The quick answer to this question is yes. Technology has changed the way we train our employees in many ways. In addition, thanks to technology we have new ways to communicate updated information in regards to employee performance and work procedures. In this issue of Astronology® we will take a look at some of the ways technology has changed employee training and communication and records management.
Back in the day, classroom training was the primary technique for educating employees on their jobs and their employers’ policies and procedures. Today, podcasts, online learning, screen capture, and recording software have been extremely handy in training employees on their responsibilities and how to accomplish them. Some organizations use a virtual world called “Second Life” for meetings. These organizations have also used this immensely popular virtual world hub for training employees. For instance, there is a mock retail store in Second Life called “SuperBuy,” which simulates new employee orientation training by creating a virtual environment that allows the employee to engage in role playing activities related to his or her job.
Many organizations praise this type of virtual training as it provides training in circumstances where real-life training courses would have been cancelled due to travel restrictions. This type of training also reduces travel costs and increases retention material. One drawback one organization experienced with this training was making sure employees don’t abuse or think less of the training. To address this concern, Sun Microsystems made one rule: employees’ avatars in the virtual training sessions must look like humans. Human-looking avatars convey the seriousness of the training and do not diminish or distract from the session’s importance. Other companies have created virtual employee-only islands and office buildings which keep business-like activities more orderly.
In addition to virtual training, other approaches used by organizations include Learning Management Systems and conference slide shows via online. These tools have significant cost advantages over in-person training sessions.
Communication and Records Management
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) have been growing in popularity with Human Resource departments. Such technology allows one to administer data entry and tracking, payroll, management, and in some cases accounting functions, all through one portal. Organizations can also keep track of all employment information, including employee performance, personal growth, and goals, through an HRIS. Employee handbooks and various safety guidelines are easily accessible via downloadable hubs, such as Google docs and inbound servers. About.com lists some of the most desired tracking aspects HR professionals seek from an HRIS:
- Attendance and PTO use
- Pay raises and history
- Pay grades and positions held
- Performance development plans
- Training received
- Disciplinary action received
- Personal employee information
- Management and key employee succession plans
- High potential employee identification
- Applicant tracking, interviewing, and selection
Astronology wants to know what changes you have experienced in your organization with respect to communication and training, thanks to technology. Are there any technological changes would like to see moving forward that would help everyone to work more effectively? Please share your thoughts, predictions, and hopes with us, and we may feature them in an upcoming issue of Astronology®! And don’t forget, Astron Solutions offers Flare™, a robust talent management system with HRIS capabilities. Call us today or visit our website to learn more about Flare® and how it can be used to generate more efficiency in your organization.