If you have a team of people to deliver training to, and these people are in various locations across the country, rather than paying for them all to travel to one central location, it may be worth considering a virtual training session for them.
At Populate Digital we have seen real benefits in offering virtual training sessions to companies, managed via meeting software such as GoToMeeting.
From a purely financial standpoint, it instantly removes the cost of travel and accommodation, which is often associated with training a team of people, not to mention hiring a suitable venue and paying for refreshments for the day. Then in terms of productivity, it enables people to simply take two hours out of their day to train, as opposed to a full day of travelling etc. This is often a much more attractive option to individuals, particularly if training is a regular thing for them. It’s even possible to join a virtual training session via mobile phone.
Furthermore, we’ve recognised a host of additional benefits of virtual training. If the training is online-based, the ability to easily share screens and keyboard and mouse control, along with the functionality to draw and highlight on screen, can be a real asset. This experience can be of a lot better quality than gathering around a projector and whiteboard. If you also plan for training to be delivered in bite-sized, two-hour chunks, it can be a lot more effective than jamming in a day’s worth of training. We’ve found that individuals can stay engaged and interested for up to two hours in a virtual training session, and this maximises their concentration span and ability to retain training information.
Another benefit of utilising meeting software is that the training session can be recorded, for future reference or use with other team members. So members of staff who are off sick on the day of training, for example, will be able to catch-up. It can also be really helpful to be able to revisit training a month or so on, as a refresher.
During our virtual training sessions, we tend to request that participants are muted during ‘lecture’ segments, and un-muted during practical sessions. This is something that real world training doesn’t allow, and can help individuals to concentrate better without unwelcome distractions.
Sometimes we find delegates are nervous asking about things which they ‘should already know’, or raising issues which are controversial internally. The private chat functionality within meeting software, which allows delegates to chat with the trainer privately via text, can be very useful in this scenario. Depending on the situation, it can offer a tangible benefit over face-to-face training. The group chat function also allows the trainer to message delegates with useful links throughout the training session, which we have found is a very useful feature.
The meeting software we use provides high-quality video conferencing, which we usually advise companies to use. This helps give the face-to-face element, and when you can see delegates, as a trainer you know that you’re keeping them engaged.
If you’d like to find out more about how virtual training can help you or your team, please feel free to get in touch.