A process is a series of actions that are required to be performed for achieving a desired end result. The actions are planned systematically with pre-designed steps or procedures based on the objectives that need to be met. All organizations have set processes and procedures to carry out their activities, and employees need to be well trained to effectively carry out those processes.
Traditionally, employees learnt about the processes on-the-job, with the help of a mentor or through instructor-led classroom training methods. While on-the-job training is a long drawn process of trial and error, instructor-led classroom training also has its own challenges.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges that trainers face while developing process training in the traditional way.
Challenge of making the course engaging and interactive:
Traditionally, processes were explained with the help of charts, or at best, through PowerPoint presentations, which basically consisted of static images. Comprehension of the process was largely dependent on the imagination of learners. Take for example, the course that needs to explain the oil refining process in an oil refinery. The following diagram taken from Wikipedia explains the typical flow diagram that depicts a crude oil distillation unit.
No matter how colorful and interactive you try to make the image in the PowerPoint presentation, it is still difficult for learners to comprehend the diagram and understand the process that it represents, unless supported by an elaborate explanation of the various units. Process training that relies only on diagrams and PowerPoint slides is less stimulating and rather boring. Animations and graphics will help make the eLearning courses more interactive and interesting.
Challenge of keeping pace in rapidly expanding organizations:
You have just completed a training program for 50 customer service representatives on how to handle customer queries on phone. However, your boss just then informs you that the proposal for recruiting more CSRs across various cities in the region has been approved, and you are being given the task of training them all as quickly as possible, to bring them up to speed by the time the company launches their new product. You will have to spend the next couple of weeks travelling from one city to the other, training CSRs. There is generally a high turnover of people in such jobs and chances are that new customer service representatives will be recruited on an ongoing basis. Is it financially viable to provide classroom training to each customer service representative? At the same time, new employees need to be trained on organizational procedures/practices, do’s and don’ts, etc., while dealing with customers right from the day one. This becomes a daunting task in a traditional training format. Having an online training program will make it viable and cost-effective for a rapidly expanding organization.
Challenge of training a geographically dispersed workforce:
Adopting traditional methods of training for an organization that has its operations in several locations may not be viable in terms of the costs and quality. You may be the training head located at the corporate office of your organization, which has decided to standardize systems and processes to be implemented across all your operations worldwide. You could of course invite heads of each unit, train them, and expect them in turn to train the employees in their respective units. However, can you guarantee the quality and consistency of the training across all facilities? This poses a great challenge, which could be addressed to a considerable extent through eLearning.
Process training, be it manufacturing process, sales process or any other business process, needs to be interactive, simulating the actual work situation so that learners can truly understand the process, and apply it in their jobs.