To ensure that your employees know how to perform their jobs up to the company's standard, your business should provide the appropriate technical training. This type of vocational training teaches job-specific skills that can range from using software and machinery to working with financial data and serving customers.
The technical skills your employees need will depend on their specific job roles and their previous experience. Your training options can range from using hands-on methods to taking advantage of comprehensive in-person or online courses.
Technical training involves teaching employees job-specific hard skills that enable them to work proficiently.
What Is Technical Training?
Technical training refers to specific vocational training, meaning the hard skills that employees need to perform their daily job tasks and that managers can clearly measure in terms of proficiency.
While the term might make you think of the IT training industry and skills such as computer programming, data analysis and software development, technical training also encompasses the teaching of basic business skills such as sales, business writing, customer service, math and project management. Employees may learn such hard skills through a university degree program, on-the-job training or even experience on the job.
Technical training contrasts with soft skills training, which instead focuses on teaching interpersonal skills that can help employees excel regardless of their job role. Soft skills training would include teaching topics such as decision making, problem solving, teamwork, time management and communication skills. Such skills are harder for managers to measure than technical skills, although similar training methods such as formal courses, coaching and experience can help develop soft skills.
Examples of Technical Skills Training
Some examples of technical skills training some different positions might require include:
- An accountant may need technical training to use the company's new accounting software, learn the company's internal controls and produce financial statements that meet the company's standards.
- An administrative assistant could receive technical skills training to learn to use Microsoft Office and the office's contact management software as well as operate the phone system.
- A manager's technical skill training may involve learning to use forecasting software, follow project management techniques and spot trends in financial and performance data.
- A digital marketer would need to learn how to create online advertisements, research statistics, use marketing analytics tools and develop content.
- A warehouse employee's technical skills training could range from learning to use a forklift and packing machines to programming the robotics the company uses for automation.
Common Technical Training Methods
Companies can provide technical training through traditional instructional methods like classroom training or the use of hands-on practice, coaching and job observation. Other options include using videos, online courses and seminars.
For example, employees who need to learn an accounting system may take a classroom course or watch videos where an instructor walks them through entering transactions and using common features. On the other hand, new call-center workers may attend instructor-led lessons, do some online lessons independently and then shadow experienced representatives to understand the phone systems and learn key customer service skills.
Technical training for a supervisor might include participating in a company-led manager training program along with being mentored from another manager who allows the trainee to practice handling daily duties.
Organizational Benefits of Technical Training
While the most obvious benefit of technical training is that it enables your employees to perform their jobs well, it has other positive impacts on your workforce and organization as a whole. When you're willing to teach new workers how to use new tools and applications that increase efficiency and add value to your brand, your company can gain a competitive advantage.
Offering technical training can make it easier to recruit high-quality workers and retain motivated employees who want to develop their skills. The job confidence that comes from training also helps improve employee morale, which can have positive effects on work quality, operational costs and productivity.