Since the onset of COVID-19, a large number of companies have scrambled to offer traditional onboarding and skill-building programs in a remote-implemented, digitized format. But the fact of the matter is, companies should have been thinking about going digital well before a global pandemic made it necessary…something we’ve been promoting and providing for our client partners for years.
When it comes to learning, what does digital conversion mean?
Digital conversion may take many forms; here are a few examples:
- Converting traditional in-person classroom training to a virtual approach (the most common conversion right now!) – is a combination of one or more “social distancing friendly” deliveries, like virtual classrooms, eLearnings, animations, videos, etc. Conversion involves reimagining content presentation in a more visually stimulating format (more images, videos, infographics, color varieties, etc.), while also determining different learner engagement and practice strategies that still pay off the learning.
- Converting complex work instructions and other paper-based job aids to more visual versions. For example, taking a twenty page standard operating procedure (SOP)/work instruction and creating a five minute step-by-step annotated video version that may be accessed at any time, on any device.
- Converting paper-based on-the-job training (OJT) checklists to a digital format, including digital signoffs for record keeping.
- Converting an existing eLearning catalog…to an eLearning catalog. Huh? Yep – most companies have eLearning courses that look like they were produced in the 1990s…because they were. These old, “amazing in their time” courses just don’t get the job done in today’s digital world. Will they track completion? Sure. But will the training have the same impact? Not likely. With recent advancements in technology, interactivity, and measurement, you can do yourself and your employees a favor and get a LOT more out of your existing course catalogs.
Why should you consider a digital conversion (outside of needing to respond to COVID)?
- To increase learner retention, due to the stimulation of multiple senses. Digital conversion means less dependence upon the facilitator – which may vary from Jack Black in School of Rock to Ben Stein in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off – and more dependence on the content presentation and the interactivity, as described above.
- To reduce administration costs – Less printing and shipping of materials, less storing of physical training records, less replacement of printed materials. Which brings us to…
- To provide better version control. Once a document is printed, it becomes outdated. Keeping training materials and job aids in digital format ensures that employees are always looking at the latest, greatest version of a document.
- For better (and different) data tracking – With a printed copy of a classroom roster or a signed OJT checklist, you have record of completion…but not much else. Going digital not only makes that process automated and stored in a database vs a filing cabinet (remember those?); digital also allows for much richer data collection, such as length of time or number of times it took for an employee to pass, record of exact questions s/he got right and wrong, automatic renewal pushes once training is due for annual completion, the most popular interactions employees clicked on, and electronic signatures.
- To provide greater access to materials. Going digital means your employees have the ability to access materials when they need it, where they need it…and on any device!
How do you get started?
Converting to digital may feel like a daunting task…but it can be quite simple! Sometimes you simply need an outside perspective to help you brainstorm a few options to get started…and sometimes you may need a partner who can quickly get the job done for you. We have played both roles for a variety of clients for years!
If you have questions or would like to see examples of what we’ve done for our clients, please reach out to me. Also check out the series of short video chats we’re posting on this subject, on LinkedIn.
And continue to remain safe…at work, at home, and in your communities