Prior to COVID-19, a Deloitte study found that just 1% of a typical work-week was spent on training and development activities. The same study also stated that those companies that prioritize learning were more likely to be first to market, more prepared to meet future demand, better at responding to customer needs, and had greater employee productivity. All of which are essential to not just surviving the current challenges, but potentially coming out the other side of them better and stronger than ever.
So, how do you train employees in a world where in-class training is largely not a viable option? You turn to virtual employee training.
During this time of significant resource scarcity and budget cuts, investing in training that does not produce real results, and quickly, is simply not an option. Therefore, in order to maximize success and results, any virtual employee training you implement will need to go beyond having learners log into a virtual classroom and passively participate in a few quizzes, listen to a lecture, or watch videos led by automated voices. Rather, it will be essential to select a virtual learning provider who prioritizes learner engagement and whose content is relevant to the day-to-day obstacles employees are facing.
To help you narrow down the area of development that will make the greatest impact during this time, we have outlined five popular uses for virtual employee training and the potential benefits:
Online Leadership Training
During this time, your leaders, from frontline supervisors to department heads, to c-suite executives, are facing the leadership challenge of their careers, one which some may not have been entirely prepared for or eager to undertake. Regardless, it is their responsibility to lead those in their charge through the current challenges as best as possible. You can maximize their success and confidence with online leadership training that strengthens their change management, empowerment, strategy and execution, coaching, and performance management skills and techniques.
Virtual Customer Service Training
When employees are engaged and committed to providing the best possible customer experience, Gallup research found that organizations can see up to a 10% increase in customer metrics, 20% increase in sales, and 21% greater profitability; all of which positively influence the short and long-term success of a business. Though to get employees engaged with the customer experience, it will require more than online customer service training. Rather, look for a practical training solution that focuses on customer centricity for all employees, not just those on the frontline, so that everyone is collectively working to improve the customer experience from start to finish.
Online Safety Training
Online safety training is an invaluable tool for helping leaders and employees recognize and embrace their responsibility for achieving safety and compliance in the workplace. When they do, organizations have been known to experience lower injury rates, improved morale, and a boost in employee productivity. While online safety training is often used to keep employees updated on the latest compliance and technical training, you can take it one step further by using this development opportunity to create commitment and ownership to their personal safety and the safety of others, even as regulations and safety standards change.
Virtual Inclusion Training
It is critical for all employees to understand and appreciate individual differences, become aware of their unconscious biases and how to manage them, and understand the role they play in creating an inclusive culture for all. To do this, your organization might opt to provide virtual inclusion training that not only allows your employees to learn what will make them truly inclusive at work but gives them the chance to practice the skills and build confidence. Done well in the virtual classroom, it can provide knowledge, encourage conversations, and create connections, which are all essential to building a truly inclusive workplace.
Online Skills Training
While every role will have a unique set of technical skills, there are skills that every employee requires regardless of what their title is. Skills such as communication, accountability, collaboration and teamwork, innovation, or conflict resolution, can positively influence individual and team results and are well suited to online skills training, so long as learners learn by doing, not just reading, watching, or listening. The virtual learning solution you select should provide lots of practice, practical tools, interactive activities, and support from facilitators or leaders.
Online Sales Training
To succeed in today’s world, sales leaders and sales professionals must be capable of employing new sales techniques, exercising situational judgment, leveraging technology, and creatively finding new ways to connect with today’s discerning buyer, or else risk being pushed to the sidelines of the buyer’s journey. To help them do so, online sales training can be implemented. Bear in mind though that those in this area of the business would often much rather be out selling than in training, so the virtual learning you choose should encourage learner engagement and be highly relevant.
Bottomline, Learner Engagement Is Key to the Success of Virtual Learning
Many of these popular virtual learning topics - leadership, safety, sales, customer service, skills, and inclusion - can be addressed with a training solution that maximizes learner engagement. Experiential learning is an ideal methodology to do so, as used in the virtual classroom it ensures an active learning experience, rather than a passive one. Ultimately, this can make the difference between a training solution that truly changes behavior and improves results, and one that simply provides more information to employees who are already inundated with new information every day.