Training appAs the world changes faster and faster, is there anyone who can state that employee education and training isn’t crucial to remaining competitive in the global market? Do you really want your staff to figure out new technology, new processes and new strategies on their own? Or can you see the value of a centralized, structured training program to align and motivate your staff?

Cue all eyes turning to the training department.

No other department in the organization knows how to build and deliver the training that keeps staff motivated, improving and productive. Training professionals have a deep tool set to make training resonate with employees, to make it feel less academic and more like something personally useful and usable.

One tool not considered when thinking of the training tool set is a mobile app. Despite the fact that mobile is the personal and connecting technology of choice, its cost usually keeps it out of training’s hands. Only the largest companies can give training a mobile development budget.

But what if there was a tool, a mobile tool, that wasn’t just affordable, but was in fact already paid for by another department? What if training could take the mobile event app, designed around the three-day meeting or event and repurpose it to fit their own needs?

It might sound crazy, but it’s not. A full-featured event app is really a training app in all but name.

Event managers use their app to: Training can use the same app to:
Pre-populate the app with whatever content is relevant to the event Pre-populate the app with content relevant to the training campaign or to the company’s overall goals
Add more content (and remove old content) over the course of the event Add new content and delete irrelevant content over the weeks and months of the internal training campaign
Instigate and collect conversations between attendees Spark and monitor conversations between staff
Launch a game to encourage use of the app Run games that encourages action and competition to further corporate objectives
Use built-in polls and surveys to take a measurement of sentiment or agreement to content Use the built-in polls and survey tools to track comprehension of content and attitudes about its value
Collect all activity to discover how well the app is being used, what it’s being used for and who is using it Collect all activity to determine who the internal influencers are, what content resonates with audiences, where staff may be confused, where more work is needed to solidify¬†an idea or policy

Clearly, the event app is ripe for the training department to recycle for its own goals, be they training, internal communications, or even internal marketing campaigns.

Besides being already paid for, the staff who will use it have already been trained on how to use it. That three-day meeting gave everyone a bootcamp on how to connect, communicate and learn with the app. Training needs to simply wipe any outdated content and re-fill it with training and other training-related materials. Sadly, training tends to get overlooked as a partner in the development of this powerful tool. So it’s time for HR to step up and take a seat at the table.

If thoughtfully planned and constructed, the event app can have a long lifespan beyond the ballroom, whether it’s in training’s hands or another department, like internal communications, sales or human resources.

This re-use and recycling maximizes the utility and use of the app that event managers have invested in. Extending the utility draws more value from a single investment. The app shifts from a 3-day event app to a 365-day internal app, lowering the per day and per use cost of the app considerably. This will make you the event organizer’s best friend.

However, training can’t just take over the discarded toys of the event. Training needs to be part of the planning and launch conversations upfront so that it understands the capabilities of the app and make appropriate decisions for its own use beyond the event.

While there are plenty of channels and tools for the training department to use to communicate with staff and to train them for the future, its possible that the most powerful tool isn’t strictly a training tool at all. All training has to do is see the opportunity in front of it.