October 15, 2013
Punch Up Virtual Training with a Little Friendly Competition
Filed under: Entrepreneurship
Recently I discussed how to have some fun while still providing excellent virtual training with a blogger from Software Advice. The blog was a follow-up piece to a TechCrunch article that outlined several tactics that Apple uses to make training fun. I totally agree that training should be fun! After all, we know it makes the entire process much more enjoyable.
We’ve actually discussed adding fun to training on our own blog. From adding endorphins through laughter to training based on learning styles, our training is in alignment with best practices across the training industry. Of course, there is always more to discuss!
Build Some Competition
One of the ways to keep virtual training fun and engaging is to get past all that lecture stuff. Turn training into a game, and when you can, make that game a friendly competition! One of the ways we add a little competition to our training is to break up agents into smaller groups and have them play different games. Prizes are not necessary, as often just bragging rights are enough!
One game we particularly like is based on charades. The agents will role play a scenario that is in alignment with the training and the groups compete to see who can guess correctly and get the most answers. Not only is it fun but it helps embed the learning and provides an opportunity to create potential real-life scenarios so that when the agents are faced with them, they are comfortable with taking appropriate steps.
Competitions are used regularly in educational environments. Whether it’s creating an art piece that may be hung in a local museum to finishing with top marks during a spelling bee, friendly competition has always had a place in learning. Why? Because competition is often based on a game-like environment and games definitely help you learn. Some of the ways games improve learning including teaching:
- Prioritization and efficient action paths.
- Communication skills.
- Effective teamwork.
- Pattern recognition.
- Improved mental focus.
Games and competitions give you an opportunity to practice skills, helping embed the learning in a fun and easy-to-remember way without having long lectures or too many tests. It gives agents a safe environment to try out newly learned skills without the stress of making a mistake with a customer. And it makes the training seem to go by much faster!
Training should not be a “bad word.” Agents should look forward to training. It gives them an opportunity to stretch beyond their comfort zones while gaining and improving new skills. Bottom line – training should be fun!