The COVID-19 pandemic brought this issue to light for many individuals and companies alike: there are entire industries of essential workers who have flown under the radar for years. With increased supply chain demands, many organizations have had to hire rapidly. Paired with current strenuous circumstances, this need for rapid onboarding of new employees is a recipe for chaos and disaster.
Not only do these workers need to learn the skills and business processes that are central to their jobs, but the vast majority of them will also be handed technology - mobile apps and devices - that they’ll need to learn and master quickly. This can prove challenging for organizations with limited training resources and overwhelming for employees.
This problem may have been exacerbated by challenges posed by the current crisis, but it has always existed. In fact, field service workers have been forced to work through technology problems for years. High turnover rates and an aging workforce necessitate constant onboarding and training. Training continually fails to meet the needs of employees and is still an afterthought. Essential workers are, well, essential. Our entire economy relies on the work they do, so how can we support them better?
Many younger workers entering the workforce are demanding digital and self-guided learning experiences, but organizations are unprepared. Additionally, while the millennials on your team might already be itching to implement new technology, your older employees will likely be more anxious and hesitant to change. Focus on meeting your employees where they’re at by providing technology that enhances their work and makes their jobs easier, not harder.
So you’ve developed an excellent application that is mission-critical to your business and the jobs your field service workers do every day, now what? You need a thorough training plan that ensures your field workforce is proficient at using the digital tools they need. Even for companies who have implemented structured training programs, they struggle with ensuring that training is delivered consistently and effectively; you can’t manage what you can’t measure.
Effective training is:
- On-demand and on-device, allowing field service workers to learn on the devices in their hands, and when their schedule allows.
- Self-paced, allowing users to move on to the next lesson when they’re confident or revisit an old one they struggled with.
- Structured and consistent, ensuring there isn’t time to lose knowledge.
- Contextual, so users understand how the training applies in their job, not just in a classroom.
Just like each employee will have different levels of experience with tech, each employee will also have their own way of learning. Don’t just provide a slideshow and expect it to get your entire team up to speed. Provide tools that promote active learning: videos and walkthroughs, on-device training, hands-on instruction, and simulations. If you aren’t sure what your employees’ preferences are, ask.
Essential workers power our world, but they’ve long been invisible. Take the time to recognize essential workers and their contributions, as well as explore opportunities to make their jobs easier. Focus on supporting field service workers through effective training and on-going learning