The Need for Engaging, Relevant & Practical Training for Your Team Members

February 8, 2021 9:00 am Published by
Get the most out of your virtual training

An organizational leader recently mentioned to me:

“There is a huge need for quality remote training that is applicable to daily life. So much of what I see is ‘one and done’ – pure information without any practical utility.”

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting substantial number of employees who began working remotely and from home, “training” has quickly transitioned to an online, virtual format. The problem is: there’s not much actual training going on. What is mainly occurring is “transfer of information.” This, by itself, rarely results in changes in behavior. Let me take you through a checklist of characteristics of the online “training” you might have experienced lately, and see if these apply:

  • primarily one-way communication (lecture)
  • little or no ability to interact (beyond a chat box) with the presenter
  • hardly any ability to interact with team members (if any at all)
  • generic information, not directly related to specific examples in your workplace
  • no clear understanding of how to apply the information to your daily work life
  • no follow-up actions given, no practice activities, no monitoring after the session

Welcome to the world of incompetent, usually boring, not useful remote “training!” You and your team members deserve, and need, a better quality experience than what is currently offered by most online “trainers.”

Positive Characteristics of Effective Virtual Training

Conducting remote training that is engaging and effective is challenging. Creating a compelling virtual learning process takes a lot of time, effort, knowledge and creativity. First, the topic has to be of some interest and practical relevance to the participants. If not, you are climbing an icy slope. Establishing a personal connection between the presenter and participants is key to creating energy (and can be done in a variety of ways). Third, involving the attendees in ways that require responses and interaction is necessary unless you want them to sign in and either walk away from their computer or engage in other activities online.

Obviously, presenting the information in an organized, easy-to-understand and energetic manner keeps people cognitively engaged. Structuring ways for team members to interact, dialogue, and share personal examples is foundational for them to see the relevance to their daily life at work. To learn to translate it into behavior change, you need an emotional connection; this is accomplished by including the use of compelling stories, humor, cartoons, videos, and powerful visual images.

Finally, helping the participants clearly understand practical action steps they can take, along with follow-up encouragement and monitoring are needed steps for employees to begin applying the concepts. As you can see, a “talking head” webinar doesn’t get the job done.

Two Primary Solutions for Quality Virtual Practical Training

As a result of the dire need for quality, practical training, we created two resources – one a self-administered tool-kit to use with your team, and the other, a dynamic interactive live training.

The Virtual Appreciation at Work Training Kit was created specifically for the new remote / working-from-home team (some of whom may still work onsite). Based on our experience in training over 1,000 facilitators worldwide over the past 10 years, we created this resource that includes instructional videos for the facilitator, brief videos to be shown to the group participants, a facilitator’s guide, prepared discussion questions, cartoons, follow-up handouts, and practical assignments applying the concepts. When used in conjunction with the Remote version of the Expanded Motivating By Appreciation Inventory, it is easily integrated into the context of a video-conference.

The live group training with Dr. White has been conducted with over 1,000 leaders at HP, 500+ HR professionals, a 300+ university staff & faculty event, and 600+ international leaders for Caterpillar (as well as smaller groups for numerous other groups of leaders and staff). Dr. White built the trainings based on his highly rated in-person presentations but designed them specifically for a remote audience. He’s included a variety of activities to engage the participants, keep the energy high, and conclude with a series of practical action steps (including personal follow-up communication from Dr. White). Don’t torture your team members with boring, ineffective training. And don’t waste your valuable and limited training funds on poor quality events. Address the needs of your leaders and employees with practical, fun experiences that will build the skills needed for a healthy, positive workplace.

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February 8, 2021 9:00 am

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