It’s not often that “training” and “fun” are used in the same sentence or to describe one another when it comes to professional development in the workplace. Fun isn’t the usual adjective to describe employee learning, it’s usually paired with adjectives like “boring,” “painful,” or “page turner.” I mean, have you ever heard someone say, “Man, that compliance training was so fun!” We haven’t either.
So how do we change employees’ perspectives so that they feel learning is fun?
Generate Excitement Beforehand or Create a Theme
Employees will have a perceived opinion about the training before it even begins. Try using exciting titles to generate more enthusiasm for things that may be annual upkeep or refresher. Rather than calling your annual training something bland, like “annual compliance training” try rephrasing to something more enticing. For example, “Catching crimes is fun in Clue, not for your compliance team. Here’s your annual 101 training to keep your legal department from solving a mystery.” For this example, the team creating the training could center it around a ‘Clue’ theme to bring more fun and excitement to bland training.
Don’t Neglect Visual Communications and UX (User Experience)
Everyday information we consume comes in various forms – including visuals. Humans, by nature, are very visual beings. 30% of our brains are engaged in processing visual information, as compared with only 8% for touch and 3% for hearing. Reading text is a visual task however we don’t understand the text as quickly as we do images and videos. Outside the classroom, your employees may be used to videos, images, and aesthetically pleasing websites leveraging outstanding UX design — so make the classroom or your e-learning environment reach people in the way they’re used to being engaged. Use images, gifs as necessary, videos, and other visually stimulating communications to give your learners an engaging experience. Simple do’s and don’ts to UX can guide you on using visuals within training development.
Make it Interactive
Tell stories or hold group discussions instead of reciting dry information or talking over a bland set of slides (have you ever heard of death by PowerPoint?). Depending on the topic theme or training, getting employees to talk about their experiences can help contribute to a greater conversation and have other employees engaged. It’s also proven that allowing people to collaborate and make their own meaning of content can improve retention, which means your training will stay on their minds longer. For example, the organization’s day-long customer service training is coming up. Schedule a group discussion after the instructor presents some of the material to have the employees talk in small groups about a really great or bad customer service experience they had. This will not only bring authenticity to the training but will allow employees to feel engaged and a part of the conversation and training. We guarantee that your employees will leave remembering someone’s amazing or terrible shared experience. You can also use video communication, which can be done through more advanced LMSs, to share stories between entire organizations, regardless of where your workforce is located.
Leverage Technology when Necessary
Presenting complex ideas or training can be difficult without proper visual communications as mentioned earlier. Technology and software can not only present complex training and keep learners engaged, but it can also help measure. Measuring engagement and completeness or training can be a good indicator of its effectiveness. Are your employees dropping off mid-training? Are they completing in a timely manner? Technology can help determine the effectiveness and engagement of your employees. Along with measuring capabilities, utilizing mobile devices can also reach learners in a way they are comfortable. Think about how much time you spend on a mobile device each day. Consider using mobile technology because more than 60% of US companies offer learning opportunities via smartphone technology.
Take advantage of these tips to make learning more fun and engaging! Employees at the end of the day may wonder ‘what’s in it for me?’ Consider our previous topic, Creating E-Learning Programs to Leverage Career Development.
Verasana can help you launch your virtual learning and training program. Contact us to learn how we can help create exciting training for your employees.