The current method of training and onboarding of new Helpdesk hires at a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) consists of handing the employee a large binder filled with documents that explain the services offered, what steps are taken to troubleshoot each service, a list of equipment that the company has previously/currently installed at customer locations, how-to FAQ’s for navigating the company intranet and dashboards, and then giving the employee a show-and-tell of devices that are not powered up. The current training process does not utilize technology effectively to allow the employee to engage in real-time with the actual software used on the Helpdesk or be able to approach it in a manner that would be reflective of how a troubleshooting call would be accomplished with a customer. After brainstorming the current limitations, challenges and inclusions of the ISP’s training methods, one potential concept for my design challenge is a blended training resource formed through building off the ACTIONS model defined by Tony Bates (Dron, 2014):
- Access: There are multiple workstations throughout the company and all of them are linked to the software used on a daily basis by the Helpdesk. Instead of providing new hires with a binder full of documents showing screenshots of the software, the staff will be provided with a dedicated workstation to learn and interact with the software during the training period.
- Cost: Besides the savings in printing costs by using workstations instead of binders, the company will benefit from using the software they currently utilize instead of investing in additional training software to house the learning environment.
- Teaching and learning: Despite not having a formal training department or specialist, the company has staff with long tenures and experiences. By creating a learning environment that is collaborative helps to encourage relationship building between new hires and tenured staff. By tapping current staff to be involved, there may also be an ancillary benefit as those chosen staff may feel empowered and important which raises morale with no additional costs.
- Interactivity and user friendliness: Incorporating real world simulations with the actual hardware and software being used helps new staff onboard quicker plus also gain confidence for when going live with customers.
- Organizational issues: Historically, the ISP has a habit of throwing new hires into service too early and it becomes a sink or swim environment which leads to frustration to both the employee and the customer since the employee may not be comfortable or ready. Having this new training method may assist in reducing those frustrations and employee turn-over which leads to better employee and customer retention.
- Novelty: My recommendation does not have technological gimmicks for novelty but the learning environment would be seen as a new format that could also be a benefit to ongoing training of current staff when upgraded services are brought on.
- Speed: By utilizing current software and platforms, training sessions could be created quickly and efficiently without the need for additional resources or costs.
Dron, J. (2014). Innovation and Change: Changing how we Change. In Zawacki-Richter, O. & T. Anderson (Eds.), Online distance education: Towards a research agenda.Athabasca, AB: AU Press.