Empowering Deskless Employees through Competency Based Training

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The term “deskless employees” has gained prominence in today’s work landscape, referring to workers who do not operate from a traditional office setting. These employees, often found in industries such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and field services, face unique challenges that demand innovative approaches to training and development. Among these approaches, competency based training stands out as a powerful tool to empower deskless employees and enhance their skills, performance, and overall job satisfaction.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the concept of competency based training for deskless employees and explore its benefits and how you can implement it to better engage your workforce.

What is Competency Based Training?

Competency based training is a training approach that focuses on building specific skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to excel in a particular job role. Unlike traditional training methods that emphasise the accumulation of theoretical knowledge, competency based training centres on practical skills that employees can apply directly to their tasks. This approach aligns with the needs of deskless workers who often require hands-on expertise to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

An essential component of competency based training is measuring an employee’s ability to perform a task or achieve an objective. The emphasis is on identifying gaps in their skill set and providing training to fill such deficiencies.

Albert is a mobile training solution that helps managers efficiently train their deskless employees by allowing them to provide just-in-time learning and need-based training via their mobile devices.

5 Advantages of Competency Based Training

Advantages of Competency-Based Training

1. Tailored Learning Pathways

One of the significant advantages of competency based training for deskless employees is its ability to provide tailored learning pathways. Each employee can have different strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Competency-based training acknowledges this diversity and allows organizations to create personalized training plans for individual employees. This ensures that training content is relevant, engaging, and aligned with the employee’s role, fostering a deeper sense of connection between the training material and their day-to-day responsibilities.

3. Measurable Progress and Performance

Competency based training is inherently outcomes-focused. It places a strong emphasis on measurable progress and performance. Rather than simply completing a set number of training hours, deskless employees are evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate the skills and competencies required for their role. This measurement-based approach provides a clear understanding of an employee’s strengths and areas for improvement, enabling targeted training interventions where needed.

Read to learn more about how you can gain insights on employee engagement to scale up success and accomplish business objectives with Albert.

3. Enhanced Engagement and Motivation

Deskless employees often work independently and remotely, which can lead to feelings of isolation and disengagement from the organization. A report from 2019 highlighted this problem, revealing that only 14% of frontline workers felt connected to their business headquarters, and just 3% felt connected to the top executives. This highlights the disconnect between corporate leadership and the workforce, often deskless, on the ground.

Competency-based training can counteract this by creating engaging and interactive learning experiences. Practical and job-relevant training modules help employees connect their learning to real-world scenarios, making the training more meaningful and motivating. As employees see their skills improving and their performance advancing, their sense of achievement and engagement with their work naturally increases.

4. Flexibility and Accessibility

Competency based training is well-suited for the deskless workforce due to its flexibility and accessibility. Many deskless employees have irregular schedules or work in remote locations, making it challenging to participate in traditional classroom-style training. Competency-based training can be delivered through various mediums such as online platforms, mobile apps, or even hands-on workshops, allowing employees to access training materials when and where it’s most convenient for them.

5. Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Industries employing deskless workers often experience rapid changes in technology, regulations, and best practices. Competency based training fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, ensuring that deskless employees stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field. By focusing on skills that are relevant to their roles, employees are better prepared to navigate changing industry landscapes and contribute to the organization’s success.

How to Implement a Competency Based Training Program

Skill Assessment

Begin by conducting a comprehensive analysis of the competencies required for each job role within the deskless workforce. Collaborate with HR, managers, and current employees to identify the specific skills and abilities that contribute to successful job performance. This assessment can involve job task analysis, interviews, surveys, and observation of experienced employees in action.

Personalized Learning Paths

Based on the skill assessment, develop personalized learning paths for individual employees. Recognize that each employee may have different starting points and learning preferences. Craft training plans that address skill gaps while building upon existing strengths. These paths should outline the sequence of training modules and activities, allowing employees to progress at their own pace.

Interactive Content

Design training content that is interactive, engaging, and relevant to the job roles of deskless employees. Utilize a variety of formats, including videos, simulations, interactive modules, and hands-on exercises. This diverse approach caters to different learning styles and ensures that the training is practical and applicable to real-world scenarios.

Assessment and Feedback

Incorporate regular assessments to measure employees’ progress in acquiring the targeted competencies. These assessments can take the form of quizzes, practical exercises, case studies, or even on-the-job evaluations. Provide timely and constructive feedback to employees, highlighting their accomplishments and areas that require improvement. Clear feedback not only guides their learning journey but also reinforces a culture of continuous improvement.

Discover more about how you can deliver effective feedback to your employees.

Recognition and Rewards

Implement a system to recognize and reward employees as they successfully attain specific competencies. This recognition can take the form of certificates, digital badges, or internal announcements. Celebrating achievements reinforces the value of competency based learning and motivates employees to pursue further skill development.

To Wrap Up

Competency based training has emerged as a crucial approach for empowering deskless employees with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles. This method shifts the focus from theoretical knowledge to practical competencies, providing personalized learning pathways, measurable progress tracking, and enhanced engagement. As organizations recognize the value of investing in their deskless workforce through competency based training, they can build a more skilled, motivated, and adaptable workforce that contributes significantly to the organization’s overall success in an ever-evolving business landscape.


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