Use Yammer In Your Training Programs
Social media has empowered not only your consumers, but also your employees. Today’s employees are hyper-connected and have access to resources and information via social media. How do you engage them at work? How are you attracting and retaining your best talent? Are you developing them by giving them the tools to be successful? An excerpt from this Gallop report your workers may not be as engaged as you think…
“Seventy-one percent of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. That leaves nearly one-third of American workers who are “engaged,” or involved in and enthusiastic about their work and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner.”
So how do you develop your employees? Do you have a communication skills course at your organization? What about a problem solving skills or leadership development program? How about training program for Project Managers? Unfortunately, most training programs – at least the ones I’ve been to – aren’t great at keeping the attention of its students. How do you keep the participants engaged in the training they are attending? Training can be part of onboarding or continuing professional education; whatever the training class is, you need to find the answer to these questions.
One great way to boost engagement and keep it elevated is through training activities. Within your established programs you might already have pre and post training activities. For example, you might send an email including a case study and pre-work that must be completed before your new sales team enters the session. A few years ago, I was in a Time Management class and the trainer sent a worksheet for us to record everything we did for our workday leading up to the class. During the Time Management class we walked through our findings and decided what was important and what was not adding value to our daily workflow. Other trainings classes I have taught or been apart of we have done white board activities, worksheets, or other games during the session to get the audience involved with learning. And these are all great but what about weeks after the training, where do they go for information?
A huge opportunity for Learning and Development is to continue the conversation after the training program has ended. Learning doesn’t stop just because your training program has finished and the associates are back in the “real-world”. So how do you keep the conversation going and encourage associates to come back to the content when they need it most? You may have thought about using your social platform to lay the groundwork for ongoing engagement; we do hope that platform is Yammer! With different features within Yammer you can add elements to your training programs to keep the learning going before and after the training event.
Here are a few examples of how our customers are using Yammer in their training programs:
- Invite members of the class to a Group to get to know each other before the training event begins. This is also a great way to gage your audience before they are Face to Face – less time with introduction and more getting into the meat. One customer I worked with did this and even tweaked her agenda based on what the audience was talking about prior to the training event.
- Keep the conversation going after the training – continue to provoke conversation and encourage your group to post their questions around the training topic after the event has ended. Another customer used the Questions app so that questions are kept track of and answered quickly for their group of associates.
- Move your in-class, white-boarding and brainstorming activities to Yammer. A customer loved the way that Yammer made their old flipchart sessions searchable after the event. She mentioned that it encourages people who might normally not participate in a training activity to participate. She also had a “reporter” during the training session Live-Yam their notes so that people could search the content later.
- If you do a lot of webinars or online learning, engage your remote workers by having spot checks they can do in real-time on Yammer, such as a Poll or share their opinions about the training topic by starting the conversation.
- Pages provide a space for real-time collaboration for training sessions for sticky content. One customer had his training class write out steps for their workflow and created a class-generated FAQ.
Training managers can start by adding Yammer into their course by weaving them into to the design. For example, customers have used Yammer for a simple ice-breaker for their training courses, such as “What do you already know about…?”. Other customers have used Yammer to collect all the resources for the courses in one place to easily find after the You can pin important content, links and other resources for the associates to easily find within your training Group on Yammer. Pick a few activities to “Yammer-ize” as you start and build more as you learn what works best in Yammer. Just remember to align what you are doing in Yammer to the course objectives and goals. It’s not enough just to add “social” in the course if its not relevant to the objectives.
So, what do you do to keep the learners engaged after the event? How do you keep the conversation going? What are you doing today with social in your learning environments? Are you using Yammer for your training programs? Tell us about it!
Photo credit: Night Owl City