To introduce his training staff to e-learning, Jabil Circuit's Training Manager, Michael McGinness, asked them to cast their nets across the Internet.
"I had them go out, find vendors and try out products," he says, "and they quickly saw how much was out there, some of it specific to the very equipment Jabil uses. They realized if we didn't take charge of e-learning in our organization, somebody else would. Basically, we all realized our biggest threat was in not embracing the new technology."
The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company's initial foray into e-learning took the form of sophisticated PowerPoint shows that the staff took part in developing. "It helped that the trainers were able to start out with PowerPoint without having to learn something complicated, like Authorware or Flash, from scratch," he says. "For people with relatively rudimentary computer skills, that's just too much new to learn."
Following the initial ventures, McGinness provided regular development opportunities and performance support, from subscriptions to e-learning journals to regular visits with vendors. "My organization proved to the trainers that their jobs weren't being threatened and that we wanted them to succeed," he says. "They saw that we were working to provide them with a critical skill set to keep them safe. That's how we won the battle with trainer fears." —J.B.