Remote working has become increasingly common across all companies, with an 87% increase expected by 2025. There’s a good reason for that: You can hire the best staff rather than being constrained by geographical locations, you can reduce costs on office space… but of course, it comes with its own set of challenges for business leaders.
Case in point: Training.
Experts in training will always say “Make the training interactive and engaging” but how exactly do you achieve this when dealing with a work-related subject like training staff on GDPR requirements or the correct labelling procedure? (Not that we’re saying GDPR is boring but…)
Leaders and trainers need to summon up the level of interest that will keep the learners engaged and their level of information retention high. Something we’re very aware of here at Lyon, given we provide training on a range of IT topics for our clients.
So here are some of our top tips for effective remote training carried out with teams working from different locations.
Gamify Your Remote Training to Increase Engagement and Information Retention
The important thing when making remote training engaging for the students is to transform it from a mundane task into something that is more interesting for the staff members. A good way of achieving this is through gamification of your training.
This means including elements of gaming into an otherwise boring training exercise. This includes things like points, leaderboards, rewards and different characters or roles—as you would find in a normal game.
As with any good game you want different roles for your players—or staff members in this case—that they can adopt throughout the course of the training.
These could be roles that they select from a list such as coordinator, spokesperson, morale booster, etc. or even let them come up with their own roles for the gamified remote training you are carrying out.
Even though it might be quite a serious subject such as compliance that is highly important to get right, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and the emphasis here is on making the whole experience more engaging and interesting. It also helps to give the students a sense of involvement by having a defined area of responsibility… and stops them from switching the camera off!
What are the Different Types of Gaming Personalities?
According to Richard Bartle, research shows that gamers fall into four distinct characters in terms of their motivations and how they gain enjoyment from the game. Adapting the course to suit these different personality types and reward them accordingly can be quite tricky and nuanced but it helps to understand what those four gaming types are and what drives them.
- Killers—these players are focused on winning, gaining ranks and beating the competition. In terms of the L&D environment, they would be more likely to be found in sales positions.
- Achievers—more concerned with status and achieving goals in games and being recognised for their efforts. These personality types in the workplace will be the type of workers who seek promotions.
- Explorers—these types of gamers are more driven by curiosity and discovery, enjoying the exploration side of games. Explorers feel more rewarded by reaching less obvious conclusions or results.
- Socialites—these are the friendly type of gamers who have really come for the social side of gaming and get their rewards in that way from making new friends and will be the types of employees who will weave their network and add everyone on social media.
Create a Team Logo or Team Name
The problem with remote working and remote training is that students can feel disconnected and don’t really feel they are part of the team in the same way as a group activity in person.
The trick is to break this down and engender more of a team feeling among your remote workers so they feel connected and bonded as a team - during the course of the training at least!
A good way to make the team more bonded together in the remote setting is to have them come up with their own team name to unite behind, or even cobble together a team logo within the confines of the training environment and applications.
This may seem a little bit strange or potentially unrelated to the subject at hand, but these kinds of psychological tricks do actually work to create a collective interest in the success and achievement of the team.
Allow the Team to Arrive at the Conclusions Themselves
Allowing the staff members to reach the answers or conclusions for themselves is not only better for accountability—employees cannot claim they did not know a certain area of competency if they provided the answer for themselves—but it also taps into a stronger form of encoding within the human memory.
It is better to show than to tell someone something. If you arrive at that conclusion yourself, or answer it in a quiz question for example, you are much more likely to remember the fact, whereas if someone just gives you the piece of information either verbally or written down, you won’t necessarily take onboard the information in any meaningful way.
This relates to how the human memory works in terms of psychology and if you attach more meaning to the answer or information, then it is encoded differently within the brain.
How Encoding Works in Human Memory
The premise of encoding is that information in the brain is stored differently and more effectively, depending on how the information was first perceived and what level of impact was attached to this memory.
For example, if the answer to a question was the winning answer that rewarded you with £1 million in a gameshow, you would always remember that moment and what answer you gave that changed your life in such a way.
Of course, more meaning is attached to this information now as it was part of the game, and especially the one million pound part, so you could be asked about it years later and still have a good memory recall of that information.
Obviously, most businesses will not be able to brandish around million-pound prizes to help their employees remember a particularly tricky aspect of compliance or cybersecurity protocols (if you know any then please let us know). However, even making it into a game format where the staff used that answer to outwit their rival co-workers will attach more meaning and increase the ability to recall the information.
Utilising a Dedicated Training Provider to Maximise Results
At Lyon, we provide a range of staff training modules, from compliance to cyber awareness training. Luckily for us, we’re in central London so the majority of our training is hosted face-to-face with our clients if needed!
We offer interactive and engaging learning experiences that help to bring teams together and ensure the training is effective and stays in the students’ minds so they can give their best performance in any job role they are assigned to.
For more information on the types of remote training courses available, contact our advisors who can take you through our range of options, or find more details on our website!