Have you noticed how many people are working from home these days? Whether it’s because of the coronavirus, climate change, the weather or just because everyone else is doing it, more and more workplaces are encouraging people to work remotely.
This means that more and more workplaces are offering training that’s available wherever their people are. Instead of asking everyone to travel and come together in one room, they’re providing online training instead.
What do you think about that? Do you believe online training can be as effective as face to face training?
I was training a group of leaders at an all-day, face to face workshop recently and it was brilliant having everyone in one place sharing their challenges and experiences. We had a great day and I know that the training was effective because of the feedback received since.
It was also a challenging day as so many leaders had to step out to take calls, or deal with emails. A few arrived late because they had to deal with things in the office first and a few had to leave early to do the same. Many of the leaders arrived with specific issues they wanted help with and it was difficult to find the time to talk them all through and cover the content. As with every group, some participants were much more vocal, talking while they were thinking, whilst others sat quietly, preferring to think through their answer before sharing it with the group.
Had the training been done online, we could have managed those challenges a lot easier.
1 - Managers Have Other Things to Do
The leaders that had to step out or miss sections of the day would have been able to ‘catch up’ another time, either by taking self-paced training whenever it did suit them or by watching a recording if it was a live online workshop. Online training usually gives us the opportunity to read / watch any time while pausing whenever our attention is needed elsewhere.
2 - Leaders Have Specific Issues
Juggling everyone’s individual challenges alongside a packed programme of training can be managed through an online forum. Everyone can post their own specific questions and have others answer them in their own time. If someone doesn’t have anything to contribute to that particular thread, then they don’t need to.
3 - Not All Leaders Are Extroverts
Training online means that those leaders who like to speak while they think can and those who prefer to think first can too. An online forum has no set time for contributions, meaning everyone can take whatever time they need to answer. Even in a live virtual workshop, there’s the option of using chat or whiteboard activities to give everyone the time they need to formulate their answer before sharing it.
The big question is,
Is it as effective?
Obviously, I’m going to say it is.
Online training that is well designed and well managed can be even more effective than face to face training. Self-paced online courses allow participants to work through the material at their own pace, contribute to discussion boards when it suits them and ask for help through those forums when they need it.
Live virtual workshops allow the facilitator to deliver the content that most of the class need, whilst allowing and encouraging those side conversations to happen in chat, so they can take place without disrupting everyone else. These live workshops will normally be accompanied by discussion boards, self-paced activities and recordings so that the learning can continue out with the workshop.
Online training can include practical activities to challenge participants to try out what they’ve learned and because they’re learning while they’re at work, they can practice while they’re at work. They don’t need to make a big list of things to try when they ‘get back’.
We’re already socialising online, working online and meeting online, why not try learning online too?
If you’d like to discuss how online training can work for your organisation, get in touch.