April 21, 2024

Why customised e-learning training is key to automotive success

3 min read

No more than 20 years ago, the idea of virtual and augmented reality shaping the automotive sector would have seemed absurd. But this is indeed the ‘reality’ that has come to pass.

There are now systems in place that negate the need for a trip to the mechanic when a check light illuminates on the dashboard. Today, a driver can simply scan a barcode and the problem will be identified on a screen.

This is only one of the numerous ways in which the auto industry is being transformed. Electric, autonomous and highly connected vehicles are right here, right now – and it is beholden to manufacturers to equip employees for the changes as soon as possible.

Given that many manufacturers have assembly plants spanning the globe, traditional classroom-based training is too slow for the purposes of bringing everyone up to speed.

This is where e-learning has become so useful to car companies.

Michael Hanly, managing director of South African learning solutions provider New Leaf Technologies, says the benefit of a learning management system (LMS) is that a variety of content can be supplied from one portal. The LMS can also be accessed via multiple devices so that learning can occur at any time.

“You need to keep in mind that there are technologies, processes and technologies that are unique to the automotive sector. Thanks to the LMS’s capabilities, content can be adapted to the need of the industry and workers can receive the most relevant information,” he says.

Each auto company has its own unique culture. Content that may resonate with workers in one firm may not in another. But because the system can be customised, the most targeted, engaging and interactive content relevant to that specific group of employees can be taught and learnt.

Consistency through standardisation is another huge benefit, Hanly says. “Even if employees are in different parts of the world, they are all receiving the same information. The benefit is that there is a higher level of competence and quality across the company.”

Perhaps one of the biggest boons is that content can be changed as quickly as it needs to. With ongoing digital disruption in the motor industry, modules can be updated quickly and easily to keep staff abreast of the latest developments.

E-learning in the auto space should meet several key criteria.

“The first is the rollout of specialised knowledge. Here you are talking about things like automotive technologies, manufacturing, supply chains and safety requirements,” Hanly says. “E-learning should also bridge the skills gap. The more competent employees you have, the more the demands of the industry can be met.”

Another big box to tick is cost-effectiveness, particularly in an industry that is inherently expensive. By tailoring course material to the specific needs of the company and discarding unnecessary content, time can be better utilised – which ultimately saves the carmaker money.

What all companies will be looking for is an e-learning experience that gives them a competitive advantage in the market. It stands to reason that a well-trained workforce will deliver better products and services, leading to higher earnings.

“The e-learning programme should also be able to attract top talent and retain good workers,” Hanly adds.

“Word will quickly get round the industry if a company is offering opportunities for skills development. That will be a big lure for talented individuals hoping to advance their careers. Similarly, programmes such as these can help retain employees. They will appreciate the efforts being made to invest in them and will stay with the firm as a result.”

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