It is astonishing to see how companies are adept in changing their marketing and sales strategies to meet the requirements of the changing consumer tastes, preferences, demographics, and technology. Every major consumer brand, retail chain, and even hospitals have slick customer facing applications, tools, and anything else that will help them gain market share. However, the training department is still seen as a backroom operation. The landscape is littered with halfhearted initiatives to implement learning technologies. Example, it is very common to hear “We rolled out a LMS, but it is not available to anyone in the field.”
I am a strong believer in the theory that a company that treats its training department in an equal footing with its sales department will come out on the top. I haven’t done any survey to prove this theory, but I see it in my interactions with various brands. I continue to buy products from companies that have trained employees and I don’t care for those that treat customers like cattle.
Now is the opportunity to correct the imbalance.We are in the midst of an extraordinary revolution. A majority of the population in the US has access to Smart Phones and Tablets and the trend is growing by the day. A quick poll will tell you that employees end up carrying multiple devices that may include a company provided laptop and Blackberry along with a personal iPhone or Tablet. Blackberry’s market position is eroding fast because of various reasons and one definite headwind against Blackberry is the strong demand to make enterprise content available in other devices that the employees WANT to use.
Obviously, pushing training content to personal Smartphones and Tablets has significant implications for the company and is keeping many a CLOs and CIOs awake. There are security issues such as the device being lost or stolen thereby compromising enterprise data security, installing certain apps on the phone that creates a conduit for confidential data to be stolen. Also, how do you start tracking training content consumption on personal devices? Tracking training content is a key feedback mechanism that training departments rely on to measure training effectiveness. This challenge is magnified considering the limitations legacy LMS products impose when delivering content to devices other than Desktops. And most importantly, Apple devices do not support flash and a majority of the training content has been built on Flash!
Phew! we thought global warming was a huge issue 🙂
Stay tuned for my posts on this topic.