Pick any modern and forward thinking organization and the chances are they are servicing customers in different geographic locations and supporting team members in different locations as well. So how do you keep everyone on the same page when it comes to selling, servicing and supporting new and existing customers? How do you ensure everyone is singing from the same song book, or selling using the same strategy?
For many organizations, the Intranet is either a dust filled location at the edge of the shared network that nobody visits, or its center to the fundamental operation of the business. If you are the later, then the Intranet is probably the unsung hero when it comes to facilitating training for your distributed team members.
The primary challenges with training distributed team members is with inclusion and retention. Typically, an organization will pay a consultant to drive or fly to each location and train a group of your team members in a conference room for the whole day. They will deliver the exact same format, covering the same content and gain agreement from most of the attendees that they have understood and interpreted the content. After undertaking this three, five, maybe even ten times, your organization breathes a sigh of relief knowing key people across all your locations have had the necessary training. But how do your team members participate in the open discussions that occur in these training sessions? While the organization may be satisfied that the consultant has delivered the training, how do you facilitate those ever-important post-training discussions? These are the natural, open dialogue sessions where staff deconstruct the training content and apply it to how they undertake their roles within the context of your organization. How do you capture these ideas, concerns, comments and interactive discussions? These are the things that matter to your team members as they foster inclusion well after the training has completed.
How do your team members participate in the open discussions that occur in training sessions? How do you capture the ideas, concerns, comments and interactive discussions? These are the things that matter to your team members as they foster inclusion well after the training has completed.
Training team members over several days will challenge the retention capability of the average user, and understanding Cognitive Load Theory will help your organization to design refresher content for delivery via the Intranet. Having a post-training content plan is vital for ensuring your training investment carries on well after you’ve paid the training consultant. Team members should be able to identify post-training content on the Intranet to ensure there is a defined place for team members to discuss concepts following the training, and provide a discussion environment to assist with the retention of concepts covered in the training.
For some of you, you may already have an LMS (Learning Management System) in place and maybe thinking ‘but this is all about our LMS, right?’. Good point. However, the beat of the organization and where everyone is having a conversation is on your internal collaborative networks, like your corporate Intranet or apps like Slack or HipChat. As such the challenge is going to be how you achieve and retain engagement when all your team members are hanging out elsewhere other than the LMS platform.
We have worked with many organizations, both large and small, across every industry vertical and all levels of government, in delivering powerful training solutions using both our Stream Workspace Intranet product and the CentricMinds Enterprise Digital Workplace product.