Our company is about to introduce new technology that will require employees to significantly change the way they work. I am concerned that they have neither the confidence, nor the computer or literacy skills to cope with the new technology.
Amongst other things, they will need to use a computerised screen, accurately read and interpret control displays, and follow screen-prompted instructions at critical points in production.
Our technology supplier will undertake some training and will also provide us with training manuals. My human resources manager believes the training and support will be too advanced for our workforce, most of whom have limited education and / or English as a second language.
We have invested a lot invested in the new technology; how can we get our people up to speed with it as quickly as possible?
You will get the best results by training your supervisors to show employees how to use the new system. Training manuals and user guides also need to be rewritten so that they meet your employees’ literacy skill needs. Most are not skilled readers, so the guides need to convey information in a simple, clear manner.
In our experience, many employees are resistant to technological changes so it is important to motivate them through literacy activities to accept the new system and to gain some quick wins that show them how it will make their jobs easier.
Your company needs to take the following steps when introducing the new technology:
Assess employees’ training needs: Verifying ability levels and skill gaps will enable you to develop short and long-term training plans.
Choose appropriate training strategies for the audience: Best results will be achieved if employees with similar literacy levels are grouped together during training. Employee training will also need to simplify complex information and communicate it in a way that an audience with literacy issues can understand.
Train the trainers: Employees, such as supervisors, who will be responsible for training others need to be provided with strategies that will help them to work with trainees who have literacy issues.
Design training resources: Best results will be achieved if literacy and numeracy skills are embedded into trainer guides and participant handouts. Giving people ‘quick guides’ can also help to remind them about the most important points.
Evaluation: It is important to evaluate the training’s effectiveness, and to fine tune the programme if necessary.
For more information contact:
Glynis Thomas, Workbase Consultant
If you have a burning workplace question for this column or would like to more about how Workbase can help, contact Glynis:
Phone: (09) 361 3800
Mobile: (021) 430 994
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