‹ Back to Blog

Skip Writing the Manual: The Value of Interactive Work Instructions

Modern technology keeps advancing while employee expectations demand interactive work instructions. Are you keeping up?

woman using tablet with bilt interactive work instructions instead of a paper manual

Across all industries, employees are seeking more from their employers. Modern training materials and effective resources that go beyond outdated, text-dependent instructions are great ways to earn your workers’ trust. They want purpose, recognition, clear responsibilities, and opportunities to learn and grow. 

Unfortunately, traditional training methods rarely have the capability to meet employee expectations for a satisfactory experience. Paper manuals often suffer from being static, non-visual, and challenging to navigate. Such tedious instruction can leave employees feeling unclear about what is expected of them. 

As companies strive for enhanced productivity, streamlined processes, and increased employee satisfaction, a more innovative approach to training is essential. Today, 3D Interactive work instructions are a dynamic and impactful way to transform onboarding, training, and upskilling programs to engage employees at all levels. Here’s how.

The Role of Interactive Work Instructions in the Employee Experience

It’s easy to underestimate the value of work instructions. After all, training is only a short period in a long employee journey, right?

In most cases, this isn’t (and shouldn’t be) true. The employee experience encompasses every interaction an employee has with your organization, from the moment they see your job listing to the time they leave the company. Training—part of but not to be confused with initial onboarding—plays a pivotal role in the progressive nature of a satisfactory employee experience. 

Confident employees are satisfied in their role with a company. They understand their work requirements and how their performance contributes to meeting company goals, and they feel there are avenues for growth in their position. Easily accessible and clear work instructions give employees the clarity they crave and the resources to complete tasks effectively. 

Companies that fail to create an interactive learning environment have much to lose. Ninety-six percent of employees say it’s important to continuously develop their work-related skills, and according to one study,  40% of employees who don’t get the necessary training to perform effectively will leave their positions within the first year. 

On top of the desire to successfully complete the tasks required by their position, employees want to avoid stress. Work-related stress impacts 83 percent of US workers, and 25% of those employees say the number one stressor in their lives is their job. Missing information is one of the top work stressors, affecting employees across all industries. The inability to find specific information is frustrating to workers and costly for the companies they work for as cumulative hours spent on fruitless searches lead to productivity decline. 

As millions of baby boomers retire, companies across all industries need the tools to do more with fewer employees, attract new generations of workers, and retain essential organizational knowledge. Interactive work instructions enable organizations to be more agile, streamline processes, and enhance productivity. 

Supporting Your Workforce with Multisensory Learning

According to Gartner, 82% of employees prioritize being seen as individuals instead of faceless workers. However, less than half believe their company actually sees them this way. So, how can employers provide a more human-centric experience? 

To meet the needs of a diverse group of people, it’s essential to conduct processes in a way that invests in workers and presents options for different needs and personalities. This approach can be especially effective when developing educational resources and training programs. 

Related: The Dyslexia Dilemma: Why Written Instruction Manuals Fall Short in Employee and Customer Experience

Individuals respond in different ways to learning materials. Traditional training methods have attempted to combine static written materials with basic drawings and images, sometimes adding training videos to offer a wider learning base. But these materials can be limited in their ability to offer a personalized experience. 

Today’s 3D Interactive work instructions, presented via always-available digital apps, enable employees to benefit from the learning type that suits them best. It also takes instruction one step further by providing hands-on interaction to meet the needs of tactile learners. 

The use of interactive 3D visuals is particularly suited to work instructions. When learners can zoom in on specific images and rotate parts 360 degrees, they can more efficiently and effectively visualize the steps involved in working with the product.

Reducing Wasted Time with Efficient and Targeted Search Features

It’s estimated that the average employee spends 3.6 hours every day searching for information. The stress and hassle of searching for relevant information to complete daily tasks can impact employee morale and organizational productivity. Instructional materials aren’t only used for onboarding and specific periods of new training. They can be used to assist daily processes, troubleshoot problems, and act as a reminder for accurately managing infrequently performed tasks. 

Modern interactive work instructions go beyond video-based solutions to provide immersive 3D imaging for more effective learning in any situation. With zoom and rotation functions, workers can instantly access precise information, viewing a task from the exact angle they need to understand next steps. 

Efficient search features eliminate the endless hunt for information by enabling users to quickly search, scroll, and tap to identify and select relevant information. With easy reference points, workers can use digital instructions during workflows to improve product and system understanding, allowing them to improve skills and speed up processes.

Streamlining Training for Efficient Onboarding and Upskilling

The goal of training isn’t to check a box; it’s to make employees feel confident in their role and empower them to do their job well. When employees can’t perform effectively, they’re likely to feel anxious and stressed. This can quickly lead to job dissatisfaction and disengagement. 

The rise of technology and steadily evolving job roles require employees to constantly learn new information and processes. Employees know that continually developing new skills ensures they’ll stay relevant in their chosen industry. This knowledge is one reason they seek employers who provide L&D opportunities. 

Companies that invest in L&D also reap distinct benefits. By providing employees with effective learning opportunities that enable efficient onboarding, evolving education, and cross-skilling and upskilling, businesses gain the advantages provided by skilled employees. Arming employees with the resources they need to work efficiently and grow within the company results in improved productivity and increased innovation.

Of course, new employees aren’t the only ones interested in learning and development opportunities. Sixty-eight percent of employees say they’re more likely to stay with employers that provide upskilling opportunities. In the same ways that the newest tech gadgets become outdated within a year (or even a few months), workplace skills can quickly become outdated or even irrelevant. Upskilling arms experienced employees with the knowledge they need to work with innovative new technologies and stay up to date on their work.

How 3D Instructions Complement Training Strategies

3D interactive work instructions engage employees and create effective onboarding processes that promote improved learning. Immersive 3D imaging enables learners to interact virtually with products and systems. This hands-on learning approach prepares employees to complete installations, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate effectively with coworkers.

Upskilling is best tackled through advanced, technology-driven work instructions because they can be accessed from a digital platform on practically any mobile device. Employees can use them for reference on the manufacturing floor, in the field, at home, or wherever they work. 

Interactive job instructions allow technicians to learn at their own pace and make it easy to review training materials before completing a job that is new to them. Even experienced employees benefit from reviewing efficient and immediately available instructions in the flow of their work.  

Demonstrating a Commitment to Employees

Although the term “Great Resignation” is fading, recruitment and retention remain a major concern for employers. As more than 75 million baby boomers retire, companies will need to invest in attracting a multi-generational workforce. Due to various circumstances, there is no single generation able to fill the gap. 

Generation X employees are less likely to continue to work full-time as they face the personal demands of caring for children and aging parents at the same time. Millennials are less likely to have the training to step into the roles of retirees in the skilled trades positions where they’re needed most. Meanwhile, Gen Z is entering the workforce with expectations that digital technology will be available for effective training and efficient work processes. 

Related: Attracting & Retaining a New Generation of Workers Through Digital-Forward Practices

To attract a multigenerational workforce, employers need to demonstrate their ability to meet the diverse needs of each generation. Interactive work instructions appeal to the flexibility needs of Gen X employees by enabling them to use mobile devices for remote learning and work processes. They are ideal for knowledge-hungry Millennials who seek L&D opportunities in their employment. Technology-forward training appeals to Gen Z’s desire to work with digital self-serve learning options and to their career advancement expectations.

Ultimately, organizations that invest in digital work instructions to provide effective onboarding and ongoing L&D opportunities demonstrate a commitment to employee satisfaction and advancement. By meeting the expectations of both job seekers and experienced employees, they can better meet recruitment and retention goals. 

Meet the Needs of Modern Employees with Modern Training Solutions

As technology advances and employee expectations evolve, interactive work instructions are a vital component of success. Organizations that seek ways to provide a personalized and supportive employee experiences create opportunities to attract and retain talent while providing an engaging work environment that boosts employee morale. 

Interactive work instructions accessible through the BILT app offer a modern solution for training and upskilling employees. With multisensory learning options and an interactive interface, the app empowers employees to learn faster and perform processes more efficiently. Contact us to learn more about how BILT can help you trade static, text-heavy, cumbersome instructions for engaging and dynamic digital work instructions

Related Articles

Talk to Us