It’s understandable how the COVID-19 pandemic boosted pandemic-related training for remote workers, whether it was accomplished with or without smart workforce management. But going forward, since a lot of field-service and “deskless” employees interact with customers, soft skills training should be improved using the same technologies.

Millennials make up a majority of today’s remote workforce, and it’s understandable why they prefer mobile devices for training, professional development and education, according to recent surveys. Gen-Z employees are now entering the workforce too, and their appetite for learning and their taste for technologically remote convenience is nearly the same.

Because both generations love tablets and smartphones, we can expect the importance of mobile devices and platforms to grow. Additionally, many employees of all ages may prefer mobile devices but don’t know it yet.

However, only a small minority say in surveys that they received most of their training on a mobile device. In recent years, human resources technology has gotten more focused on deskless employees, but only a small percentage of software investment funding has actually gone toward technology that hyper-focuses on remote and deskless employees.

Creating the right training opportunities for deskless workers is a huge opportunity for training initiatives — and smart workforce management software. After a month, most employees forget half of what they learned from any given training session — whether it was in-person or delivered remotely. Employees may soon forget what they learn without reinforcement or follow-up training, and that’s where convenient workforce training and development apps and programs for mobile devices come into play.

A large majority of today’s workforce can be remote at a moment’s notice in today’s economy. Organizations must provide the right training to both their deskbound employees and remote staff via the right technology, software, and apps.

Smart Workforce Management: Tech Needs Vs. Wants

One overarching smart workforce management technology question business leaders are grappling with today is: “What’s needed and what’s not?” One of the biggest challenges is balancing technology’s ability to enable collaboration, innovation, and productivity with the need to reinforce trust and advance the culture.

Some workplace technology, unfortunately, has garnered a bad reputation. Some studies show that more than one-third of U.S. employees are frustrated with their workplace’s digital applications, systems, and platforms, and nearly half often say workplace tech either doesn’t make them happy at work — or it actually made their jobs harder.

Now is the time for businesses to figure out what works and what doesn’t based on what they learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. This process has made employees expect a new standard of workplace technology. Some businesses are investing more in technology to keep their employees. Every company’s workplace technology is different, just like every other area of tech. However, human resources software and applications fall into the same boat as the others: the need for convenience and efficiency must rival the cost.

By some estimates, at least half of U.S. companies are planning to invest more into workforce management technology tools going into 2023. Although many businesses are now finally willing to invest, several have trouble implementing workplace technology.

The ‘Deskless’ Nomad and Smart Workforce Management

Most training and development initiatives discussed in the small business and corporate worlds today are all about desk-bound employees and not about how smart workforce management can be implemented.

But how should remote workers actually be trained? Recent surveys by a variety of research organizations and corporate fact-finding campaigns show that a majority of deskless employees say they’d feel more connected to their employer’s values and mission if they had access to additional training.

What’s more: The tablet or smartphone is increasingly becoming the preferred device for training for most remote employees, according to a variety of industry surveys and studies over the past couple of years:

  • Different industries reveal different numbers — but they all need a similarly crafted smart workforce management Research shows that each industry has a different type of training, preferred devices, and how much training employees actually remembered. For instance, soft skills training was given to less than half of health care and social assistance employees last year. Nearly a quarter of those individuals preferred mobile devices for training, and nearly one-third remembered less than half of what they originally learned. For retail workers (after one month), nearly half remembered less than half of what they learned, and mobile devices were preferred for training by one-third of respondents. However, when it comes to the education industry, about one-tenth percent prefer mobile devices for training, yet half receive ongoing soft skills training. Overall, nearly two-thirds of workers in general say that “boring training” is a problem.
  • Fun makes training more enjoyable. Is there anything you can do to make training more fun? According to some survey respondents, more than half would enjoy education, development, and training a lot more if it was fun. Also, nearly half say they’d enjoy completing it at their own pace (and more fun if it was easier to access). Nearly one-third say training would be fun if it was shorter (yet an overwhelming majority prefer short sessions over regular/ongoing intervals).
  • You can restore your sense of connection with more training — and smart workforce management. Working remote from a company location left nearly one-quarter of respondents feeling somewhat or very disconnected, some surveys show. That’s why it’s important to make sure remote employees feel connected to the organization’s values and mission. A way to solve this problem may be to use technology to bridge the gap between non-desk workers and the office. A lot of respondents say they’d feel more connected if they had access to additional training that was easy to go through on a mobile device.
  • It’s common for people to forget training after one month. What do employees remember from training? Less than 20 percent remember more than half of the training right after it’s over, many surveys reveal. After a month of training, about one-third remember less than half of the material. Also, five out of 10 people don’t remember half of what they learned after one year.
  • Online training is popular among many employees. Some survey respondents have only received training offline, through handbooks, face-to-face, and shadowing, among other employee tactics. Many have never received professional development, education, or training through a smart workforce management However, smartphones and tablets are usually the preferred training devices for at least one-quarter of all workers — no matter the type of business or industry (with younger adults having a higher acceptance rate). Others say they are “somewhat” or “very” comfortable using mobile devices for training.
  • Compliance-related training seems to be the most common denominator for most industries. Nearly three-quarters of some survey respondents say they received compliance training over the last year, whether it was COVID-19-related or hard skills training. The percentage of people who got soft-skills trained was more than 40 percent. Health care and social assistance, retail, hotel and food services, manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehousing, and education reported the highest rates of COVID-19-related training.

Certification Tracking and Smart Workforce Management

Employee certifications can be tracked directly through software so you know the training is going well, worth it, and will help create a long-term strategy for training. Depending on the technology, what fits best, and your budget, a company’s needs will vary.

Maintaining employee motivation, satisfaction, and productivity requires ongoing training in select growth, development, and improvement areas. Continuous education and certification are important, but that’s only half of the job. Without tracking your training results, it’s almost impossible to map them.

Monitoring your employees’ training and certification processes gives you insight into their performance, how effective the training is, and if you’re spending the right amount of time and money. Now that we’ve got cloud-based applications technology within smart workforce management software, companies and organizations can track training processes and access all necessary information with just one click.

VCS Software

VCS Software is your all-in-one solutions platform when it comes to smart workforce management, whether your business, shop, factory, or multi-site operation is large, medium, or small. VCS Software provides the right solutions within human resources and total workforce applications and administration — and so much more.

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