Employee Training Should Be Interactive
90s kids, this one’s for you: “Interactive CD-ROM.”
Did you waft back in time on a wave of sweet, sweet nostalgia? Were you filled with a sense of wonder and excitement at use of the word “interactive”? When you were a kid, “interactive” meant…well, it meant…it meant that the game on that CD-ROM would be really cool, that’s what it meant!
“Interactive” went from a buzzword to a buzzkill.
At some point in the years since, “interactive” went from a buzzword to a buzzkill. It’s cliché—especially because things are often automatically interactive. For example, a website, by definition, is interactive. You click, it responds. It shows you something, you do something. Same thing with online learning. Whoop-de-doo.
Interactivity in Online Employee Training
If online learning is by default interactive, why do we still talk about creating “interactive” training? Probably because on some level, we still cater to the idea that interactivity is really cool. In our heads, it’s more than its literal definition, and we envision interactive training not just as something people can interact with but also:
- being engaging enough to catch the learner’s interest
- having activities that require the learner to do something beyond mere clicking
- being an experience where the learner is actively thinking, working, and wondering
Now that we’ve expanded the definition of interactivity, let’s talk a bit about what interactive training might look like for each of the four corporate training intersections.
Scenarios are activities that can definitely ask more of a learner than a few rote clicks, and they’re an important part of compliance. They contextualize what might otherwise be abstract information. At AllenComm, we find that the more authentic scenarios are in their details, the more engaging they are. For tricky issues, we recommend that the scenario should be branching with several nuanced decision points.
Sales Enablement Training
Another great activity that involves some thinking and some working is having product interaction during sales enablement. Such an activity might be something similar to a scenario, where the learner chooses the best product option or approach for a simulated customer. It might also be something like this IKEA catalog: maniputable product images draw customers in by enabling them to get more information with a single scan.
Onboarding is the easiest of all trainings to make shinily interactive. A first week at most companies includes an orientation of sorts: setting up the workspace, getting a tour of the building, meeting new coworkers, and so on and so forth. It’s not hard to make those interactions engaging and meaningful. Weave that kind of active participation into the onboarding portion of the new hire’s first week as well, and you’re golden.
A great way to incorporate interactivity into brand training is to create spaces where potential brand ambassadors can explore resources and connect with the brand. This could mean creating a learner profile on a portal full of brand messaging. It could also mean giving away branded swag that learners can then use to practice showcasing their brand correctly.