Why Business Application Training Is Important

Why Business Application Training Is Important
Summary: Across the globe, companies spend $130 billion on corporate training, reports The Corporate Learning Factbook, despite incredibly low retention rates. In fact, only around one-quarter of training programs lead to any noticeable impact in employee performance, says McKinsey. Which raises the question: If companies waste billions of dollars on inefficient business application training, then why does application training so frequently fail?

The Importance Of Business Application Training

Nearly 80% of middle-skill jobs require digital literacy, according to a Capital One report. Spreadsheet and word processing proficiencies are a baseline requirement, with 78% of jobs requiring these skills. Despite this, many businesses underestimate the importance of business application training in applications like Microsoft Excel. Frequently, corporations are under the impression that employees already know how to use the software.

But consider this: Excel knowledge runs from the very basic, such as typing text into cells, to advanced – writing macros to pull data from a database, analyzing results, visualizing data, and sending reports to management. As a result of employers false assumptions, employees lack necessary skills and operational performance suffers.

5 Reasons Traditional Training Programs Fail

Many companies pay for in-class training, where a trainer stands in front of a group and attendees take notes. Expensive and inefficient, there are several reasons why corporations fail to find success in these outdated methods.

1. No Practice.

Relying on notes makes it difficult for employees to remember what they have learned and to put skills into practice later. After just 20 minutes, learners will have forgotten 40 percent of the content of the course and after 9 hours will remember just 36 percent, found a study on memory.

2. Poor Quality.

Someone who understands software back to front does not necessarily make a good trainer. Courses often fail to engage students due to their poor quality or because learners have difficulty understanding.

3. Existing Knowledge.

In any group of employees, you’ll likely have a mixture of people with no prior experience using an application, a number who have expansive knowledge, and a range of people in between. The result is a waste of time for everyone.

4. Learning Methods.

Individuals learn in different ways and at different speeds. Group training fails to take this into account, leaving some attendees bored at the slow pace of the course while other struggle to keep up. Add the differences in current knowledge of the application into the equation and the disparities become even greater.

5. Relevance.

If employees are unable to see how training will be relevant in the near future, they will exert little effort in acquiring skills. Even if learners do try to remember as much as possible, if they have no chance to use their knowledge soon after, most of it will be forgotten by the time they come to use the application.

Modern Methods

Some companies are embracing new technology to bring training to their employees. Yet, they still manage to fail. The reason: They rely mostly on training videos and online quizzes for instruction, both of which come with their own problems.

1. Training Videos.

Although videos can successfully explain the features of application, this medium, once again, provides employees with no opportunity to put their knowledge into action. Videos are a great tool for sharing stories and for offering brief explanations, but, without some type of interactive practice, they are useless for teaching applications. Worse yet, videos are expensive to produce. Even creating an in-house video at midrange quality, you can expect to spend $165 per minute of the final cut, according to the Association for Talent Development.

2. Online Quizzes.

Online quizzes are little better than videos and lectures, but they still leave employees unprepared to use an application in real life situations. That learners can answer questions about how an application works is no indication they have the skills to use the software effectively. Furthermore, many quizzes have an uninspired design, which acts as a hindrance to learning – one-third of employees say that a poor design impacts their ability to learn.

An Alternative: Practice Rocks

A shining exception to the badly-designed business application training courses is Practice Rocks. Going the extra mile, Practice Rocks built a super-effective solution based on scientific evidence. They offer assessment-based interactive programs, all at affordable rates and with guaranteed delivery.

If you want to ensure your employees retain their knowledge and put their business application training into practice for real results in the workplace, check out what Practice Rocks has to offer. There are courses for all the top business applications, from Google AdWords to Adobe Photoshop, each at beginner and advanced levels. Best of all, your employees will learn within the applications, gaining real practice for knowledge that sticks.