Gone are the days of creating lengthy manuals stored in big binders that ultimately serve as a haven for dust bunnies after your staff orientation. Student staff members are digital natives that are accustomed to having multiple devices with readily accessible internet access to “Google” the answers they seek. Studies show they have an attention span of approximately eight seconds and are multi-tasking masters.
In general, they respond best to visual communication – making YouTube videos a great resource for on-the-job training. The use of technology to perform and track daily job duties has become an expectation. So, how do you adjust manuals and training tools to meet the needs of this new generation? Here are several ideas utilized by campuses across the country:
- Consider the iPad as the new “training binder” that can be populated with multiple resources and apps that move your operations to the cloud.
- Think of your manuals as a quick how-to guide versus long chapters of descriptions and instructions.
- Investigate ways to facilitate real-time communications via digital memos, group text messaging services and email notifications.
- Create training videos you can store in a software solution that can be accessed on the fly. Some Academy Award Winning video training topics include:
- The Great Mystery of The Volleyball Stanchion Set Up
- The Puzzling Projector – How to set up the AV equipment
- Blood, Guts and Glory– Bloodborne pathogens clean up
- Paper Towel Dispenser Reload Revolution – How to restock the paper towel dispenser
- Create digital forms that allow you to upload photos or videos to capture specifics on issues like broken equipment, safety audits and climbing wall checklists.
- As shared by Ben Burnham of Colorado State University and Scott Lehmann of Towson University in their presentation, “Using Technology to Transform Risk Management,” you can also create paperless emergency response plans, accident reports and inspections.
- Manage staff certifications and trainings via a database tool or software solution with automatic reminder reports.
When considering these electronic formats, it is important to look for ways to centralize your links, apps and online forms. While it is great to have a variety of resources available to your staff, too many can also be confusing. You will also want to plan for the rare moment when you may be “offline” and select a solution that allows you to operate even when WiFi is not available. And finally, you will want to be sure the solutions you select are HIPAA, FERPA and 508 compliant.
By clearing the clutter and going to the cloud, you can create manuals that save you time and speak to the next generation of staff members.