How to Best Engage Virtual Learners in a Corporate Training Event


Today, more and more organizations are moving towards virtual training for its many benefits. According to ATD’s research, 87% of organizations use virtual classes to reach geographically dispersed workers, while 81% use them to save on travel costs. Virtual training combines the learning benefits of live, instructor-led training with the power and flexibility of a virtual platform, but challenges can arise with fostering engagement to remote learners.

26 per cent of all employees are “actively disengaged” and just 13 per cent are “highly engaged”, according to Gallup’sOpens a new window  research. This article outlines some effective ways to foster engagement in and beyond your training events.

Seek an Energetic, Engaging Facilitator

A disengaging, lethargic facilitator can ruin even the best-planned corporate training events. You need a lively, skilled, and experienced facilitator, who will be able to attract listeners’ attention and encourage the development of connections and participation. The right candidate will guide the session in the right direction.

This is certainly a rare skill that goes beyond the ability to present to a live audience well. The facilitator must not only have adequate experience and knowledge in the event subject but also know how to engage virtual audiences and hold their attention.

Make Learning Objectives and Performance Goals Clear

Often, objectives are not the same for all learners, a fact that is often overlooked because we’re too busy creating and clarifying course content. If your training event involves more than one type of audience, identify which participants only have an awareness of the topic, those with a moderate level of knowledge, and the ones with a complete mastery of the subject matter.

The learning goals of each audience should be connected to specific content and topic areas. It might help to create a map showing these connections. You can combine multiple modules. These might take the form of management coaching, asynchronous online sessions, synchronous virtual classroom sessions, independent learning, or a combination of two or more of these.

Focus on Benefits

Training event organizers tend to focus on the target, but that’s actually not the aspect your audience cares about the most. Today, learners want to learn something that they can apply in practice and that will make their lives better or easier. They aren’t fond of ideas and theories that they won’t be able to use outside of the training event. They are attracted to virtual learning experiences that emphasize benefits instead of targets and goals.

To increase engagement, link your virtual learning activities and exercises to real-world applications. Ideally, start the event by presenting a list of all the potential advantages to participants.

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Provide Supplemental Training Resources

Today, learners are looking for more and better resources. They are in constant pursuit of new sources of information. They want to stay current and are always on the prowl for facts and knowledge that can improve their everyday lives. You can help them by providing supplemental training resources through your website or the virtual learning course site.

Put together links to relevant articles, videos, and other important information and invite your participants to use them so they can obtain more in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. Modern AI and AR/VR solutions will make it easier to compile and make this data available.

In the context of virtual learning, this can also serve as a valuable tool that learners can use if they need more information on a specific work aspect or process. For example, you can provide links to tutorials on your resource page, which your participants can use to complete a task after logging in.

Include Plenty of Visuals

Excessive text on slides tends to bore people, so it’s best to limit the amount of text. Numbered lists, bullet lists, charts, and infographics attract attention. Also, use paragraphs and simple, legible font.

Make sure the images you use are high-quality. Adding audio and video to support content is a great idea too.

When deciding on your color palette, take your time, because it can’t be changed up in the middle of things. It’s best to use the same palette throughout the course. Don’t use dated visual elements because they can become irrelevant quite quickly, and use animation only if you absolutely must. Finally, connect design elements by repletion and alignment and make sure you have made playback controls for audios and videos available.

Encourage Group Participation

To encourage group participation, you can create games and scenarios, such as, role-playing to help develop listening skills and build confidence. When asking questions, make sure they are pointed, relevant and directed at the core of the subject matter. Put no limit on perspectives – creative problem-solving should be your ultimate goal. Motivation tools like certificates, badges, and points can be awarded as part of experiential training to make the event more engaging for all those involved.

Include a Cloud-Based Learning Solution

ForbesOpens a new window Magazine reports that more than two-thirds of employees believe training and development is the most important policy of an organization. We live in a digital world, and many companies are turning to cloud computing and virtual training to make learning content and experiences accessible to students from anywhere. This approach is particularly suitable for instructional events like software training, which require learners to engage with an instructor on a computer interface in real time.

Learners can train on practically any software with interactive cloud labs, regardless of the computer hardware or operating system. In addition, they can use numerous hardware configurations and operating systems, which will reduce setup time and make the virtual training environment more effective.

Equip Training Facilities with Proper Tech Support

A virtual training facility that is not equipped with the necessary tech support is a recipe for disaster. Often, the absence of engagement can be traced to a poor video connection. Always make sure you hold your corporate training event at a venue run by a professional training solutions provider – it’s the best way to avoid technical issues that potentially undermine outcomes. 

Invest in Learners – They’ll Invest in You

A seasoned HR professional knows that training can make or break employee engagement and investment. When used effectively and efficiently, virtual learning is one of the world’s most powerful engagement tools. The most successful corporate training events incorporate modern tools and contemporary approaches to ensure maximum engagement because learners are more likely to invest time and effort in something they are intrinsically motivated to do.

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