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Multi-skilling Staff for the Jobs of the Future via Virtual Mobile e-Training

Corporate enterprises and charities wish to run their operations at the minimum costs allowed. This means that they need to take an advantage of the benefits, scalability, and viability of using mobile e-learning, using smart phones, tablets, and notepads that offer a blended solution. However, this comes at a cost due to the risks involved in developing the professionalism of the staff. This may be caused by poaching the staff by other companies after receiving training from the said company. However, it also ensures that the company competes globally and remains at par with the technological changes in the global market. They respond faster to problems brought forward by the customers and ensure high productivity of the staff. Most companies take advantage of multi-skilling, where single employees receive training on multiple skill-sets. It involves labour unions and their settings where they promote workers with a wide range of skills. This range of skills may not be part of the technical job description, but it ensures productivity and cuts down on costs for the company because they do not have to employ other personnel who have the same skills. When companies aim at ensuring that the employees multitask, they effectively address the current shortage of skills in the manufacturing industry.

In an industry where companies aim at quickly fulfilling customer demands with precision, then multi-skilling comes in handy because it provides flexibility in allocating labour to tasks. Though the results ensure reduced costs for the company, the process may be straining on the art of the managers and employees. It needs genuine commitment from all stakeholders involved in the process. It takes for a training program several years to reach the desired flexibility within the workforce. However, if the right approach to training is taken, then first results can be seen quickly. The steps in ensuring success include bringing together the employees, setting goals which broaden the employee’s skills and regularly review their progress. Employees may also ensure success by sticking to the program over the medium term. The training program, when well structured and applied consistently by the employees has far reaching benefits to the company. These include a measurable return on its training investment, reduced turnover of employees who ensure increased productivity, and reduced waste of potentiality of employees by engaging their extra skills. Companies train their employees using virtual mobile e-training programs. A live-instructor led training is delivered by the virtual classroom to the employees. This ensures that the employees gain the skills needed and will also benefit from interaction with other employees from the comfort of their offices.

Virtual e-learning saves time and money for the employees and the overall costs of the company reduced because employees learn without travelling. The employees, therefore, learn from the comfort of their desktop and interact with their fellow staff and instructors. This initiative also supports the corporate green initiative, lauded by many companies as the ethics and good practices of the current business practices. Employees located around the same geographical area gain a consistently high quality instruction and finally get a hands-on laboratory experience. However, virtual training of the employees will rely heavily on their self-discipline, self-motivation, and their ability to communicate effectively using the written word. The best virtual e-training that ensures effective learning of the skills by the employees is by personalizing it because employees respond well to personal attention . The virtual classroom promotes live teacher instruction and feedback from the employees through the same channel. This enables voice interaction in the real-time and sharing of the whiteboard. There are also included breakout sessions for the employees to enhance their learning experience. The virtual classroom gives the employees an opportunity to interact one on one with the instructor and other employees, thus ensuring that they benefit from all the advantages of e-training.

Virtual E-learning also has a virtual operating room, where the employees receive induction procedure before they apply their skills in the manufacturing company. E-training may take other forms such as video-based courses, which resemble the normal class teaching, only it is online. The instructor speaks to the learners and then uses online examples and PowerPoint slides for illustration. Other, not so commonly used, forms of virtual learning include audio-based courses, animated, web-supported textbook, peer-to-peer courses, and social networking. All these ensure that employees acquire the correct skills that promote their multitasking ability, and beneficial to the company because of reduced costs. Companies reap many benefits by using smart phones in training of their employees in multi-skilling to promote multitasking. They give employees access to information and reading material when out of the office, thereby increasing efficiency in learning. The fact that they are easily portable makes them efficient especially for employees who travel a lot. These employees can catch up with any lectures from wherever they are and do not have to be at the office to sharpen their skill.

Smart phones also promote real-time interaction of the employees by using e-mail, text, and instant messaging, and through voice calls. However, there has been an outcry of issues of privacy by the employees. There may be parties who access the company’s information illegally, thus making the trustworthy of the employees on the smart phones to dwindle. Companies have to ensure that they create stringent security laws on who and when people can access the information on its website, and even the information on the progress of employees in acquiring new skills. Tablets’ use in employee training has far-reaching benefits to the company and its staff. This is because of the spontaneity created, since tablets resemble scratch pads. Important points are highlighted and diagrams, equations, and formulas created in class, thus improving learning for the employees. The tablet makes the employees able to brainstorm and take advantage of the power of mind maps. Tablets, like smart phones, enable employees to get training wherever they operate from, which may not necessarily be the office or classroom to get lectures on the different skills. Adopting of the use of tablets by employees and even the instructor, may seem daunting at first because the instructor no longer has freedom to move around the classroom. For the employees, they may encounter the problem of connectivity if the internet fails. They also have to ensure that they charge their batteries to avoid a situation where the tablet switches off during the lecture. However, with adopting new technology comes the daunting task of convincing employees stuck with the practices of medieval times, the advantages of using the technology, such as the notepads and tablets. They believe that they can only acquire new skills through apprenticeship or by taking leave and going back to the real classes. This wastes time and increases costs for the company because they have to employ other people to replace the ones who take study leave. In the long-run, the use of virtual e-training is beneficial because it saves on the long term costs of the company. However, the initial stages of adopting the process may prove cumbersome and hard especially for older generation employees. The initial costs could also be high and it is upon the company to set aside enough resources that will ensure effective adaptability of the technology. At the end of the day, it is up to the management of the company to ensure that they adopt practices that will be beneficial to them in cost saving and increased productivity. This also makes them to be at the same level with the global market.

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