Why Remote Employee Training Programs Rely on AI
COVID-19 pushed all our working lives onto remote, but that doesn’t mean that you can put employee training on pause. In fact, with all your employees working from home, employee training is more important than ever to ensure that everyone knows how to spot and avoid hacking attempts.
As well as regular onboarding needs, you also have to encourage your employees to keep improving and refining their skills, or your whole organization will fall behind. The business world never stands still, and skills gaps are only widening. In 2019, PWC reported that 55% of businesses were already unable to innovate effectively due to skills gaps within the workforce, and McKinsey found that 87% of executives are already experiencing or expect to see skills gaps within the next few years.
But traditional employee training is a struggle when you can’t hold any sessions in person. In these situations, it’s foolish to try to continue with the same methods you’ve already used. It’s time to make a change and draw on the best tools you can: AI.
Artificial intelligence is already working hard in many aspects of the business world, and it’s transforming employee training too, just in time to rescue it from COVID-19. Here are 6 ways that AI can save the day for remote employee training.
1. Tailor Programs to Employee Work Patterns
God knows there’s only so long you can concentrate on a Zoom, especially when every daily experience takes place on a screen. Using AI allows you to split larger training programs up into bitesize units so that employees can consume them in small amounts without feeling overwhelmed.
Shorter units allow employees to dip in and out of employee training programs during the course of the day, week, or month. The AI program remembers where they are up to when they return, and can offer a quick review if it’s been a while since their last session. This style of delivery is also much better suited to a WFH situation, when employees are more likely to find that their working time is chopped up into shorter periods.
2. Monitor Employee Progress
It’s a lot harder to check if your employees understand the material and are gaining the skills they need when you can’t interact in person. AI can monitor employee responses to pick up on signs of disengagement or confusion far better than a remote tutor teaching through a screen.
If users aren’t making as much progress as expected, AI-based programs can also automatically suggest a different exercise or change the format to make it easier for them to grasp the material.
3. Support Complex Training Needs
Some employee training is very complex and difficult to convey. Usually, you’d prefer to arrange one-on-one in-person training, but that’s just not possible today. AI can be an even better option though, so there’s no need to put off training until you can do it face to face.
Using AI together with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) enables you to create complicated remote training simulations that replicate real-life interactions. Some skills, like management, leadership, and other soft skills, can even be taught more successfully by remote AI than with in-person human training.
4. Replicate Mentoring Interactions
Many organizations prefer to offer the human touch of one to one mentoring, but it’s hard to sustain over the phone, email, or even through video conferencing. There’s a risk that employees will lose the human connection.
To be fair, AI interactions aren’t quite the same as human in-person ones, but they are a very good replacement while the latter is impossible. You can use conversational AI for employee assessments that feel far more natural than a formal checkbox quiz, for example, or create AI bots that can answer employee questions when they feel unsure about how to proceed.
5. Deliver Personalized Training at a Distance
Each employee is an individual, with different strengths and weaknesses, but it’s difficult to design training programs that cater for each worker’s training needs. All that changes with AI, though. AI programs can run in the background of regular workflows to detect where employees are struggling, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and automatically suggest refresher sessions to prevent employees from falling behind.
You can use AI to embed training tasks within the flow of work. The program will trigger them when it senses a need, without disrupting their concentration. You can even use AI to deliver personalized feedback to each employee about what they could improve and where they are excelling, to empower employees to propel their own professional development forwards.
6. Boost Employee Engagement
When employee training goes remote, participation goes out the window. Employees feel distanced from the world of work, and training doesn’t seem so important when you aren’t in the office surrounded by everyone talking about it. They suspect that no one will notice if they don’t attend, and often have a lot more demands on their time when working from home, especially if they have small children and schools are closed.
So it’s crucial to make your training programs more fun and engaging, so that employees feel motivated to join in. AI can help you run gamified, video-game-style challenges that encourage friendly competition between individuals and teams, and mix in different formats to hold on to employee attention.
AI Is the Future of Employee Training
Shifting to remote makes everything more challenging, employee training included, but fortunately, AI can provide the solution. By helping customize your employee training program to employee needs and available time and making it more engaging, replicating human interaction and complex training scenarios, and monitoring employee progress, AI can make your remote employee training programs not just acceptable, but better than ever.