Well-trained workers are crucial to the success of any kind of business. However, employee training comes in many forms, and not every style of training is equally effective. In the past, in-person training sessions were typical. This kind of training is suited well to a traditional office environment in which everyone is working at desks in the same building.
Now, it’s much more common for workers to be deskless. “Deskless workers” are employees who do not need to be at a desk to do their work effectively. Many deskless workers are remote employees, but there are many different types of deskless workers throughout various industries.
To accommodate the growing number of deskless workers, many industries have begun to adopt deskless worker training. Deskless worker training is a mobile training style that enables workers to learn just as effectively even if they don’t sit at a desk and aren’t able to attend in-person training courses.
Many deskless workers choose mobile work because they need a greater degree of flexibility in their schedules. As more and more people seek out this flexibility via remote work, it’s essential for employers to keep up by offering mobile training options. It’s no longer viable to treat deskless workers like the exception.
If you aren’t investing in training for your deskless workforce, you’re most likely crippling a significant portion of your workers. Accommodating remote workers and other kinds of deskless workers with adequate training can not only improve their performance, but it can also help reduce churn.
Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll examine deskless worker training in more detail. We’ll look closer at some of the most significant benefits of offering training courses designed specifically for deskless workers, as well as some of the most common challenges.
Before getting into the details of deskless worker training, it’s important to understand exactly what is meant by “deskless worker.” So, what is a deskless worker?
A deskless worker is any worker who does not work in a designated space of their own, like an office and/or a desk. When we hear the word “employee,” it’s easy to picture someone working at a computer in a cubicle (or a similar scene), but in reality, the majority of the global workforce is deskless.
Some deskless workers are office workers who perform their duties remotely. The “displaced office worker” is one type of deskless worker, but for the most part, deskless workers are people who work on the front lines of their industries. For example, delivery drivers, construction workers, nurses, retail associates, and restaurant staff are all deskless workers. Gig workers are another common type of deskless worker — the gig economy is growing rapidly, and it’s projected to reach a volume of $455.2 billion by 2023. Gig work is attractive to many people as a flexible source of income, so that flexibility needs to be maintained across all aspects of the job, including training.
Training deskless workers requires a unique approach. It isn’t practical to expect most kinds of deskless workers to be able to convene in one physical location for traditional training seminars. However, training your deskless workers is no less important than training any other kind of employee. One of the best solutions to this problem is a mobile training program that’s specifically designed to accommodate deskless workers.
Although it’s imperative to provide adequate deskless worker training, challenges of various kinds often stand in the way; deskless workers are not always the easiest group to accommodate. There are a few distinct obstacles associated with training a deskless workforce:
Access to training opportunities is one of the primary challenges deskless workers face. They often aren’t able to attend in-person training, and even virtual training sessions are ineffective for workers with schedules that change frequently. One possible solution to this problem is using a learning management system (LMS) like Northpass to offer deskless workers self-paced learning opportunities. They can access training resources whenever it’s convenient for them and complete the courses in short, digestible sections.
Another challenge is the struggle to engage deskless workers in the same way you would engage in-person learners. It’s hard to ensure a consistent quality of training when you have no way of delivering courses to learners at once as an instructor would in a traditional classroom setting. Instead, every worker is going to be learning at different times and under different circumstances. You can use online training software like Northpass to manage your training content for deskless workers. It’s easier to ensure consistency when all your workers have access to the same information in a central location.
Communicating with deskless workers is another unique challenge. Unfortunately, many deskless workers report that they don’t get enough support from their employers. Lack of support often leads to poor employee performance and high turnover rates. Both of these outcomes can be enormously detrimental to an organization. An LMS is a good solution to this problem as well because you can use it to provide employees with access to any training materials at their point of need so they always have convenient support options.
Deskless worker training can also be hindered by many deskless workers’ lack of an organized learning environment. Workers with variable schedules and no designated workspace may struggle to learn effectively from disorganized digital materials. An LMS can provide a dedicated online learning environment for deskless workers that can be customized to each individual learner’s needs and preferences.
The concepts of deskless worker training and microlearning go hand in hand. Microlearning courses are one of the best kinds of resources for deskless workers. But before we get into the details — what is microlearning?
Microlearning theory is a style of education that prioritizes brevity and convenience. It relies on short, to-the-point modules that deliver information to learners one piece at a time. This style of learning is perfect for deskless workers who don’t have the ability to attend long courses all at once. Instead, they can use microlearning courses to consume the information at their own pace.
Here are only a few of the advantages of microlearning:
Obviously, one of the benefits of breaking courses into shorter sections is that shorter courses take learners less time to complete. This is a very important consideration for deskless worker training because one of the primary challenges of training deskless workers is lack of time.
Microlearning courses are extremely flexible. They can cover any of the same subjects a longer course can — you can simply break a larger, broader course into bite-sized pieces, or you can design short courses that are meant to be quick and informative support resources for very specific topics.
Since they’re much shorter than regular courses, microlearning courses are typically less expensive to build. Shorter courses can be designed much more quickly, which allows you to deliver a large number of microlearning courses to your workers in a short period of time. This short turnaround time is perfect for a rapidly changing deskless workforce.
One of the most pressing challenges in nearly every kind of education is learner engagement. Microlearning courses are concise and easy to digest, which can aid knowledge retention. One of the best ways to engage your deskless workers is to give them access to a mobile digital learning experience right in the palms of their hands.
Deskless workers are only one of the groups that could be impacted by microlearning. Benefits like these could extend to any of your employees, and even other groups like partners or customers.
One of the best tools for training a deskless workforce is a learning management system. An LMS like Northpass can provide solutions to many of the challenges of deskless workforce training in addition to many other benefits.
Deskless workers need an easy way to find relevant training content without help. An LMS can serve as a central repository for all your training content so your workers know exactly where to search when they need help. You can also be sure all your workers are receiving accurate and consistent training information when you keep all your materials organized in one location.
It can be difficult to establish an effective learning environment for deskless workers who don’t have the opportunity to participate in an instructor-led course. An LMS like Northpass helps solve this problem by offering extensive customization features that enable tailored learning experiences for each worker.
Mobile optimization is key for deskless worker training. Learning management systems like Northpass make it simple to deliver courses that look and feel great on mobile devices of all kinds.
One of the best ways to train deskless workers is with embedded learning experiences. If your deskless workers regularly use any kind of software tool, like an app, to perform their jobs, you can use an LMS to embed training content directly into the app experience.
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