Training large numbers of employees is a big challenge.
Organizations have several factors working against them. There's geography, where employees are spread out over multiple locations. You need to keep people running the operation while employees are getting trained. And, the sheer number of participants involved can be daunting.
Some people thought e-learning could solve this problem. There's just one issue - it's boring. A lot of e-learning is nothing more than an amateurish voice over PowerPoint.
The future is in video. Short, engaging, and beautifully produced video.
More than 35,000 customer service professionals have now taken my Customer Service Fundamentals video-based course on lynda.com. It's rapidly approaching 1,000,000 individual views. That many people have got to be on to something.
One promising feature is employees can complete the training much faster than a traditional class. The entire program takes less than two hours, far less than the eight hours the live version requires. There's no set-up, scheduling, or logistics to handle either. It's ready to go right now - your employees could easily start the training in the morning and finish before lunch.
Here's why this and other courses like it are the wave of the future.
The Power of Video
Video offers a number of distinct advantages over other forms of training.
It's engaging. People enjoy watching video. According to eMarketer, adults in the U.S. spend 5.5 hours per day watching video.
You want training to be engaging enough so employees enjoy the process. Here are just a few comments from people who have watched the Customer Service Fundamentals training video:
"This course has really been an eye opening in all aspects of customer service.. I enjoyed every bit of it."
"He did a great job keeping the material interesting."
"The author's positive attitude is contagious."
And, it's always good when a participant feels the training made a difference:
"I am about to start my first working day as a customer service representative and thanks to this course I feel myself more confident and equipped with essential knowledge on making my customers feel satisfied."
It's easy to access. Employees can watch the videos from their computer, their tablet, or even their smart phone.
Lynda.com now offers a download feature where you can watch the videos offline. I'll often load a few courses on my iPad when I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time in an airplane. There's no reason for the learning to stop at 35,000 feet!
It's inexpensive. Here's a cost comparison between live training and using video. Video can cut your costs in three ways:
- Delivery is less expensive per person.
- Development is less expensive (if you buy pre-packaged courses).
- You spend 50 - 75 percent less on employee wages since video-based training goes faster than a live course.
Lynda.com has also introduced an impressive array of features to improve how companies can manage video-based training.
- Quizzes to test participants' knowledge.
- Certificates of completion (they can be added to your LinkedIn profile!).
- Management features like customer playlists and LMS integration.
Don't Forget the Special Sauce
There's one danger of using video. It's a problem called Popcorn Learning where participants just consume the training and then do nothing. (This problem exists for classroom-based and e-learning programs too.)
You can avoid this problem by adding this secret sauce to the mix:
- Set clear objectives for the training
- Prepare your team using this guide
- Customize the training using these five techniques
You'll need a lynda.com subscription to view full courses, but you can check everything out with a ten day trial.