If any of you are in the same spot I am, all of a sudden you’re being faced with how to work with people virtually instead of in person. Specifically, I have a number of scheduled in-person trainings that are now being done virtually. Interestingly, when this all happened, I could not have conceived how to even go about training virtually.

In fact, I’m finding organizations much more open to virtual training than they might have been previously. As we all consider the upcoming “new normal,” organizations may be reluctant to have people sitting together in training rooms for some time. Correspondingly, people may become considerably more comfortable with optimizing virtual settings for a variety of other reasons.

For now, some organizations that are having a slowdown of current work are finding this to be an opportunity to focus on building skills. Basically, there’s no time like the present to focus on training in preparation for busier days up ahead.

After just a few weeks of virtual training on traditional on-site training, I’ve noticed some differences that may be advantageous in the long-run:

• A virtual setting makes it more difficult for participants to hide in the background. It is more evident how well each learner is grasping information without the distractions that are present in the training room.

• When people are busy with a variety of on-site challenges and constant interruptions, they can be slow to create pre-work and post-work. Working virtually seems to lend itself to people preparing ahead of time for collaborative sessions and then completing the post-work which is best done independently.

But there are problems, too. Translating on-site tools or materials to virtual has not worked all that well. PowerPoint slides and Word documents create the need to shift attention to multiple places, which is especially difficult with pre-work and post-work. This has led to researching Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are designed for virtual learning. However, in no time it’s become clear that there are a multitude of easy-to-use systems that make virtual learning more seamless, many of which are affordable for even a small business.

How are your organizations navigating this new virtual world?

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