This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
Back in early February, a friend of mine signed on as a sales representative with a small company that’s definitely going places. It’s a great gig, and he was excited.
Four weeks later, the old days are gone, and no one is at the office. The good news is he’s able to work from home. The bad news is he’s working from home with severely limited access to the corporate knowledge bank. What should have been a consistent learning, training, and onboarding process morphed into a slog of hunting and pecking for morsels of information, deciphering ambiguous and confusing emails, and enduring endless Slack conversations.
Most of the time, he told me, he didn’t even know what he didn’t know.
His company was not on the online learning tools train, and that left him with a front-row seat on the struggle bus to figure out what he needed to know, where to find it, and come up to speed. My friend’s pre-pandemic enthusiasm is now coated with a mid-pandemic patina of angst about his performance.
As if there isn’t enough to worry about.
Now more than ever
Recent surveys indicate that well over 90% of businesses and organizations have or will implement virtual training courses and virtual classroom software to teach and train their employees. That number is only going to increase as teams continue to shelter from the office and work remotely.
Despite the seriousness of the times, business can’t stop. If enterprises large and small are to survive, they must keep moving, selling, and educating customers and employees. If there was ever a time to bring teaching software into corporate training, it’s now—more than ever.
What you need
Virtual training programs aren’t knotty concepts; they simply utilize technology as a learning tool to move beyond the live classroom. But really good virtual classroom software provides more than an online classroom platform to view video training presentations. It serves as an interactive portal to what you need your people to learn.
Here’s what you should look for when it comes to the latest and greatest virtual training software:
1. Purpose-built, powerful simplicity
Like most other tools, a virtual training program that’s too difficult to implement and master won’t get used. The focus should be on training and getting the message out, not struggling to get the message in for presentation. There’s no reason to cobble together a virtual training platform by combining disparate elements. Lessonly by Seismic is purpose-built teaching software that’s as easy to use as writing an email. Drag-and-drop adds text, images, documents, quiz questions, and more to lessons that can be branded with company images, logos, fonts and brand colors.
2. Easy, on-demand access
Closing the gap on distance learning has never been more important now that more teams are forced to work remotely. Given present circumstances, it’s just not appropriate to put a group of people together in a training room. Not only does online virtual training eliminate the need for time-specific gatherings, it gives your team members the flexibility to learn at a time and place that is most convenient and effective for them. Access from mobile platforms is also a key element of a robust virtual training program.
3. A practice court
Comprehension is one thing. Execution is another. Drilling material into your team’s heads might make them smarter, but it doesn’t necessarily make them better. Skills can only be honed through practice and rehearsal, and that’s why a practice-to-progress function is a necessary component of any good virtual training program. Being able to work out the kinks in pitches, responses, and techniques creates a learning space that builds confidence and expertise.
4. Quality feedback for learners
To close any learning loop, learners must have access to relevant and valuable feedback about their performances. With practice modules, teammates have the freedom to make mistakes or “not get it quite right” without affecting frontline results with practice modules. Reps can be evaluated immediately on hard and soft skills that will impact their credibility with customer interactions, which allows them to adjust and refine quicker.