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What Managers Should Know About Virtual Training


Of all the changes brought about by the confluence of the digital age and the 21st century, few have been more meaningful for the contemporary marketplace than the rise of virtual training regimes. Across disparate industries, business managers and owners of businesses ranging from tiny to huge have been pivoting to the digital realm when it comes to equipping their employees with the skills to succeed, often to mixed results. This has led many to question whether virtual training is really worth it.

Can your company rely on virtual training to retrofit its workers with new skills? Here’s the truth about virtual training.

The ins and outs of virtual training

Regardless of opinions, let’s begin with the bare facts; it’s indisputable that virtual training is on the rise. Across the market, companies are showing a seriously heightened level of interest in digital training services that began surging a few years ago; In 2015, for instance, more than $70 billion was shelled out for corporate training in the United States alone. As a disruptive marketplace continues to scare many managers, they’ll likely keep turning towards new digital training tools as an answer to modern market dilemmas.

Is virtual training really worth your investment just because others are flocking towards it, however? Many companies pride themselves on their unique ability to stand out in the market, for instance, and explicitly reject any strategies that entail copying what their competitors are doing. The increased reliance on digital training initiatives hasn’t necessarily generated the kinds of results some are looking for, either; it’s becoming a broad market consensus that employers are failing to deliver when it comes to digital skills, after all.

Despite the increased spotlight on digital training initiatives in recent years, it should be clear to see that the truth about virtual training is that it’s bark is much louder than its bite. Virtual training isn’t merely squandering money – employees truly need digital skills, and online platforms can often be an enticing way of teaching them those new skills. Nonetheless, virtual training methods simply can’t compete with tried-and-tested methods that work precisely because they’re in-person.

Smart managers and small business owners are beginning to wake up and realize that pushing excessive digital training regimes on workers is an excellent way to make sure nothing gets through to them at all. After all, employee training is all about engagement and if your workers aren’t satisfied with the glitchy digital platforms you’re foisting upon them, they’ll find it hard to care about what they’re learning. Those interested in impactful training should thus stick to more traditional methods, embracing only the best and most cost-effective innovations from the realm of virtual training.

Getting the best out of virtual training

Despite the general laziness inherent in virtual training regimes, you can still get something out of today’s fancy gadgets and dizzying software services. Business owners and managers interested in equipping their workers with real skills should employ a blended mix of virtual and real-world techniques that derive the best results from both types of teaching. This will also help you reach a younger workforce while simultaneously catering to older workers who aren’t too tech savvy and find themselves in need of a refresher.

Thus while it’s increasingly becoming clear that face-to-face learning is the superior option, today’s business professionals shouldn’t be afraid to embrace software programs that help automate previously mundane training processes. Relying on a software service to teach your employees a relatively minor skill or how to navigate a new system, for instance, could sizable cut back on your training costs. Still, however, business owners should avoid going too deep with virtual training efforts – they are, after all, more of a supplementary compliment than a main course.

Most virtual training regimes fail because they try too hard, too quickly; in the rush to digitize or fall behind in today’s competitive market, many managers or business owners fool themselves into thinking they need to buy a flashy new system overnight and overdo it. If you really are interested in virtual training services, you should start small, and only expand them gradually on top of existing, in-person training methods. You should also be ready for future investments, too – after all, today’s virtual training investment will be obsolete by next week, when a new software patch has been issued.

Virtual training isn’t worthless, but it’s certainly not worth all of the sound and fury it’s currently generating in the market. Managers and business owners should understand that virtual training regimes are useful, but not as impactful as traditional teaching methods and only useful insofar as they seriously cut costs. The truth about virtual training is that, despite all the showmanship surrounding today’s flashy tech, it simply doesn’t cut it when compared to older methods.

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