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Teaching new technology to older workers through eLearning

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Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager
2018-08-05

Most companies are made up of employees of various ages and backgrounds, with staff members of different generations working together in the one organisation.

Think about your various teams for a minute – you most likely have a number of Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and millennials working together, bringing a diverse mix of experience, knowledge and skills to the business.

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As beneficial as this is for your company, a multi-generational workforce can sometimes make learning and development programs a little tricky, due to differences in learning styles and technological abilities.

While younger team members might prefer high-tech, independent training methods, older staff may need something more traditional and trainer-led. And unfortunately, the more mature generation of workers can sometimes be forgotten when we look at how learning and learning technology benefits employees.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your training materials are engaging and effective for all generations, including older team members.

Here, we look at how you can use online courses to successfully train older workers, and why eLearning is such an effective training solution for learners of all generations.

Using eLearning to train older employees

A large sector of today’s workforce, being middle-aged or older, are from the 1946 to 1964 generation – more commonly known as the Baby Boomers. It’s unwise to assume that this generation is averse to technology, as many Boomers are in fact very tech savvy!

However, unlike millennials, or even Gen X, the older generation haven’t grown up with tech devices playing a large role in everyday life. So they still have quite a different mindset when it comes to learning.

And with the ongoing digitisation of workplaces around the world, older workers may struggle to keep pace with rapid change and new technologies.

Keeping employee skills up-to-date

eLearning, through online training courses, provides companies with a very practical and accessible way for employees to keep their skills up-to-date.

HR and Safety Manager Liza Jones believes eLearning is “a great way to address the de-skilling that can occur if a mature-age worker is in the same role for an extended period of time.”

When introducing online training to older team members, Jones recommends talking about the benefits for employees in updating their skills – such as feeling more confident, capable and satisfied in their roles.

“Mindset and attitude are extremely important when you’re presenting eLearning to your mature-age workforce for the first time. Although it’s important to talk about how eLearning will make your organisation more successful, it’s just as important to show .”

The benefits of online training for the boomer generation

So what exactly are the benefits of eLearning and online training?

With online learning, you’ll find you can give employees the flexibility, autonomy, customisation and engagement they want and need – regardless of age.

A good learning management system will allow you to create custom content, specific to your audience and their training needs. This way, your eLearning courses can be designed to perfectly fit your target audience, allowing you to tailor online courses specifically to your business and workforce.

Older workers will embrace eLearning when the online materials are intuitive, user-friendly and easy to navigate. Make sure your course can be navigated easily, without frustration. You might like to check out our tips for good eLearning course design, to help you design online materials in the best way possible for your learners.

Using Go1 to train staff of all ages

As we said above, eLearning allows you to easily tweak and tailor your training materials to perfectly suit your learning audience – whatever age they may be.

The Go1 platform allows you to create the exact courses you need for your employee training needs, whether it’s for onboarding, professional development or workplace compliance.

Make sure you’re providing online training that is ongoing and consistent, for all workers. And continue to promote the benefits of continual learning for your employees. With engaged, productive and motivated employees, you can expect to see a more positive workforce and better results for your business.

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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