Our instructional designers are finding more and more that employers are looking for creative training solutions. The fact is, employees don’t want training that shoves them back into an old-style school desk. It’s not that employees don’t want to learn, they do. As in everything, it’s the ‘how’ not the ‘what’ that matters most.
Employees long for training that is engaging on more than one level. They want it to be creative and even – goodness gracious – entertaining. An added bonus is that the training encourages deep and thought-provoking learning. The kind of training that they’ll tell their friends about.
The question is, how do you do that? Concrete connections to the real world help. For example, if you’re training staff for customer service, put them behind an actual (virtual) desk and give them everyday issues to resolve.
In line with this, we’ve developed a series of ethical scenarios for one of our Clients. In one scenario from this series, an employee dies in a car accident. When cleaning out this employee’s desk, the manager finds a half-written suicide note. The learner, who is placed in the role of the manager, is given three paths to choose from. Does the learner tell others about the note or does keep it to themselves? No one path is more right or more wrong, but each has benefits and challenges. When one pass through the scenario is completed by the learner, they can try another path to see the result.
This kind of learning experience provides for deeper thought. It allows learners to explore the gray areas they have control over rather than dictating what is right or wrong from on high. Employees find this empowering because they face choices in their work every day. To have training that admits this means the company they work for understands their plight.
Creative solutions require taking the time to step back and think through the training a little more thoroughly. By taking that time to reflect up front, we find that the training we develop with our client partners has more depth and strikes a deeper chord with their employee learners.