The best methods for managing software training in the company

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Just as a seasoned hiker adapts his equipment and methodically prepares his itinerary before venturing into the high mountains, a well-informed company carefully chooses the training tools to prepare its employees to master new software. The path to the top of the learning curve can be an arduous one. But with a considered approach, it can be undertaken with confidence and success.

Why do you need to train your employees?

Training your employees in software is a strategic investment that generates numerous benefits for the company.

Firstly, training encourages teams to adopt new tools quickly. This accelerates the organisation’s digital transformation. Employees become more skilled and more autonomous in their use of business solutions.

What’s more, by mastering the software perfectly, employees optimise their individual productivity. They complete their tasks more efficiently and with fewer errors. At company level, overall performance improves considerably.

Training also boosts team motivation. It demonstrates an interest in their professional and personal development. Employees feel valued by the company, which invests in their skills.

Finally, mastery of digital tools increases employees’ agility in the face of change. It gives them the means to adapt quickly to changes in business lines and skills requirements. In this way, the company becomes more resilient.

The main software training methods

Instructor-led training (ILT)

Instructor-led training, also known as “face-to-face training”, is a traditional method that is still very popular.

In this approach, a qualified trainer delivers the course to a group of learners, usually in a dedicated training room. The programme is structured around theoretical presentations, demonstrations and practical exercises to anchor the knowledge.

The trainer adapts to the level of the audience and answers questions in real time to clear up any misunderstandings.

However, this method requires participants to be brought together in the same place, which creates scheduling and logistical constraints. As a result, the cost of face-to-face training remains high, due to the costs associated with speakers and infrastructure.

Dematerialised training (e-learning)

With e-learning, training is delivered remotely via an LMS (Learning Management System) platform.

The multimedia content (videos, exercises, quizzes, etc.) is followed by learners at their workstations in a flexible manner. This autonomous mode of learning is characterised by a high degree of freedom in the management of training time and pace.

It is also easier to update content than a classroom-based course. What’s more, e-learning significantly reduces costs by cutting down on travel and the need to occupy training rooms.

However, distance learning can be detrimental to learner motivation, especially as interaction remains limited. As a result, there is a greater risk of students dropping out during the course.

Hybrid training

Hybrid training, also known as “blended learning”, combines the advantages of face-to-face training and e-learning.

In this format, the theoretical modules are followed remotely via e-learning. This is followed by face-to-face sessions where the concepts are put into practice in workshops, tutorials or group discussions.

This blended approach offers multiple benefits. E-learning provides flexibility for the theoretical part. Face-to-face training is reserved for acquiring practical skills and reinforcing interaction.

However, coordinating the remote and face-to-face phases is a complex task. This method also requires a substantial budget to cover the costs of both formats.

Immersive learning

With immersive learning, the learner is immersed in simulated situations using virtual reality or augmented reality.

Immersive technologies enhance active engagement in contexts that are very close to real-life work situations. For example, machine maintenance can be simulated in 3D.

What’s more, total interactivity in these virtual environments improves knowledge retention.

However, the cost of virtual reality equipment remains high. In addition, there may still be a potential gap with the field. There is also the risk of cyber-malaise.

Social learning

This approach encourages the exchange of best practice between experienced and novice employees. Forums, discussion groups and corporate social networks facilitate these interactions.

The group dynamic thus created stimulates learner motivation. But the level of expertise emerging from the group can be uneven. What’s more, without moderation, the information exchanged is of variable quality.

Experiential learning

With experiential learning, learners are placed in real or simulated situations to learn by doing.

For example, new software can be learnt at the workstation to solve specific problems. This hands-on approach makes it easier to assimilate knowledge.

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Furthermore, the exercises can be adapted to the level of each learner. Confronting realistic professional situations also boosts motivation. However, this approach is time-consuming. It also exposes the internal tools/infrastructure to certain risks of error.

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Here is a table summarising the advantages and disadvantages of the 6 main software training methods described above:

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Face-to-face training Motivating human interaction

– Adaptation to the audience

– Questions answered in real time

High cost

– Limited availability of trainers

– Need to bring learners together

E-learning training
– Flexible hours and pace

– Lower costs

– Easy to update

– Remote motivation

– Risk of dropping out

– Limited interaction

Hybrid training – Theoretical input via e-learning

– Hands-on practice

– Maintaining interaction

– Complex coordination

– Higher costs

Immersive learning – Contextualisation of training

– Increased interactivity

– Active engagement

– Technology costs

– Discrepancy with real-life situations

– Risk of cyber-malaise

Social learning – Sharing experience

– Helping each other to progress

– Group dynamics

– Difficulty in developing expertise

– Uneven quality of knowledge

Experiential learning – Easy to assimilate through practice

– Adaptable to individual needs

– Motivated by real-life cases

– Time required to put into practice

– Risk of costly errors

Which software training method is best suited to my company?

The most appropriate training method depends on a number of aspects specific to the context of each company:

  • The type of job targeted by the training influences the most effective format. For predominantly intellectual tertiary jobs, paperless training is preferable. Technical or manual jobs require more hands-on practice and face-to-face supervision.
  • The amount of time that can be devoted to training means that more or less time-consuming methods are preferred. E-learning and immersive learning optimise learning time. Conversely, experiential and face-to-face training consume more hours.
  • The company’s budgetary capacity is a determining factor. Face-to-face, immersive and hybrid training involve significant costs. Digital and social learning can limit training costs.
  • The nature of the business influences the appropriate method. Sales training requires a great deal of interaction, hence the interest in face-to-face/hybrid training. Technical training requires more practical and functional applications.
  • The size of the organisation has an impact on the resources committed. Large groups can equip dedicated rooms and mobilise trainers. VSEs/SMEs turn to low-cost digital methods.
  • Software complexity. The more technically advanced the tools, the more beneficial it is to have close human support. For consumer software, digital is sufficient.
  • Employee level. The degree of autonomy of your employees will influence the method used. E-learning is best suited to profiles who are well-versed in digital technology. Face-to-face coaching is more motivating for those who are less at ease.
  • Short- and long-term objectives determine the method used. Operational staff prefer the efficiency and speed of digital/immersive training. Skills development requires more time and more discussion.

Whatever the case, an analysis of the company’s context will determine the most appropriate software training method.

In short, corporate software training is a strategic investment with multiple benefits: accelerated adoption of tools, enhanced productivity, team motivation and increased agility.

Drawing on our many years of experience, our team will work with you to analyse your needs and build the customised training programme best suited to your context.

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