When you drive in your car, do you listen to the radio? Radio is still a great place to learn new songs, hear different types of music, and enjoy the variety (or lack thereof) that some stations play.
There are those among us who love channels that play the same cycle of pop songs over and over (and over!) again. Then, there are those among us who prefer to hear some alternative music, some classic rock, and some pop tunes. There are only a few stations that provide such a mix, so for those seeking variety, they must still manually switch the channel from time to time. And for those who listen to news and talk shows, they might even have to switch from FM to AM. And then, there are those who watch TV, go to their favorite sites on the Internet, and use social media like Facebook and Twitter to hear music and get news.
What types of people make up your sales force? Are they one-channel radio listeners? Or are they techno multi-users? I’m going to go out on a limb and say they are probably multi-users. If I am right, your sales training programs need to provide some level of variety or else your people will get bored.
You say, “Well, we just loaded up our LMS with several great eLearning courses.” And those who like variety might say, “Great! And now what?” You can’t stop there. And you can’t just keep loading up new courses. To provide variety, you must look to innovative ways to incorporate different types of technology into your training programs. Let’s look at 10 simple ways you can do this.
1. Don’t toss the binder… find ways to redeploy existing content that is still relevant in new ways (e.g., creating eBooks from print-based training modules).
2. Leverage free and low-cost technology tools available on the web, including presentation tools such as Brainshark, or survey tools, such as Zoomerang/Survey Monkey. Use these for your Level 1 assessments or to simply survey your learner populations to identify knowledge and performance gaps.
3. Integrate social media (Learning wiki’s, discussion boards, portals) or social-media inspired tools that function like Twitter (behind your firewall of course!) to engage learners, encourage peer-to-peer learning, and foster individual ownership of training and professional development.
4. Investigate DIY (do-it-yourself), easy-to-learn, and cost-effective eLearning authoring tools (e.g., Articulate, Lectora, Storyline) and content hosting options.
5. Find ways to deliver training content on new devices (e.g., iPads, iPhones, Android, BlackBerry, iPods).
6. Use technology tools to meet learners “where they live” (for Millennial learners, it’s on their phones, the Internet, and social media sites), and give learners multiple channels through which to access content and build KSAs (knowledge, skills, ability).
7. (Re)consider virtual classroom and conference technology for synchronous training. Designed well, VILT (virtual instructor-led training) can be very effective.
8. Leverage tools for interactivity in web-based sessions (e.g., polling, digital whiteboards, video cameras, digital breakout rooms, chat).
9. Integrate technology onsite at live meetings for audience engagement, with polling, gaming, and using iPads, tablets, or cell phones as vehicles for interactivity, participant materials, and communication.
10. Recognize the technical capabilities and expectations of digital natives by designing user friendly programs built to interface with the latest technological delivery tools.
There are many ways to integrate technology into your training programs to spice them up. So, please, look beyond your LMS to see all the other options out there.