Never eliminate in-person training

Live online learning is the new eLearning.  It’s the solution we all knew would finally materialize allowing trainers to shut down travel, keep people in the field, and cut costs.  And we’ve heard vendors say over and over again that companies should go fully virtual for their learning.  They recommend a webinar approach for replacing in-person classroom and eLearning for pull throughs, supplements or compliance training.

However, we feel differently.  In our view, there is always a place for live in-person training and meetings.  As a geographically distributed company we face these challenges just like our clients.  And we’re here to say that in person is better.  As of today, it can’t be beat.  And we would never suggest that with current technology and processes that you should eliminate an in-person element to training. You’re going to need a blend of live in-person and live-online.

Notably, we find that if you can, you should do new-hire on-boarding in person.  It gives new hires a sense of the company, community, and purpose.

That said, we also know from experience and primary data collection that for tenured professionals, cross training, live touches and didactic education, live-online-learning can be equally effective (if not more effective) and gets the benefits that live-online learning promises. It’s also works well to shorten POA or Sales meetings.

The key is to have a comprehensive program that combines live in-person and live-online training – treating them both equally.  Live-online is just as planning intensive and course-design intensive as in-person so you have to give them equal attention.

And that means you have to do live online learning right; a webinar is not enough.  “Telling ain’t training” is a common enough phrase, but when companies do webinars, they tend to forget this truism.  Plan your spending on course updates, technology and production.  It will pay handsome dividends.

Be sure to give VMM a try, it will help a lot.

Posted on May 18, 2011 in Updates

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