How to Beat ‘Back to School Blues’

an alternative to traditional staff training

The return to school signifies the end of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least). Long days of carefree joy are replaced with fixed routines, early starts, classroom lessons, and dreaded homework. I’m sure that, given the choice, most children would prefer running through the cheerful weeks in the sunshine over sitting through cloudy months of learning algebra.

Of course, there is an inherent cost associated with returning to school. Education may be free, or it may be one of your bank account’s most painful monthly miseries. As if tuition costs weren’t enough, consider new uniforms, bags, pencils, pencil cases, laptops, calculators, files, papers, rulers, and every other requirement typical 12-year-olds need to survive school. In short, the cost of teaching a child is an expensive adventure.

Switching your freight forwarding system from one provider to another can be its own kind of adventure, and there will always be an inherent educational cost to consider. Traditionally, this has involved removing your staff from your day-to-day operations to spend long hours with external training resources, costing you time and productivity. Also, bringing in ‘experts’ who travel the world to train classrooms of your employees comes with a high cost. Today, it’s neither scalable nor affordable, and once the trainers leave your office, you have only an impression of the lesson the training leaves behind. If you need more information or clarification about a subject or software, then you must bring them back.

Why not eliminate the need for external trainers and direct your internal staff to train themselves?

Type “tutorial” into YouTube, and you find over 100 million results. Some will only be useful for learning to braid hair or carve a melon into a cat, but more and more people are turning to bite-sized video content to find answers for all their questions. Why should learning about your new software be any different? There are over 600,000 videos that teach Microsoft Word and six times that many for Excel. Market-leading software developers are catching on to this trend and are building a vast library of learning materials. From in-depth training sessions to abbreviated FAQ’s, training video repositories are becoming larger and larger.

The benefits of utilizing video tutorials are boundless. It removes the large capital outlay that you would historically have spent to fly, feed, and accommodate a software training expert visiting your office. You also have a method of educating your staff at the press of a button, repeating as necessary until all are fully trained. Most importantly, you don’t even have to remove staff from their desks for a single day, let alone a week. Video content initiates an “on-demand” learning process. Staff can learn at their own pace by simply selecting the videos they need precisely when they are needed. Once they have completed the basic training tutorials, they can easily reach specific videos if they feel stuck using specific aspects of the application. Don’t know how to print your document? Don’t know how to change your password? No problem, look in the video library. Your staff will now know where to go.

Not only does this ease your staff through the transition, it also helps you implement your system. All the key settings can be explained. All the ways of using the system are there for you to learn. You really won’t need the vendor help desk at all.

The first day of school is always daunting, but having the right tools makes learning fun. By taking advantage of bite-sized video tutorial training, you beat the back to school blues when your business transitions to new software.