The modern world is full of distractions, and technology often makes it much easier for distractions to find you. It’s easy to want to tune out and go low-tech just to keep people from getting sidetracked. When it comes to the internet, educational institutions have long been weary of students logging in during class time, but this is changing. More teachers are realizing the benefits of online learning, and so too must industry trainers. The idea of letting your trainees bring smartphones and tablets to the workplace might seem risky, but like many things in management, it is not the tools, but the culture that drives activity. So it is with online kaizen training. The right approach will get people familiar with the tools of process improvement and ensure that they are using technology in the right way.
Every day, the internet gives us choices. We can get the latest international news, find out what our friends had for breakfast, learn a new skill, create cute animal memes, buy an anniversary present, or have an affair. Obviously some activities are a lot more virtuous than others. Technology gives us the choice but it doesn’t make it for us. Just like a kid hiding a comic book behind their biology textbook, people in the workplace can try to appear productive while “liking” pictures of dogs in Christmas sweaters on their smartphone. A culture of Kaizen, or continuous improvement, will keep people engaged and motivated in their job, so using online training programs should do the same. In fact, showing this kind of trust in the workforce by letting them take command of their own learning process will get the ball rolling toward a culture of empowerment. This is a major factor for sustaining continuous improvement. If employees don’t feel trusted, they wont feel empowered, and they wont seek out solutions on their own when faced with a problem.
Allowing employees to access online kaizen training material in their own way and at their own pace sends the clear message, “We believe you have the power to improve, and we trust you with that power.” In this way, training itself becomes an act of continuous improvement, and the method of training becomes the first lesson. Ultimately, if you want people to learn to manage themselves, you have to let them manage their own learning. Online learning management systems are great tools for achieving this. People should be held accountable for how they use their time online, but you shouldn’t automatically assume they would spend it on Facebook.