This was originally posted on eLearning Industry on August 30, 2019
Pairing Leadership Training With The Right Tech Methods
Deciding what technology to use in leadership training can be difficult because so much of it is generalized or off-the-shelf. AllenComm creates custom learning solutions specific to clients’ needs and empowers clients to maintain courses as needs change. Why? Because technology alone isn’t the answer to training challenges. Your training tools need to impact individuals, give learners the opportunity to practice, and measure progress. By focusing on these issues, leadership training can align with learning technology to offer more effective training styles.
Focus On Individuals
Thanks to sci-fi films, technology has a reputation for being efficient, but also cold and impersonal. Realistically, the best function of technology is not replacing the unique, personal aspects of human interaction, but enhancing them.
Advances in training technology are exciting, but latching onto any new and shiny tool is a trap. If you don’t understand how it will affect the individuals on your team, then that tech can derail your training program. That’s why it’s so important that training of any kind focuses on helping individuals and minimizing unintended consequences.
Technology in leadership training can be leveraged by meeting learners halfway. Microlearning, for example, emphasizes bite-sized training that a learner can tackle at his or her own pace. Embracing the flexibility of communication tools means that a leader might use Facetime with some employees and text with others because they’re focusing on individuals’ needs.
Leadership training doesn’t have to be limited to onboarding new leaders or upskilling current leaders. The development of common skills (e.g., time-management, communication, delegation, feedback, etc.) would benefit most employees. Moreover, teaching leadership skills early on will help any subsequent transitions from individual contributors to leaders. Unfortunately, employees may not always have access or availability to devote to their continued development. An effective LMS or learning portal technology makes that easier, but it’s still difficult to determine what technology is the best fit.
Use Immersive Leadership Training Practices
Immersive training technology gives learners an unprecedented ability to practice real-world scenarios. Role-playing and practicing scenarios with coworkers can still be effective, but it requires time and coordination that may not scale to large learner populations. You also want participants to take it seriously. So, unless they were in high school theater, that might be a tall order. Instead, try using videos with actors portraying scripted scenarios to simulate situations with a fidelity that only technology can provide.
Immersive training, especially when it closely mimics reality, is especially helpful for leadership roles, where interactions with clients and employees may have higher stakes.
The Quiet Leadership Institute (QLI) project with AllenComm highlights both focusing on individuals and interactive practice. QLI aimed to develop an eLearning course to help companies better apply introverted, ambiverted, or extroverted strengths in the workplace. Using interactive simulations, videos, and assessments, AllenComm created a web-based training that helped leaders identify individuals’ personality strengths and how to utilize them as leaders, employees, and people in the workplace.
Measuring the progress and effectiveness of leadership training can be a nebulous task. Consider the forgetting-curve for instructor-led training. Learners forget 50% of lecture content after two weeks . In this case, it’s particularly important to understand the benefit of technology. Augmenting your training with learning portal-enabled reporting and analytics can help track performance after initial training.
Training technology may also provide a framework to make the results of training more tangible. For example, you can utilize quizzes, self-assessments before and after training, and track key data points over time. Collecting this data can fill in blanks, provide trends to study, and help leaders understand where training should go next.
As you assess your learning curriculum for opportunities to improve upon your leadership training, it’s important to align your training design with the right technology. Remember to focus on individuals, utilize immersive training practice, and measure progress and results. If you can align these practices with your training design, then your learning program will surely benefit. At AllenComm, we understand that developing leaders is critical, and we have the expertise to leverage technology to enhance the human component of your workforce that makes your company unique.
References: The Pausing Principle: Increasing the Efficiency of Memory for Ongoing Events.