July 9, 2014

Last year, ASTD’s Learning Technology Trends introduced their latest training technology findings as follows:

“E-learning is the number one technology-based learning and performance support method in which organizations will invest this year, according to recent research by Impact Instruction Group.

The corporate training and development firm’s 2013 Learning & Development Technology Report cites that 86 percent of respondents will invest in e-learning in the coming months. Sixty-six percent will invest in webinars, 56 percent in video, 22 percent in mobile applications, and 14 percent in games and
simulations. . . .

Amy Franko, founder and CEO of Impact Instruction Group, believes that: ‘Organizations that have laid out strategies and adopted technology are positioning themselves well to attract the best talent and ensure their people get the right training when they need it.’”

This information should not surprise us. To stay competitive, today’s organization has to realize maximum productivity from each and every employee —- and, industrial skills training is a prime example of the e-Learning trend.

However, in an organization’s haste to upgrade maintenance and operations skills, too often we ignore even the more necessary basic skills that are the foundation for almost every industrial maintenance and operations task.

An organization that ignores the basic skills knowledge-gap does so at their own peril. And unfortunately, when those organizations that do take the time to examine that gap, they usually find that their employees simply don’t have the necessary basic skills to perform their jobs effectively.

And yet, a working understanding of applied industrial math, as well as the necessary reading and writing skills significantly affects performance.

The fundamental skills in an applied industrial math curriculum should include everything from whole numbers to decimals to statistics. Basic reading and writing skills should address everything from procedures and instructions to reference materials and technical manuals.

Effective basic skills instruction in the industrial world should include “real world” situations, allowing employees to more readily apply what they learn. Using well-designed, self-paced, individualized training allows the learner to master the basic skills that their traditional education may have failed to communicate.

The result? More confident, productive employees who are now able to translate these newly discovered basic skills into better on-the-job performance.

Don’t assume your employees have the requisite basic skills to perform effectively. Measure the skills gaps — and, then address those gaps with knowledgeably designed, media-based e-Learning. You’ll find it to be the necessary foundation for much improved on-the-job performance.

More on Monday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning