BYOD is a term that’s gaining popularity in the world of corporate training.
If you haven’t heard it yet, BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device.
Would BYOD Be Advantageous for Your Organization?
Undoubtedly we are at a point in society where most of us are attached to our mobile devices. Whether it be a tablet or a smartphone, it’s difficult to put them down. Also falling under the umbrella of BYOD are laptops, although they are more cumbersome and tend to offer less flexibility than phones and tablets.
Right within a fingertips reach is everything from social updates from our family members across the country, to all of our work emails.
There’s hardly a time when most American employees are disconnected from their device, so it logically follows that using them as tools for employee training could be beneficial.
One of the biggest benefits of adopting a BYOD policy for employee training is that users are going to feel inherently more comfortable using their own device. This can make training more appealing and also reduce the amount of time spent troubleshooting problems and issues. When people feel familiar with the technology they’re using to complete training, they can focus more on the information and less on how to navigate the technical process.
Another huge benefit of BYOD training is that it’s going to reduce the cost for the organization providing training. You’re able to train employees on a high-tech device, without shouldering the costs of purchasing those devices. People are going to handle their own device with better care than they might if they were provided a smartphone or tablet from their company. Typically when a company provides employees with a device, there’s going to be a lot of added expenses that come in the form of repairing and replacing broken or lost phones or tablets.
Also, with a BYOD policy employees will have access to valuable training and information no matter where they’re at. There’s no limitation to accessing the information they may need, which can reduce compliance issues and give more flexibility to employees.
The Downsides of BYOD
As with most business concepts, there are potential downsides that can come with a Bring Your Own Device Policy. Before making the leap to this type of training delivery it’s important to understand the disadvantages.
The number one concern for most businesses when deciding on BYOD pertain to legal and security-based issues. When you’re allowing employees to access information from their device there can be problems that arise relating to intellectual property and potential security breaches. When training is delivered on company provided devices, you can control the level of access and securit. You lose this sense of control when opting for BYOD.
It can also get sticky when it comes to the cost employees are responsible for when using their own device for training. While almost every employee may already have a smartphone or tablet, what happens when there’s an employee or two who don’t? In a larger business this number may be much higher.
If your company agrees to pay a portion of costs related to a personal device, how are those expenses tracked and managed when the device is being used for both personal and work purposes?
Additionally, having a BYOD policy can blur the lines of work and personal time and in some situations it may lead to reduced productivity. It becomes difficult to manage what’s being done on these devices, which can counteract the benefits you may have been hoping for when implementing a BYOD approach.
Making BYOD Work
If you’ve weighed the advantages and potential disadvantages of a BYOD workplace and decided it’s a system that will work for your business, consider these best practices:
- Implementing BYOD in the workplace involves the input of several key stakeholders—in many ways even more so than with any other type of training delivery format. Make sure you involve these stakeholders from the beginning. The list may include human resources professionals, members of the IT team and also representatives from your legal team.
- Before you launch your BYOD policy have clear guidelines and rules in place for how this type of training will work. Let employees know not only what is expected of them as a result of your BYOD policy, but also what they’re not permitted to do. The clearer and more specific you are, the less likely there is going to be an issue that arises from a lack of understanding on the part of employees.
- Choose a learning management system that is flexible, versatile and can grow with your employees and your organization. Using an LMS like eLeaP is ideal with a BYOD policy for several reasons. One of which is that we have stringent security tools in place already. Another is that we offer a high degree of flexibility and scalability that can be an excellent match with a Bring Your Own Device workplace.
- Plan for what happens not only to employees who are currently at the company, but also for those employees who leave. You have to remember that along with leaving their position they’re also taking with them a device that has a great deal of information on it. It may be that you require a company mandated device wipe when someone leaves. Just ensure that you let employees know up-front that this is what will happen if they do ever leave the company.
- Enact a policy that requires devices be authorized and authenticated before accessing the business network. This will give you some sense of control over what devices are accessing the network and can provide a higher level of security.
- Prepare for the event of a device being lost or stolen because inevitably it will happen. One way to plan for this is to create a system in which information can be remotely wiped if someone tries to log in incorrectly too many times. Additionally, require that employees use a password for any devices being used for training or within the workplace.
Does your business have a BYOD policy in place? If so, let us know how you make it work and what potential pitfalls you’ve experienced in the process.
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