Good employees want to learn new things and utilize technology to be more efficient, and that’s what we want from our employees. AI is all over the media right now. It’s the hot topic if every tech conference and a ton of legal tech webinars. According to this survey, they appear to be out there doing it on their own with little direction from their employer. That might become a problem, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. User have been finding creative ways to find the tools they need to get work done instead of waiting for the IT team and training to tell them they can. AI is just one more to add to that list, and one more that the talent development folks are going to have to play catch up on, quickly.
That being said, this isn’t going to change. If the people who work for you aren’t continuously learning your organization is going to fall behind competitors who are learning. The folks who want to learn will end up working for those competitiors. You’ll be left with a group of employees who are comfortable doing the same thing they’ve always done and aren’t interested in learning anything new.
Over the last few years though, as the number of online training sessions and meetings has grown exponentially, I still see it though. There are a significant number of users who will use Teams or Zoom chat instead of speaking up in many forms of gatherings. We should recognize that the chat tool is a perfectly legitimate way for people to interact with a speaker and each other during online meetings. Many people, but especially introverts among us, will be more comfortable chatting like that during a meeting. As a trainer/speaker, it becomes paramount that you learn to pay attention to what is happening in chat or have someone in the meeting be responsible for keeping up with the chat. Otherwise, you’re ignoring part of your audience.
The other interesting thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that beyond providing a message board to start the class discussion, it’s also provided ahead of time. Those introverts who need a little time to process new information before providing any input are going to be much more likely to have something to add when there is time to consider the topic.
Change is hard. It is also neverending. Things change. The new technology provides new opportunities. Leaders should take responsibility to explain that to their people and highlight the opportunities that change can provide. Show them how it will benefit the business.
Then send them to training ready to learn.
You can invest in your people, keeping their skills up-to-date for the constant change they will be faced with in the workplace, or you can view all of them as a simple cost to be cut down to the bare minimum.
If you do, at least consider the cost of hiring a bunch of new folks year after year.
Because you will be.
I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had about this over the years. Trust me, there have been a lot. I’ve watched some really brilliant people who do great work and are highly knowledgeable have terrible experiences trying to train others because they were not adept at the skills necessary to run a training class. A great many people have, through no fault of their own, not learned how to facilitate, the finer points of public speaking, or how to read students’ body language.
To be a great trainer you need to learn those things.