Training can—and should—be fun. Making training fun and interactive can help engage employees and boost the odds they’ll effectively apply what they learn to their job.
Training has, undoubtedly, been more challenging during the pandemic, as employees may be located in a wide range of locations. And, even as employees are increasingly being called back into the workplace, some variety is likely to continue, with hybrid workspaces continuing to be common.
Amid this environment, employers, HR and learning and development (L&D) professionals, managers, and others have found ways to think creatively about how to make training fun to engage employees wherever they are.
Joelle Tolifero, founder and CEO of Your Care Collective, a consulting firm focused on working with independent workers and remote organizations, suggests three creative ideas for remote teams.
Virtual Coworking with a Goal-Setting Session
Coworkers miss being together, Tolifero notes. “They are seeking the accountability of someone else ‘seeing’ them get work done and also miss the moments where they can be in community with one another, discuss ideas and just hear each other breathe.” She suggests creating time on the calendar to give staff an opportunity to connect virtually. “Zoom is a good tool for doing this,” she suggests. “Make breakout rooms for people who are seeking feedback on a current project, ant to brainstorm, or for those who just want to set a goal and knock it out in community.”
Show and Tell
The pandemic has provided opportunities for employees and managers to get a glimpse of each other’s personal lives. While some aspects of this may be problematic, there also are opportunities for employees to connect in new ways to get to know each other.
Tolifero suggests sending employees into breakrooms in small groups at the beginning of a team meeting and asking them to engage in a quick show-and-tell. “This quick activity pulls back the veil in a way where employees still have control over what they share while embracing the reality of working from home.”
Skill sharing can be a great way to not only provide employees with new skills and competencies but also give them an opportunity to focus on their own unique areas of expertise.
“Let employees from every level bring their expertise to the group and provide micro-learning activities in the beginning of team meetings or set up professional development sessions focused on their presentation,” suggests Tolifero. “At a time when employees are already feeling overworked or are balancing a lot, aim for this to be an exciting way to share what employees already know with the team or to elevate new professionals who are seeking opportunities to showcase their work.”
Don’t overlook the opportunity to engage employees directly in training activities. They often have great ideas and unique perspectives to share with others.