Historically, training at any organisation has been viewed as a monotonous process that an employee sits through because it is mandated by the employer. Employees have often found the training content boring, repetitive and nothing that they have not heard before. How, then, can an organisation switch up their training strategies to make it appealing, informative and beneficial for their employees, especially in an online environment? The answer is to create a training curriculum that is immersive for the employees instead of being observative and far removed from their own experiences. Using immersive learning as a successful strategy for online training, we have elaborated upon 4 popular ways to spike and maintain employee interest in the trainings being delivered.
1. IMMERSE EMPLOYEES IN REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES
One of the best ways to convey a point or a concept is to illustrate it through a personal anecdote. There is an enormous difference between explaining the hard facts about a concept and illustrating it through an interesting analogy. Apart from piquing their interest, it also serves as a way for employees to learn different approaches to problem-solving. The trainer sharing an anecdote inspires the employees in attendance to also share their experiences and ask questions. This exercise leads to a stimulating and immersive experience for everyone.
2. PARTICIPATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING SIMULATIONS
Every department faces challenges and conflicts that are unique to it, in addition to organisational challenges. An effective immersive learning strategy is to simulate a conflict or challenge and invite the participating employees to engage in solving the problem. This acts as a perfect learning environment as it gives them first-hand experience at what they may face outside of training without the pressures of an on-ground challenge. It also serves as an engaging strategy that encourages other employees to collaborate and give their opinions as well.
3. PERFORMANCE RECORDINGS
It is a common practice for customer facing representatives to have their interactions recorded for quality inspection and improvement purposes. Drawing from this idea, though slightly unconventional, organisations can record employee performances and analyse it along with the employee in order to gain insights on specific pain points. It is, however, important to note that before recording performances, either employee consent must be taken, or the activity must be disclosed to maintain ethical integrity. The wealth of insight that can be derived from this exercise is enormous.
4. AUGMENTED REALITY
Using Augmented Reality (AR) techniques can be a very rewarding and immersive way of training employees online. AR is the practice of simulating a real issue through videos, texts, computer-generated graphics, and audio to produce an enhanced environment of learning. It is an especially gratifying technique for healthcare professionals and other high-pressure professions as it allows them to learn and practice skills in a very close-to-life like environment.
These are some of the most effective immersive learning methods that will definitely involve and engage employees. While these above-mentioned four are definitely successful strategies a few other methods definitely worth exploring are gamification, process walk-through videos, demonstrative videos and role-playing problem-solutions. Each method has its own benefits and usually it is a combination of two or more of these methods that will yield the best training results for the organisation as well as the employee.