Whilst it might seem like businesses and employees have other things on their mind right now, well-planned and strategic Learning & Development is as important as ever.
Millions of workers, across the UK, have had to re-adjust how they work and learn over the course of the last year. This could be because they are not au fait with technology; because the pandemic has changed their role within a company; or because they are trying to juggle home schooling or caring with a full-time job.
It’s been a learning curve for everyone.
And, for so many workers, working from home or being on furlough has given them the chance to really think about what it is they want from their careers. This, in turn, has resulted in line managers and employers up and down the country being met with additional training and learning requests.
But how can you teach and inspire remotely? It’s surely just not the same as being face to face with a group of willing learners. Do people take in information via a video call the same way they would in a “classroom setting”?
The short answer is – yes, it is different, but people still want to learn and advance! So, how can you, as a Learning & Development professional adapt your presentations and group work to fit the virtual world and e-learning environment? Here are just some ideas:
Use imagery, not words
You definitely don’t want to just copy and paste your “traditional” training session. People are staring at screens all day, every day – so give them something to stare at! Pair your slide deck right down to visuals and one or two meaningful sentences. No one wants to be trying to focus on what you’re saying in a small square whilst trying to read War and Peace off another small square. Be as visually creative as you possibly can.
Depending on the platform you use, you may well be able to capitalise on a number of functions such as polls, asking questions and break out rooms. It’s really important that you encourage discussion and thinking – this will help embed the message of your training in people’s minds much quicker than talking at them. Encourage lots of interaction between your attendees and each other and with you as the trainer.
Shorten the session
People are stressed and busy and – whilst they might be keen to learn – they might not have time for a two hour training session in the middle of the day. Where possible, try to shorten your training sessions in order to encourage concentration and engagement. If it’s not possible to trim the run time, factor in things such as comfort breaks, group chats or snack breaks in order to keep people fresh.
Align the learning to the company mission
Right now, it’s more critical than ever that the training you deliver makes an impact on your company. Ask the leadership team – what do they want to see more of? What would help people do their jobs more efficiently? What would bring in more sales? You can use this information to tailor your training sessions to ensure that there is maximum ROI for you, the attendees and the business as a whole. Fitting in to the overall strategy is key.
Gamification can mean a number of things. You can get your attendees engaged and motivated by encouraging a bit of friendly competition. Things like picking up points, working towards a leaderboard, earning certificates of completion or maybe even a small cash bonus or gift … These are all ways you “gamify” your training sessions and motivate employees to apply what you have taught them.
The same rules apply as if you had running a “classroom style” training session. Book in time for a video call with your attendees around one week after the initial session to see what they’ve found useful and what they’re struggling with. It’s important to keep people feeling supported and motivated right now.
If you would like to speak to me about adding great HR talent to your business, or about taking the next step in your HR career, click here to drop me an email and get in touch.