as onboarding, training, and retaining talent. And while this platform is quite field-specific, it is widely used by both enterprises and middle-sized businesses that wish to equip their frontline employees with a user-friendly and intuitive training solution.
Leapsome is considered the leading people management platform that combines an impressive variety of tools to offer one-stop services to its users. The functionality of the platform covers goals and OKRs management, onboarding, performance reviews and management, learning, and employee engagement surveys.
While Leapsome is not a solely learning platform, it’s definitely a powerful asset for any enterprise that wishes to streamline all its activities related to HR management and engage employees in an efficient manner. This tool can also be seamlessly integrated with a great variety of third-party services (i.e. Slack, BambooHR, PayFit) and one more awesome thing about it - Leapsome is ISO 27001 certified, meaning it’s paying extra attention to the security of the processed and stored data.
SkyPrep is a feature-rich learning management system (LMS) that focuses on employee training and engagement. SkyPrep offers both ongoing and role-specific training and offers an array of useful features to ensure successful training. These features include advanced reporting, automation of workflows, customizable branding, easy course creation, and a high level of security. All in all, SkyPrep places a strong focus on training and learning and seems like a robust solution for companies of all sizes.
Eduflow is another LMS platform that offers rich functionality aimed at providing a superior corporate training experience. Like its competitors, Eduflow has a certain set of features (such as integration with third parties or an option to create customizable courses) that are universal for any good LMS system. What makes Eduflow stand out is the option to filter its solutions either by segment or by use case which is highly convenient. As well, Eduflow is designed with WCAG standards in mind, meaning that it has high accessibility and can be navigated in a variety of ways.
Bonus: how to design a user-friendly and helpful simulation platform
If you decide to design a custom simulation platform, it’s vital to reach out to an experienced IT vendor in order not to risk the platform’s functionality and user experience. A poorly designed solution will significantly slow down the training process - and we don’t have to remind you about the training costs, do we?
Below we will look at the best practices for creating an efficient and user-centric simulation training solution that will help you ensure your platform will deliver the intended results:
- Provide smooth onboarding: a great onboarding process familiarizes users with software, explains what is expected of them and what the software is about and walks employees through the main areas.
- Highlight important areas and tips: it is always a good idea to highlight the most important areas so users pay attention to them during their learning journey. As well, you can add tips that would appear when a user hovers over a certain area - this will contribute to better learning.
- Ensure users can always go back and redo the task/action: allow users to make mistakes (since it’s learning yet) and add an option of retaking a task if it’s needed.
- Ensure a high level of scalability: the number of your employees will most probably grow in the future so the system should be able to handle the load and suit a growing number of users in the same efficient manner.
Employee training is vital if you want not only to retain a sufficient level of knowledge and expertise within the company but also to increase engagement and loyalty among your employees. Just make sure that you have a solid understanding of what kind of training your employees really need and evaluate the ROI that the training will bring in the long run.
Irina is a professional copywriter with over 7 years of experience in this domain. She loves creating compelling and informative copy that provides readers with all the needed information. Irina is also a frequent contributor to different blogs and websites across different domains.View all articles by this author.
Hi Irina, Yes, That is Employee training is vital for every company and every employee. Thanks for the great share. Have a good week ahead.
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