Are you ready to train your future workforce?

As digital video consumption continues to rise among the next generation workforce so too has the need for interactive training.

A few years ago when my son was about 10 years old he asked me “mum, who is your favorite YouTuber”? At that time, I just stared at him with my mouth and eyes wide open.

This question struck me with a surprise. I, of course, had heard the term ‘YouTuber’ but I definitely didn’t know to name any of them. Big mistake considering that the most popular YouTubers, aka digital influencers, already had hundreds of thousands of followers.

Moreover, not only Generation Z (people born after 1997) is addicted to YouTube. It turns out that in an average month about 80 per cent of people in ages 18 to 49 watch YouTube.

YouTube has changed the way we learn new skills and prefer to solve problems – we now prefer to watch educational movies and videos, instead of sitting in the classroom or reading bulky manuals. Which means this is a trend we need to consider when designing our next workplace training or development programs.

Instead of planning usual classroom training with PowerPoint slides and excessive textbook for team members to educate them how to clean we should be preparing videos that our people could watch whenever and wherever they want by using their smart devices.

Moreover, we should be ready to design different job-related training as e-learning trainings. For instance, at ISS we use e-learning platform, MyLearning that has different training modules available.

So yes, boring long manuals are so yesterday and learning becomes a more visual process with lots of pictures, videos, and games. Did you know 57 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds play video games at least three times a week, and two-thirds of them say it is important in helping them learn how to create winning strategies, solve problems, and work successfully on a team? And this is not all, there are a lot of people who love to play different games (like well-known card game Solitaire) and take part of challenges (like PokemonGo that drove people crazy in 2016).

Because of this Siemens decided to use gamification in their training program that taught operations managers how to successfully run its plants. They used a game called PlantVille (which mimics the popular FarmVille played on Facebook).

The game is a simulation experience of the roles a plant manager typically has. Players need to navigate these daily job responsibilities and make decisions based on the best plan for their plant. In addition to a job or task-related training, companies can also use gamification to educate people about HSE or code of conduct training that is offered by e-learning Industry.

But, of course, we shouldn’t leave it only up to the technology and videos how today’s workforce is trained. Especially considering the facts that, firstly, we are working in the service industry. Secondly, we are working together with people from five different generations, between ages 16 to 80. It is challenging to design a training program that fits all age groups, different nationalities, and genders, but our experience at ISS has shown that this is possible.

The most effective training that suits all age groups is an interactive workshop. At ISS we call this a ‘Service with a Human Touch’ workshop that focuses on five key customer expectations. This one-day workshop includes a lot of different discussions and group works.

The two key indicators for the success here are; to keep it simple and the use of storytelling. One of the stories shared during the Service with a Human Touch workshop is one from 1961 when US president John F. Kennedy visited NASA headquarters for the first time. While touring the facility he introduced himself to a cleaner who was mopping the floor and asked what the person did at NASA. The answer he got was; “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”

Helo Tamme is national people manager NZ, ISS Facilities Services.

This story originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of INCLEAN NZ.

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