We’ve all been there— it’s a hectic day at the office, you’re overwhelmed with tasks and problems to solve, and in walks Bob from Marketing to ask you how to build a function in Excel.
Once you’ve helped Bob out, you’re a few hours poorer and back at your desk with the same growing pile of to-dos. You end up scrambling and maybe even staying late to get it all done— that is, if Marcia from Sales doesn’t show up with a software problem of her own.
In a busy office and especially at a busy time of year, there simply isn’t time for all this troubleshooting and last-minute user education. So how do you supply Bob and Marcia with the tools and info they need while still making sure you can get your own work done?
Scaling help-desk demands with ILT
Instructor-Led Training, or ILT, is a reliable solution that will save you and your team countless precious hours—hours you need to make the real magic happen.
Essentially, ILT is a learning format that features a live instructor and one or more students. It can be conducted virtually or in person, in a large classroom, or in a more focused group.
By providing a live instructor who can answer questions and adapt to a team’s needs, ILT prepares individuals to solve problems on their own and thrive in the fast-paced settings we talked about earlier. Let’s explore how a few hours of ILT can save time for everyone in the long run.
Preparation and practice
When Bob comes running down the hall with his dilemma, he’s looking for a moment of focus and attention with a subject matter expert (and he’s hoping that’s you). Once he gets a little help and maybe a quick walkthrough, he can resolve the issue and get back to his work.
The only problem? Solving Bob’s problem takes up both your time—and given IT’s increasing workload, you don’t have time to waste.
ILT solves the problem for both of you. With a few hours of live instruction, Bob gets what he needs—a focused environment for learning and specific attention from a subject matter expert. You also get what you need—more time to tackle your latest tech project.
On top of providing a focused educational environment, ILT offers even more to new learners because of the actively engaged, live instructor.
Live instructors can adapt the lesson to meet various learning styles and paces. They can check for individual comprehension and ensure that each student comes away with an understanding of their tech. Soon, Bob’s got a good grip on the software, and he’s equipped for the long haul.
Troubleshooting before there’s trouble
After all that education, Bob knows his way around Excel. Because his instructor checked for understanding and helped him use the software to meet his specific needs, he’s got a good grasp on the tools he needs to complete regular tasks.
But even after Bob's general worksheet training, there will be job-specific problems that come up at work and fall outside of the bare-bones basics. How do we prepare him for snags and snares so that they don't become roadblocks that take up valuable time?
Good news. ILT offers more than just live instructors who know their stuff. ILT also provides a safe, low-stress setting where learners and teachers can troubleshoot job-specific issues together in advance of emergencies that could derail the team in a more hectic setting.
By identifying relevant pain points and use cases, instructors and participants can solve problems before they even start. So, the next time Bob runs into the problem that initially stumped him, he can think back to the ILT troubleshooting and valuable practice that prepared him for just this kind of a jam.
NOTE: You can also refer Bob to targeted learning content in the BrainStorm platform as a self-learning supplement to ILT.
Learning from each other– in and out of the classroom
The most common and cost-effective way to educate a team is to educate them as a group— and luckily, there are all sorts of advantages to applying ILT in a group educational setting.
For starters, learning as a group offers each student the opportunity to learn from other participants’ questions and the instructor’s answers. When Marcia asks a question Bob hadn’t thought of, he realizes he’s faced that problem, too. Now they both know what to do.
Group learning also creates a valuable opportunity to bond as a team. Making room for training creates a specific time and setting that feels separate from the regular work week and helps teammates get out of that “daily grind” mindset and into a safe, friendly learning environment. Growing together through problem solving and exercises can help foster unity.
Finally, educating a team together creates a foundation of knowledge for all of them, which makes them more interdependent in the long run. Because each team member has developed a level of expertise in the subject matter and because they learned about it together, they’re more likely to turn to each other when issues or questions arise.
Remember Marcia, who was coming down the hall after Bob? Now that they’ve participated in ILT together, both Marcia and Bob have a grip on the same software, and a friendly rapport developed during in-class problem solving. Marcia is also great at Excel functions, which means that Bob can turn to her for a quick solution instead of rushing down the hall to your office.
How ILT saves time in the long run
After your team has experienced a few hours of technology-based ILT, it’s time to review how instructor-led education saved time for all of you.
First, folks like Bob have a much more comprehensive understanding of their software’s capability and how to use it. Each attendee is more efficient at accomplishing run-of-the-mill daily tasks and avoiding common snags with their mastery of the basics. Efficiency and fewer problems = more time for their workflow—and yours.
Second, ILT sidesteps hours of troubleshooting because Bob gets to bring up his specific pain points and work directly with the instructor to solve his problems. By clarifying those issues in class, he’s more likely to untangle related snags on his own. That key training means less troubleshooting in the moment for you and Bob. Bam— that’s a few hours off your plate and less stress and hassle for Bob as well.
And third, ILT saves team hours by educating attendees as a team, which builds a more solid and interdependent working group. Now, each team member has a baseline level of knowledge and a friendly rapport built by learning together in the ILT session.
Here’s the thing. When everyone has some level of subject matter expertise, it’s easier to turn to the guy two desks over instead of running over to the IT office. A more interdependent team is a more efficient team. And their efficiency leaves more time for you to complete your tasks.
In retrospect, those few hours of ILT saved many more hours for the folks in the IT office and the team back in Marketing. When each employee has the tools and skills they need to succeed, everything runs more smoothly.
Which ILT offerings are the best fit for your organization? Funny you should ask. Click here to learn more about Instructor-Led Training.