What Is Technical Training? +Examples, Tips (2023)
Learning and development (L&D) teams enable employees to build core technical skills, master the technical aspects of their jobs, and keep up with the latest industry trends and technologies through technical training programs.
Technical training sessions are more educational and complex compared to their other corporate training counterparts, and not all employees are willing to attend these programs. However, the overall training structure and delivery methods of these programs play a key role in how it is received.
Training managers are constantly looking for new and efficient ways to deliver engaging training for their employees.
Before we discuss the different ways of delivering an effective technical training program, let’s first understand the term technical training to put our discussions in the appropriate context.
What Is Technical Training?
Technical training enables employees to master the technical aspects of their job. L&D teams design technical training programs for different software applications and processes to increase employee efficiency and productivity, help team members learn new ways of doing old tasks, and build core technical skills relevant to their role.
A key distinguishing factor between technical training and other forms of training is that most technical training aspects are job-specific, and cannot be performed without the appropriate technical skills. On the other hand, non-technical training such as soft or administrative skill training is generic and easily transferable from one job to another.
Checklist to Create Effective Technical Training Programs
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Download our checklist to create an engaging and effective technical training program for your employees.
Types of Technical Training
Let’s look at the different types of technical training.
1. Formal education and degree programs
Formal education and degree programs are traditional forms of technical training offered by educational institutions such as universities, colleges, and vocational schools. They typically lead to academic qualifications like degrees, diplomas, or certificates.
These programs provide structured and comprehensive education in technical fields, often covering theory and practical skills. They offer a deep understanding of the subject matter and can be foundational for a career in technical fields.
2. Online courses and certifications
Online courses and certifications are delivered via digital platforms and eLearning modules. They cover a wide range of technical topics and are often provided by universities, online course providers, or professional organizations.
Online courses offer flexibility, allowing learners to study at their own pace and on their schedule. Certifications are a valuable way to demonstrate expertise and competence in specific technical areas. They are particularly useful for professionals seeking to upskill or validate their knowledge.
3. On-the-job training
On-the-job training involves learning while performing tasks within the workplace. It can be formal or informal and is typically facilitated by experienced colleagues or mentors.
OJT provides hands-on experience and immediate application of skills in a real work environment. It is often tailored to the specific needs of the job and can be a highly effective way to learn complex software and technical skills.
4. In-house corporate training programs
Many organizations offer in-house training programs to develop their employees’ technical skills. These programs can range from short workshops to long-term development initiatives.
In-house training is often customized to align with the organization’s specific needs and industry. It fosters a common skill set among employees and can improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.
5. In-app guidance
In-app guidance refers to the provision of training and guidance directly within software applications. It offers users real-time assistance and support to navigate and use the software effectively.
With a DAP like Whatfix, creating custom interactive, branded, in-app guidance, support, and tooltips is simple. You create tooltips in the no-code Whatfix Editor that allows you to click-and-drop tooltips in your application – and then use its advanced customization feature to brand the element to your product’s theme. With a DAP, create in-app walkthroughs, product tours, user onboarding checklists, beacons, smart tips, pop-ups, field validations, self-help wikis, and more!
How to Start an Effective Technical Training Program
Here is a six-step checklist for you to create an engaging and effective technical training program for your employees.
1. Understand the technical training your employees need
The first step in developing a technical training program is to identify and assess your training needs. Conducting a requirement analysis before designing the training is essential to design effective training materials and make the best use of production time.
Here are some methods for conducting a training needs analysis for your organization:
- Questionnaires/Interviews: Ask employees to fill out questionnaires or take individual interviews regarding their current skill set, how competent they feel, which technical skills they would like to get trained on, etc.
- Observation: Carefully observe employee performance on different enterprise applications and processes to understand how efficient and comfortable employees are in using the tools to their maximum potential.
- Exam work: Examine if the work produced reflects the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities you expect from a certain role or position. And accordingly, conclude if there are any areas for improvement.
- Assessments: A multiple-choice evaluation is one of the most efficient ways to easily evaluate employee knowledge and technical skills.
- Competitive analysis: Companies need to keep an eye on their competition, i.e., carefully observe the number of sales, growth, hiring trends, etc. Analyzing the gap between you and your competitor gives you an idea for quick refresher training in areas that can make your employees more efficient and competitive.
2. Set technical training objectives
After conducting your training needs assessment, identify the gaps in your current training programs, as well as conduct an employee skill gap analysis. These gaps are analyzed, prioritized, and turned into the organization’s training objectives.
Training objectives are the desirable & measurable outcomes that your employees will achieve after completing their training. These objectives should clearly communicate the tangible benefits of a training program in a way that intrigues and resonates with your employees.
Here’s how you can create crisp and clear employee training objectives:
- Clearly define the purpose and goal(s) of a training program.
- Keep it short and simple.
- Make them SMART goals, i.e., Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Align your training objectives with department and business goals.
3. Leverage employee training software
Employee training software makes it incredibly simple for L&D teams to develop, deliver, and manage technical training programs. This type of software assigns training courses to employees, identifies engagement levels, monitors progress, tracks course completion rates, ensures high employee productivity, enhances the employee training experience, and provides fast ROI in terms of a more productive workforce.
Employee training software offers a variety of features such as:
- Online multimedia course creation
- In-app user guidance and interactive workflows
- Personalized learning paths
- Gamification techniques to boost employee engagement
- Easy monitoring of employee progress
- Analytics and reporting on training progress
- User-friendly experience
- Customizable certifications
- 24*7 self-support knowledge centers
Whatfix’s digital adoption platform disrupts typical application training, learning, and support content by providing contextual, interactive, real-time, and autonomous user guidance – driving additional digital adoption and productivity gains for employees. With Whatifix, your employees follow in-app guidance and interactive walkthroughs to become proficient in new software or applications. Its self-support knowledge bases allow employees to learn without the need for IT or support tickets.
4. Create simple & interactive training content
Technical training programs include modules on new software training, enterprise applications, and complex processes. Training delivery via traditional learning methods in formats such as a slide deck is ineffective for such sessions, as many employees (especially millennials) find it boring and difficult to retain knowledge.
To keep learners engaged and promote interaction between training material and employees, L&D teams need to choose interactive methods to deliver technical training. These methods easily illustrate complex processes and help employees retain information for a longer time.
Creating effective training programs does not have to be complicated. You need to choose the appropriate elements based on your objectives and audience. Here are some of the ways to create interactive technical training content:
- Create training videos with rich graphics – Video-based training is effective because it is convenient and puts the learner in charge of their learning. It is easier to digest, promotes knowledge retention, and improves employee engagement. Check out our guide on how to create training videos to learn more.
- Scenario training – Scenario-based training is a powerful method that uses immersive simulations like VR environments, eLearning games, quizzes, role-play training, etc., to engage employees in live, real-world scenarios to help them learn a new software or process in the flow of work.
- Gamification techniques – Gamification in training means incorporating certain gaming elements into the training program to motivate employees to perform better. It creates healthy competition in a fun and engaging manner.
- Include quizzes, tests, and assessments – Include quizzes and tests in your course module to keep the learning process engaging.
5. Training implementation
Before implementing your new training content, ensure all participating employees have the training schedule, allowing them to have the bandwidth to complete any necessary pre-training preparation.
The L&D team needs to also choose the appropriate employee training methods – ie. instructor-led training, on-the-job training, sales coaching, job shadowing, cross-training, eLearning, etc. – to conduct the training. Every form of training requires some prerequisites to be completed before launching.
For instance, instructor-led sessions require you to arrange an instructor ahead of time to lead the training; for coaching sessions, make sure you have an experienced professional to mentor the new employee.
It is important to note that eLearning (or online training) has become the most recognized out of all these training methods, especially in the post-pandemic world where employees are remote and can’t attend classroom training. Online training sessions require eLearning tools to create, manage, update, and facilitate training.
Here are a few resources to find the right tools for your organization’s needs:
6. Measure training effectiveness
When you invest valuable resources, time, money, and energy into your training programs, measuring whether they’re working is critical. Training effectiveness measures the impact of training on the learner’s knowledge, skills, performance, and the company’s ROI of these programs.
Perhaps the most important reason for measuring training effectiveness is to see if it benefits your employees’ current skills and performance. Without evaluations in place, employees might feel that their learning at work is purposeless. Another reason to measure training effectiveness is to boost business performance and see maximum ROI.
There are many different methods to measure training effectiveness, such as, 1:1 discussions, surveys, questionnaires, post-training quizzes, assessments, examinations, etc. The more data you collect on measurable outcomes, the easier it is to quantify your company’s return on investment.
To learn more about the different methods of measuring training effectiveness, check out our blog on 7 Innovative Ways To Measure Training Effectiveness.
Benefits of Technical Training
Here are some of the most significant benefits of technical training.
1. Enhanced employability and career opportunities
Technical training equips individuals with specialized skills and knowledge that are highly sought after in the job market. It enhances their qualifications and increases their chances of finding employment and advancing in their careers.
2. Increased job satisfaction and confidence
Employees who undergo technical training tend to feel more competent and capable of handling their job responsibilities effectively. This increased competence leads to higher job satisfaction because individuals experience less frustration and are better equipped to overcome challenges.
3. Contributions to organizational productivity and innovation
Technical training ensures that employees are up-to-date with the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. This knowledge translates into improved work efficiency, reduced errors, and quicker problem-solving.
Moreover, organizations with a workforce that continually receives technical training are more likely to embrace innovation. Employees with up-to-date skills are better positioned to propose and implement innovative solutions, contributing to the organization’s competitiveness and growth.
Effective technical training programs can be implemented using Whatfix Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) by seamlessly integrating in-app guided experiences and self-help support. Whatfix DAP allows organizations to create interactive and context-sensitive training content that is delivered within the actual software applications employees use.
This approach ensures that training is in the flow of work, reducing the need for separate training sessions or documentation. Employees can access step-by-step guidance, tooltips, and tutorials directly within the application, enabling them to learn and apply technical skills efficiently. Furthermore, the self-help support feature empowers users to troubleshoot issues independently, fostering a culture of continuous learning and self-sufficiency within the organization.
Whatfix DAP enhances the effectiveness of technical training by providing real-time, practical, and accessible learning experiences within the work environment. Schedule a free demo with us to learn more about Whatfix training!