When you lose all of your face-to-face bookings overnight you have to think fast
How could we translate an existing programme for a large American bank into a successful and engaging virtual delivery?
This was the challenge we were faced with last year, and one which 16 months on I’m pleased to say has hit the mark – let me share with you how we approached it.
How to energise virtual training
First of all we knew our content was strong, that didn’t need to change. What we did have to consider was the form. How we delivered it.
We were hearing from clients that a lot of the virtual training they were seeing was dull, disengaging and ultimately not challenging. So with the pressure of the course conversion deadline looming we looked to build a programme which defied all of the dissatisfaction our clients were experiencing.
There is no time to waste in a virtual delivery, we know that everything is intensified, the good and the bad. So first we set about giving delegates the fundamental impact skills required to deliver virtually. For many this was revolutionary, going from dreading video calls, to embracing the power and focus they could generate with a strong framework and guidance. The key aim of this programme was to ‘Build Confidence & Capability’ and with many of us at low point this injection of energy was the ideal start.
“Exciting and interactive. Fresh approach to usual training formats. Comfortable, open environment to learn and develop skills safely.”
All theory and no activity is a recipe for a forgetful course
We carefully structured the programme to include learning workshops to cover the content, followed in the same day by coaching workshops in smaller groups to challenge and test participants, often engaging an actor for roleplay or group facilitations sessions. This intensity ensured that delegates were fully committed, tested them and most importantly gave them the chance to feedback to each other and see their development.
“Doing live examples in the room and getting instant feedback. You trust and make changes for the better instantly.”
Spacing between sessions was key
We are working in behaviour change and something that we had always strived for was to see that change in the workplace after our sessions. We structured this programme over a 3 month period so that delegates would have the optimum amount of time to rehearse new skills in real work situations. Each time they came back to work with us they would often feedback great success stories. It seemed the programme was working…
“life changing…..to literally watch colleagues grow and gain confidence in their own ability directly before your eyes, amazing! ’’
As I guided participants across a range of modules incrementally building on the foundational behaviours of impact, through to communication types, influencing, and conflict management I saw a fantastic shift, no matter the experience or seniority – they came alive. Participants were no longer hiding behind a closed camera lens, but actively embracing key skills that directly impacted what they were doing, and the way they were doing it.
“The programme engaged the whole of our team, all departments and our full compliment of trainers, but 18 months on we can be proud to say that we created a programme which genuinely makes a difference and has been a mainstay for the clients training throughout the pandemic and beyond.”
“This has been the best course I have ever been on. I have learnt techniques that I can easily apply, and I have gained more confidence in my abilities.“