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Training Your New Employees by Using a Virtual Meeting

It’s a rather annoying fact of life that we often have to haul ourselves out of a nice warm bed to start our day. We’re cruelly yanked from dreamland by the electronic beep of an alarm and have maybe one or two blissful confused seconds before we need to get up and start our day, whether it’s off to work or off to school, and “Mom, just five more minutes” is a common phrase shouted at mothers across the world as they try to get their kids out of bed. Technology has made this process easier for many of us and those who work at home are subject to understandable envy. They get to log into their office intranet from their home computer, meaning their commute is just the 12 seconds or so it takes to walk to their desk. Education has also been revolutionized by technology, particularly video conferencing, meaning that while the trip to the classroom or lecture hall is still necessary, it’s possible to beam an educator or more usually, a guest lecturer, right into the room.

The concept of the virtual meeting is also beginning to shape the way that training is delivered to new employees at an organization. The fact that the medium can be used to deliver straightforward information in the manner of an instructional video, as well as allowing for an interactive question and answer session with a trainer, means that imparting relevant information to new employees via video conferencing is quickly becoming an efficient training method. While standard consumer video conferencing systems are generally not up to the job, there are a number of systems specifically developed for the corporate arena, such as those offered by Blue Jeans Group video conferencing which make the job of bringing new employees up to speed… well, rather speedy actually.

Video Conferencing for Learning
A quick Google search for “training via video conference” demonstrates just how quickly education is moving into the video conferencing arena. A vast number of freelance educators have set up businesses that have been developed specifically to exploit this method of communication. A lot of it seems very casual – usually people with varying qualifications who have set themselves up to offer lessons in an area that is generally best taught verbally, such as a foreign language. If you want to learn French via video conferencing, you can find a wide variety of options online, usually at a far more attractive price than if you were going to a traditional school or community college. The instructor has minimal overheads, and any training materials are delivered to the student in an entirely electronic format. There’s no classroom or workspace to rent and the cost of data streaming is usually covered by the teachers existing bandwidth allowance, which can even be cheaper than something used solely for recreational use, since the internet has now become a tax deductible business expense.

Training New Staff via Video Conferencing
A number of medium to large companies, generally with a diverse workforce still have a group of dedicated trainers who oversee new employee induction and training. Let’s look at retail as an example. A trainer might head from city to city on a periodic basis, conducting training sessions that might go from anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks. In larger companies these trainers might well be based in a permanent office, without the necessity of travel, but a large company with multiple outlets across the country will generally have to send the trainer to a number of different destinations. The trainer covers corporate culture, company expectations, as well as educating new employees on the actual requirements of the position, not to mention company etiquette and any technical training, such as operation of the Point of Sale system. There are often Team Building “fun” exercises which are met with amusement and/or eye rolling by the assembled group of new employees. Is this process still necessary in this day and age? Blue Jeans Group video conferencing allows trainers to work from a centralized office, still delivering the same relevant content, slashing the required time and labor, not to mention travel costs. Video conferencing allows for multiple participants and so new employees can be patched into the training session from the comfort of their own computers.

Final Thoughts
Distance education has made use of video conferencing ever since the technology became viable and corporations are slowly beginning to learn the benefits of the medium for training new employees. It allows a trainer to instruct groups of varying sizes without leaving the office, and without the employee needing to travel. Material can be delivered via email or displayed on a screen and the method also gives the options of learning at their own pace and asking follow up questions as needed. Give it a try when it comes to training new employees, and you’ll be pleased the results.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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