All of the technological and digital advances we’ve seen in the last few years have had a significant impact on how organizations are making modifications to their training processes. The more traditional ways of having an educator hand out booklets filled with content, is becoming less common, due to all of the advantages a digital training presence provides. Digital training is generally more cost effective, easier and faster to update, and relays a consistent message each time it is presented. It also has the flexibility of being able to act alone, or in conjunction with more traditional methods.
Here are some ideas that can help bring training efforts into the digital age.
Make it Engaging with Animation!
Turning training material into videos can help make the content more approachable and engaging for staff, helping them absorb and retain more of the information. Animated videos can be used for many different purposes – an animated demo, for example, is very useful to teach staff how to use a tool or a new process, and can be done quite successfully using a whiteboard or infographic-style animation. A typographic animated piece is a great way to inform staff about more ‘abstract’ items or ones of a sensitive nature, like how to deal with mental health. Think about using animated videos to help provide complex training in an easier to understand way.
Be Adventurous and Take Advantage of Interactive Video!
Similar to the ‘choose your own adventure’ books many of us read as kids, training videos can be created that adapts to how employees respond. Rather than a single video, a series of short, interactive videos can be created like the choose your own adventure style to help simulate various, common scenarios. The first video helps to set the scenario – maybe it’s a difficult retail customer or the challenge of closing a sale – which is then followed by multiple choice options on how to move forward. The next video in sequence would depend on the option chosen. At the end, employees will see how well they did – maybe the customer leaves the store in a huff, maybe they were able to close the deal – and can try again if the outcome wasn’t the one they were hoping for, or simple want to ‘play again’.
This specific style of video training is highly interactive and can be applied to a number of different scenarios – dealing with customer questions, sales techniques, approaching various types of customers and even internal communications.
Add a Friendly Face and Introduce a Host!
Along with providing lots of learning material, think about offering employees a contact or representative that can help them along the way by answering questions and providing tips. This can be done a few different ways:
- One option is to include a video host who can appear in different sections of the training material to offer tips or answer FAQs.
- A second approach could be to offer staff a chat or ‘ask a question’ option where they can ask questions to other employees or management.
- A third option is to create a training mascot, which could be anyone or thing (a human, an animal, etc.) This mascot can be used in training activities across the board and can act as a visual cue to provide tips, answer questions, and also add an element of fun.
Note: With either of these, it’s crucial to have someone that will be responding within a short period of time – it should likely be no longer than 24 hours.
Provide Some Play Time with Gamification!
Gamification is a great way to enhance your training and there are many different ways it can be applied. Once staff have completed a training session, think about having them go through a digital game to test what they’ve learned. There are a lot of options for this, including game show style quizzes or a custom, digital take on a popular board game. Make it more interesting by including things like score keeping, a timer and a leaderboard.
The advantage of an online game is that you can also keep track of the scores and see how well your employees are doing without having to go through any paperwork. Gamification elements can also be incorporated throughout your online training. For example, after each section, ask your trainees to answer a few questions to test their knowledge of the topic. Their scores can be tallied as they complete the session. Awarding your employees with digital badges as they finish sections is another way to incorporate gamification throughout your online training. The trick with badges is to categorize them in a way that is relevant, but not demeaning. Encourage those who scored low to keep try, they’ll become a ‘guru’ in no time!
Along with bringing your training efforts into the digital age, any of the above recommendations help ensure that everyone in your organization is receiving the same training and having a consistent experience. With more engaging training, staff members are also more likely to be interested and retain the information, leading to a better trained workforce. These digital training solutions can also live online (or an intranet site) for as long as you’d like, giving employees the ability to go back and run through them again to brush up on their skills, without any additional training costs. Each idea can work well on its own or a part of a larger digital training program.