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Take a Cue From YouTube When it Comes to Training Your Firstline Workers

Take a Cue From YouTube When it Comes to Training Your Firstline Workers

Effective training for firstline workers is essential. As we explored previously, many companies fail to hit the mark on training their field workers. 

Utilizing mobile video is one solution to providing effective training to your field force—this blog explores why you should take a cue from popular video platform YouTube.

How people are using YouTube

According to Pew Research Center, 51% of YouTube users say YouTube is very important for them to learn how to do new things, whether that’s how to make a certain recipe, fix an appliance, or anything in between.

Given how many people use YouTube, that equates to a full 35% of all U.S. adults who rely on the platform to learn new things. Further, if you take into consideration people who say YouTube is somewhat important for them to learn new things, 86% of users use the platform at least sometimes to learn new things. Why is this so important? Beyond the fact that video is so powerful, it’s a way to help people learn where they are, in real-time.

It’s important to keep in mind that with that large percentage of users relying on YouTube for learning new things, it represents far more than just the younger generation. In fact, all of these statistics span age ranges, with plenty of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers taking advantage of video-based learning in their daily lives. 

Finally, it’s critical to note that 70% of watch time on YouTube comes from mobile devices. This isn’t a big surprise, given how popular mobile devices are today for all streaming and online activities, but it’s important to call out regardless. When thinking about firstline workers, their digital applications are typically run on mobile devices, making those the perfect medium to show training videos out in field. 

To recap, 86% of YouTube users use the platform to learn new things, representing all ages and demographics. 70% of those people watch their videos on mobile, translating perfectly to the experience of a typical firstline worker out in the field.

The benefits of learning with video

There are benefits to learning with video for all ages, particularly because everyone has different learning styles. However, adults approach learning differently than children—there are several “adult learning theories” that explore the best way to make adult learning as effective as possible.

The Theory of Andragogy by Malcolm Knowles is a popular one that incorporates several other theories. In summary, adults want learning to be more:

  • Self-directed 

  • Task-oriented vs memorization (in context of their job duties)

  • Problem-centered vs content-oriented 

  • Experiential and hands-on 

How to apply it to your workforce

Using mobile video for training firstline workers applies perfectly to the Andragogy theory principles discussed above. 

  • Self-directed: Workers can watch training videos individually, at their own pace, rewind if desired, go back and reference when needed, and can fast forward through parts they’re already familiar with.

  • Task-oriented/experiential: Videos typically teach in a task-centered way that allows the worker to see exactly how they’d apply a certain skill within their job duties. Then, they have the opportunity to practice it along with the video, since they are typically watching the video on the mobile device they run the application on. The mobile device also makes the training available when and where the worker needs it, making it as hands-on as necessary.

  • Problem-centered: Effective learning videos are not comprised of someone talking at the workers, but rather are situational, much like the task-oriented point above. This allows workers to see scenarios, challenges and more in context, teaching them how to operate in the context of the job site.

Effective training for firstline workers is essential in ensuring the successful implementation and ongoing use of digital solutions. Though there are many challenges in typical training exercises, taking a page out of YouTube’s playbook can be key to avoiding these missteps.

Ready to optimize training for your firstline workers? Grab this guide highlighting 5 best practices for digital training to get started.

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