3 Common Mistakes When Moving From Face-to-Face to Online Training

mistakes online trainingWelcome to this HR Blast. Not surprisingly given that 50% of our revenue at Jaluch comes from delivering training, we have had a lot of enquiries about virtual training. If you’re considering moving from face-to-face to virtual learning, there are some potential issues you need to be aware of, to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

Top questions we are being asked:

  • Can we just deliver the existing face-to-face course using video conferencing?
  • A company has said that for a relatively cheap price they can convert all our courses to virtual, does that work?
  • How many hours training can you deliver online?
  • Do trainers need a different skill set to deliver online?
  • Do we lose anything if we go virtual now rather than waiting until we can deliver face-to-face again?

The 3 Worst (and most common!) Mistakes

So, these questions delightfully lead us into our 3 worst online training mistakes:

  1. Thinking you can just deliver online the way you deliver face-to-face is going to leave your delegates frustrated, irritated, stressed and bored.

You need a totally different approach if you wish to engage your delegates and run a successful course.  You need to take time to really get your head around this. It is not just a case of taking what you have on line.

Of course if you don’t care about your delegates, are happy just to ‘lecture’ them with no interaction or checking of learning then please go ahead and do that.  Let’s hope they stay awake for yo.

  1. ‘Pay peanuts, get monkeys’ as the saying goes. If someone says they can cheaply convert all your courses to online courses you will probably get what you pay for – a crude conversion of materials with no thought to how the training will land when delivered virtually.

You can tick the box afterwards to say you delivered what you said you would deliver, but you won’t be able to tick the box that says delegates loved it and learned from it … and they probably won’t be coming back for more. Your choice!

As a guide to investment of time, it is taking the Jaluch trainers around 2 days (15 hours or even longer if we have to test out new exercises) to convert each 6 hour course we have so that it can be delivered online.

  1. A face-to-face or classroom style trainer cannot just step behind a camera and deliver a session with impact. It takes skill and knowledge to be able to deliver a great online session and you should not expect your trainers to just instinctively adapt to what is needed.

They need training themselves, and training needs to be followed up with practise in a safe environment when they can continue to learn and hone their skills.

Be aware that not every face-to-face trainer will be able to convert to being a successful online trainer. Never assume! It is a very different skill set so don’t be complacent about training your trainers up!

A few more answers to the questions being asked:

1. How many hours training can you deliver online?

You can deliver a whole day (or days) of online training but it needs to very carefully put together with lots of breaks and time away from the screen for activities, group working and personal thinking time.

Where possible, we would recommend limiting to just 2 or 3 hours in a day, with breaks every 50 or 60 minutes.

2. Do we lose anything if we go virtual now rather than waiting until we can deliver face-to-face again?

With virtual training, what is fast becoming apparent is that you win some and you lose some! You win in terms of no travelling time, no travelling or venue costs, no wasted time hanging around because someone’s train was delayed etc. Online training can be a very effective use of time, great for productivity.

Some with Asperger’s for example have also commented on the fact that no one being able to speak over each other and limited social chat makes these sessions easier for them to participate in, with reduced stress compared to face to face meetings.

But you lose in that training is so often a great time for networking, team building, sharing knowledge and building social contacts. All of these things give a good feel factor for delegates/employees. You lose much of this when taking your training online.

You also lose when you have delegates who need extra support. Online, it’s hard to take anyone to one side, have a quick discussion about what they are finding challenging or why they are not participating as you might expect etc.

It’s also very hard to read the body language of your delegates which you would naturally do as a trainer. Face-to-face a trainer can easily pick up if someone is withdrawn, disagreeing with you, or simply tuned out. Online that is very hard to do and even harder to address.

Another ‘lose’ is that you probably need to use a ‘host’ for most training sessions. It is too much for the trainer to manager delegates’ tech issues, monitor the chat function, share screens and move people in and out of break out rooms without a host. So there will be additional cost with this.

3. Do trainers need a different skill set to deliver online?

In terms of whether a new skill set is required, the answer already given, is most definitely yes. Here are just a few of the new techniques required:

  • Confidence with tech.
  • Confidently working with a training session ‘host’.
  • Using the camera and self presentation on camera.
  • Developing skills with tone and volume when presenting to camera.
  • Minimising Zoom/Teams etc. fatigue.
  • Developing virtual icebreakers and other exercises.
  • Engaging delegates and bringing energy into the training ‘room’.

It’s quite a lot of take in and what we hope you take away from this is you cannot just shift from face-to-face yesterday to online today without giving it proper thought, redeveloping your course and retraining your trainers.

If it all feels like too much Jaluch can offer:

  • Training Wizard – a website that sells ready made training kits, enabling you to deliver professional training materials in house. If you wish to buy any of these courses that have been re-developed for virtual training please call us.
  • We can redevelop your own training materials.
  • On the Jaluch website you can see that many of our courses can now be delivered virtually, just call us to discuss your requirements.
  • We are also offering a Train the Virtual Trainer open course, suitable for in-house or independent trainers.