7 Viewpoints When Deciding to Offer Trainings
Remember reading about that ancient Greek leader Sisyphus? He was the man condemned to rolling a boulder uphill for eternity. Recently, I was reading an excellent piece on virtual training by business writer and training expert Laura Spawn entitled: “Deliver Virtual Training That Benefits Remote Employees and Businesses Alike.”
The article raised several points that I have learned first-hand as president of Virtual Training Associates. They need to be shared. When teaching virtually, we must all be aware of rolling a huge boulder up a mountain if the organization itself does not support the very subject being taught.
The Opposite Viewpoints
What I want to accomplish with this post is to take the top ideas that the writing advances and to add my observations. In many cases, I will take an opposite viewpoints, not in disagreement with the ideas but to underscore the challenges.
- Make Training an Integral Part of Company Culture – This is a huge factor, and it should not be overlooked. During the worst of the lockdowns, when schools and training were all virtual, turnover and failure rates were skyrocketing. “Students,” whether 16 or 61, in high school or taking complex safety training, were often disengaged and highly critical of the learning process. In addition, there was an atmosphere of dictating to certain departments that the material must be learned, rather than a company-wide buy-in that everyone in the company must participate in training on some level. If virtual training buy-in is not a part of a company culture, any course or training is bound to fail.
- Consider Product Learning – Another way of expressing this is that management must show a commitment to expanding knowledge. In this case, to effective and impactful virtual training. This needn’t be a commitment to more conscious safety decisions or to new 2021 tax accounting laws. It can be a refresher on corporate ethics, or anti-bribery programs or sports ethics or gender equality. If knowledge doesn’t expand and becomes part of the fabric of an organization, it will fade in both effectiveness and embracing of the culture.
- Host Post-Training Debriefs – This is critical. Virtual training works best when it is shared and discussed. If Virtual Training Associates holds a class on class on sexual discrimination or sexual harassment, the more the issue is discoursed or even debated, the batter. I would rather a presentation bring about disagreement and healthy debate than apathy or “fear.” By fear, I’m referring to reticence to discuss an important issue to the point where it’s abandoned. Organizations must allow for there to be a lack of judgment in favor of progress. Show a commitment to incorporating virtual training in to the culture. If that takes coaxing or even a little “pain,” so be it.
- Track Training Productivity and Progress – Virtual training is only as good as its follow-up. Ask questions, see if it’s making an impact, be vigilant for issues encourage employees to discuss what they’ve learned and how they’ve applied the life lessons. Virtual Training Associates is always here to help. Ethics training is to everyone’s advantage and tracking the training is an important component of virtual training.
- Solicit Training Feedback from Employees – It is a known fact among human resources departments that the more employees are asked for feedback, the more engaged they are at work. Feedback is essential and in fact, it’s also been found that companies turning employee feedback into action are the most successful in embracing virtual training.
- Training Methods Must Evolve – Virtual training should never be static. It must improve and evolve. I am a strong believer in customization and never being complacent. Virtual Training Associates continually improves its methodology, technical aspects and production quality.
- Encourage Managerial Buy-in – This is so critical to any virtual training program. Without managerial buy-in the impression is that the training is “good for some, but not for others.” When upper management plays a game of “it’s not our problem, it’s theirs,” it’s a guarantee the training is good for no one. Ethical training is for everyone.
Ultimately, what not to expect from virtual training is that the training will be effective if there is no buy-in, support or continual follow-up. Virtual training is everyone’s business in an organization, and ultimately, everyone’s responsibility.
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