Like most processes as we enter the Summer Vacation season, training seems to take a break. Because so many employees take time off during the Summer, we cut back on our program offerings. While this may be a constructive tactic in your organization, it should never be an excuse to close up shop. There may not be enough employees to run a classroom training event, but learning still needs to continue.
Inventive training managers will use the Summer time to clean storerooms, evaluate program successes, and send the team out for one-on-one training, brown bag lunch learning events, and to promote 24/7 access to online training. They often will run more instructor-led online training (webinars) and kick program design into high gear. In other words engage your training staff to remain productive and keep training going on all year-long for the client.
A friend of mine that runs training for a mid-sized bank works an annual training plan that keeps everyone focused. Last year she was implementing a customer training program in the Fall, and ran a contest during the Summer for employees to submit their best and worst customer service experiences during their vacations. The response not only gave her designers and trainers real life examples to include in the training program, she had prompted a large-scale “pre-work” assignment. Nearly everyone was engaged in what good and bad service looked like!
When it came to running the training program, the enthusiasm and energy was higher than anyone expected. My friend is quite humble and admitted that she really just thought it would be a good way to collect stories for the program. She had no idea that she had begun her training months before the first class.
So as Summer approaches, what are you going to do to engage your employees and staff to keep learning?