We humans have the ability to quickly develop capabilities that simplify our personal day-to-day lives. The same logic holds true to our corporate avatars too. Be it the digital transformation boom or adhering to the stay-at-home orders, we quickly pivoted to working in the digital space and in fact got comfortable connecting, collaborating, and even learning virtually. For L&D professionals, the recent times have brought about significant changes as companies embraced and embedded digital learning into their employee capability development and skilling interventions. With the trend of all-things-digital rapidly catching up in the L&D sphere, one mode of training particularly saw an exponential surge of adoption – Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT).

While VILT programs have been around for a few decades now, it has taken a rather long time to facilitate its extensive adoption. With employees, stakeholders being widespread across the globe in these times, this modality of engagement has proven to be the right fit in order to save training costs and be connected seamlessly. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices to maximize employee engagement through VILT training.

Focus on Delivery
A sign of an effective VILT is realized when the instructor engages with the learners and creates a community of learning during the course of a session. With attention spans getting shorter by the time, it is wise to have a mix of learning modalities. Continuously bombarding learners with PowerPoint presentations can water down their learning enthusiasm. Instead, adding learning elements such as live discussion, quizzes, polling, instructors, and so on can create a sense of inclusivity and participation amongst learners. Apart from maximizing employee engagement, such methods of learning uncover the information that the learners are missing out on and the information that they are holding on to.

Consider Learning Needs and Objectives
While adopting any new learning methodology, it is imperative that the learning needs must be taken into consideration right from C-suite personnel to interns. If VILT fits the bill to enhance the right level of learner engagement, business can easily decide on adopting it provided it aligns to the organization’s overall learning and development strategy. Potential investments need to line up with the budgets, existing learning technology platform, and also provide the desired ROI. For instance, if a company already has an LMS, it is important to evaluate if the VILT platform will be an extension of the existing one. Another question to address is if learners will be receptive to adopting another training and development modality. Keeping that in mind, it should also be taken into consideration if the solution can be scalable and not just cater to a fixed set of learners at any given point. In the end, taking a decision to adopt a VILT platform requires careful consideration if it supports your training needs and objectives from a strategic and practical standpoint. 

Track Training Success
While it is one thing to implement your VILT program, it is equally important to gauge its success. Once the solution is put into action, L&D must invest time and efforts to map the progress of individual learners. A decent VILT platform allows to track employee’s learning growth and also helps to keep a check on registrations and attendance of the VILT sessions.

Test, Test, Test
A major deterrent to the success of an effective VILT program is having a platform that the users find difficult to navigate. It is imperative to review the process of registering and attending the VILT session. If attendees face technical challenges in the initial steps, it might result in the instructor spending unnecessary time in troubleshooting to get learners to attend the session. Internet connectivity must also be taken into consideration and set up properly right at the beginning from the instructor’s side. If the instructor is fully prepared, he/she will be able to lead a better engaged and successful VILT session.

In Conclusion
Adopting VILT can be an efficient as well as cost-effective solution to your overall L&D strategy. On one hand, learners are warming up to its benefits from the confines of their homes and on the other hand, businesses are reaping the benefits of low training costs. By following the above best practices, you can augment learner engagement to see positive and measurable training impact.

L&D Playbook

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