7 Creative Ways To Foster Interpersonal Skills In Online Training
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How To Foster Interpersonal Skills In Online Training

Our modern workplace can be a cold, isolating place. Team members separated by offices, if not oceans; the traditional working day stretching out to cover different time zones. Less cash floating around for face-to-face gatherings. Fewer interactions with other people, in general. Yes, hiring the right person for the job regardless of location is positive. But if we don’t use the online training resources we have to help bring people closer, then disengagement will be inevitable. eLearning is one of the building blocks of modern personal development. Whilst training, why not enable individuals to develop their interpersonal skills at the same time?

Understanding The Interpersonal Skills Gap

We “go to work” in home offices, in coffee shops, or as a single department representative in a satellite office. The more time we spend working virtually, the less time we spend connecting with colleagues. Even our online connections can decrease if we become too isolated. When that happens, we lose our confidence. It’s a huge contributing factor to decreasing employee engagement rates in global organizations. The loss of interpersonal skills such as questioning, recognizing achievements, giving and receiving feedback, listening and communicating effectively is happening now. And we as eLearning professionals possess an invaluable resource to help fill that gap: online training.

Bridging The Interpersonal Skills Gap

Using the full range of online training resources available, we can guide our employees in a better way of connecting. People can still get together and feel like they have had a rewarding and positive experience, even online. When people share an experience, any experience, it connects them. If you focus on creating immersive, exciting online training then you give people something to talk about. Here are 7 different ways you can foster interpersonal skills in online training.

1. Allow Virtual Teams To Work Together

Online training workshops are a terrific way to recreate a classroom environment for online training. Use your video conferencing and messaging tools carefully to give everyone a voice. Include games and challenges to help people feel comfortable joining in. Create a buzz on your social media before and after the online training workshop, and encourage participation.

2. Provide Simulation Opportunities To Represent Real-World Situations

If you are unable to put their skills to the test in person, a simulation gives corporate learners broader real-world experience. It allows them to try out different options in a safe environment. If we can allow more than one corporate learner to access the simulation at a time, we encourage deeper interaction. Think of it like an online game that embeds learning.

3. Connect Online Training To Social Media

Some people are still very reluctant to use company social media platforms to engage with others. In a global environment, this is a vital skill. eLearning provides a great starting point for connecting online. Be specific about how you want corporate learners to use social media. Ask people to give feedback, find internal experts or promote the online training course to others to help raise completion rates. You should also appoint a moderator who can keep an eye on the online discussion and ensure everyone respects peers’ perspectives.

4. Set Tasks As Pre-Work

You can be as creative as you like with pre-work tasks. Why not get people to send out and analyze a survey, or ask questions of their colleagues? Then ask them to summarize their findings to others. Think of ways that will get individuals talking, asking probing questions, and presenting to others.

5. Bring Them Out Of Their Social Comfort Zone

Get people hungry to learn more. Include focus groups or speaking to individual experts as ways to get more information. Putting your corporate learners in unfamiliar situations or talking with people they wouldn’t usually is a great way to build confidence and foster interpersonal skills in online training.

6. Invite Employees To Host Their Own Live Event

Employees must be well versed in the subject matter to teach it to others. However, hosting their own live event also gives them the opportunity to build interpersonal skills in online training through peer-based interactions. You can even double up by asking them to teach a soft skill, such as communication or active listening skills.

7. Create Certification Online Training Courses

Many organizations already employ certification online training courses for compliance. But you can also use them to foster interpersonal skills in online training and empower remote employees. Corporate learners can sign up for online training courses that are relevant to their job duties or areas for improvement. Then complete them at their own pace. Each certification online training course involves online training activities, modules, and assessments that put their skills to the test and facilitate real-world application. Once they’ve honed their abilities, they receive a certificate that recognizes their accomplishment, which also serves as a great motivator.

You are here because you care about your corporate learners. Yet most of us focus so heavily on content and strategy that we forget about the people. We can see that we are reaching disparate groups of people with our online training resources. Our communications should focus on the benefits of distance learning. It isn’t just about cost saving, that motivates no one when it comes to employee engagement. The benefits should be about saving time and effort in traveling, and how technology can bring us closer. Create a classroom environment online by encouraging pre- and post-training activities to stimulate conversation. Corporate learners can test their new skills in simulations, where they can try, and fail, in a safe environment. Giving your corporate learners a reason to connect, and the technology to do it can provide not only a better training outcome. It can also improve the way we work together, every day.

Are your sales employees able to identify customers’ needs and negotiate the deal? If not, maybe they lack verbal communication skills. Read the article 7 Tips To Use Sales Online Training To Enhance Verbal Communication Skills to discover how to hone verbal communication skills in sales online training.

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