Follow Up on a Virtual Training
At Virtual Training Associates, we like to end each virtual meeting on business ethics, sports ethics or talks on sexual harassment with a simple request:
“Don’t just walk away from this meeting, follow-up on the lesson, it’s more important than you know.”
In my experience, particularly during the lockdown, I must admit not one attendee has asked “Why is it important to follow-up a talk on ethics?” I would like to give you seven reasons, though there are many more.
7 Reasons to Follow-up
- We live in a virtual time. Most companies, especially in the past year, have hired employees who have never met other employees in a face-to-face sense. We have not gotten the chance to know each other, talk about our lives, learn each other’s backgrounds or even discussed our favorite sports teams. If we can follow up on major issues such as fraud, unethical behaviors, sexual harassment or workplace bullying, it brings a team, department or company together.
- We are isolated to be sure. We humans need other humans, simple as that. Our workplaces have been shattered and with it, teams have been scattered. While we are slowly coming back together given vaccines and medications, a great deal of damage has been done to our sense of corporate or association cohesiveness. Straight “financial” or “sales” meetings are not an opportunity for togetherness, but at least a discussion of ethics and other key issues begin to break down walls.
- More work, not less. Productivity levels have been widely debated during the lockdown and semi-lockdown. More or less productivity? In general, less. Part of the problem is the lack of cues and the unspoken needs of a “dissimilar” workforce. Discussion of ethical issues goes far beyond every day rhetoric of a hum-drum workforce.
- Quantification of the Virtual. It is frightfully difficult to quantify the effectiveness of a virtual meeting on issues such as employee benefits or safety or negotiating contracts. However, presentation of issues on the topic of fraud or sports recruiting violations or sexual abuse or gender inequality invariably does create discussion and debate. This is a good thing. When an ethical discussion is taken out of the context of a “requirement,” and brought into real-life through the use of a follow-up meeting it is amazing how many spin-off sessions and questions it can yield. While a “softer” measure of impact, it is nevertheless an excellent way to quantify.
- A Place to Talk and Share. Where do employees go to discuss matters of a more “individual” nature? By that, I mean thoughts and feelings about values and beliefs in regard to a more human aspect of their work life? Following up on an ethical discussion enables a safe space in which to talk and share.
- A Place for True Engagement. How or where can a remote team be engaged in this time period? Follow-up discussions of a virtual presentation on issues such as bribery, scandal or fraud, engage groups in deep conversations that create a place in which to visit important matters. This is a difficult time for the discussion of issues pertaining to the humanity in us all; a follow-up to an ethical discussion is a way to better find that humanity.
- No One Enjoys a Lawsuit. Teams are remote, separated and more vulnerable to pressures such as fraud or bribery. It is simply a sad fact. But the more important fact is that unethical behaviors lead to lawsuits, negative publicity, loss of reputation and even arrests. Reinforcement of virtual training can – and does – prevent unacceptable behaviors. For that reason alone, following-up can be crucial as well as beneficial.
Virtual training neither has to be “mechanical” nor a time-waster as long as it is logical, significant and impactful. Following-up is the easiest and best way to ensure the classes are better understood and valued.
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