Latest Blog: Tips for Successful Virtual Training In A New Era

How to train a team is a question that many have asked and answered over the years. There are countless leadership and management consultants out there who specialise in turning teams around, getting the best out of people and building great leaders. But are there other ways of developing your team? How can we reduce fatigue and use technology to its maximum potential rather than organising countless expensive team building days that finish with discomfort, fallout and Belinda from Legal necking too many glasses of celebratory champagne? We think we have a new solution for you.

Many employees here in the UK are still working remotely, and with lots of companies now opting for a hybrid model of working, remote working is here to stay. After the last year, we are all aware of the pitfalls of working from home- uncomfortable working environments, distractions in the form of kids, pets and home schooling, but also the pitfall known as ‘Zoom fatigue’. Zoom fatigue seems to be especially prevalent when attempting to deliver online training sessions.

Due to the demands of the last year, some teams now need retraining. Particularly in the field of sales, which has historically been done face to face. Throughout the pandemic, sales teams began to recognise that the process needed to be rethought. Even before Covid, customers were demanding more engagement with brands without physical contact, through ecommerce, online conversations, and pre recorded video. Sales teams need retraining so that they can become skilled and confident, operating and selling in a virtual world.

Explore your options

When food and beverage manufacturer, PepsiCo, attempted to find ways of adapting online training, they ran into obstacles. Their training program LSS (Lean Six Sigma) was not going to plan and they needed to find alternatives. LSS is a business philosophy that ultimately aims to improve bottom-line results and customer satisfaction. In the LSS training program, PepsiCo’s participants would usually come together in real life and use Lego bricks to build with in order to simulate real-world problems. Video tools such as MS Teams and Zoom were not cutting it, due to fatigue setting in. 38% of employees in a November survey by Robert Half said that they had experienced video call fatigue during the pandemic. 24% said virtual meetings were inefficient and exhausting. So where did PepsiCo find a solution? It came from an employee’s 11 year old son, which led to PepsiCo’s experiment with conducting training in the best selling video game, Minecraft. 

If you’re not in the know, Minecraft is a phenomenally popular video game. You play in the first person and create 3D virtual worlds from nothing. PepsiCo recruited the 11 year old to build a prototype training solution. Design studio Block Works then developed the product based on the prototype. The program is already available in 7 languages and simulates a 3D PepsiCo warehouse. Employees take on an imaginary distribution company, producing pallets with different products and shipping them to the warehouse, and then sending them onto customers based on the orders that have been received. Even if you’re a total newbie to the world of gaming, because Minecrafft’s platform is so intuitive, it makes the training very accessible. It’s a fantastic solution to a real problem. 

Maximise your virtual training

If you can’t get as creative as PepsiCo with your training requirements, with forward planning, you can still combine the 4 key factors required to make virtual training work well. Dr. Rick Goodman, leadership and engagement expert, lists the 4 key factors for great virtual training as follows:

  1. Investing in stable and reliable virtual technology. To seriously invest in your online training, you need to ensure you have a reliable platform: Zoom, WebEx, Join me, and Microsoft Teams are all safe bets, and you can choose the package that works best for you. 
  2. Use Energetic and Skilled Professional Trainers. You might have in house training or you might outsource it, but whichever you do, it’s imperative to have someone delivering the training that can keep everyone engaged beyond the distractions of remote working. 
  3. Have a Host or Co-Facilitator. It’s incredibly useful to have someone giving support in the background. It means the trainer can focus on delivering the training, whilst the Co Host can collect up questions and ensure the session runs smoothly. 
  4. Develop Pre-Session Activities. We all know that people are fatigued from online training. Build enthusiasm and interest with the participants before the training session. 

Where does your company sit with all of this? Are you looking to improve the delivery of your training? And which way forward will enhance your training the most? If you’re interested in working with us to develop bespoke virtual reality training programs, using 360 photography and videography, and fully immersing your trainees in an experience, drop us a line. 


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