The salesmen and women in our field are very valuable to us, not just because of the clientele they bring in, but also the information they supply. They know customer needs and wants and they are the first to know when a business environment is changing. With that in mind, I got to sit down with our Sales Director Tim and find out the buzz on certain training styles being debated in our industry today.
In this blog, we are going to discuss classroom training versus virtual (or online) training. Let’s break it down and get Tim’s expertise.
Is there still value in classroom training? And if so, why?
There is still a very big need for classroom training. And the key thing to note here, is how you define classroom training. People always stereotype classroom training into one category, and there is a huge distinction. There is a big difference between 20 people in a classroom listening to a lecturer vs 20 people in a classroom doing activities and simulations. Paradigm supplies discovery learning or experiential learning, and it is far more effective in a classroom setting. Our clients say there’s great value in our small, table team learning experiences in the classroom. And the proof that there is still value in classroom training is that very few of our clients have asked or pushed for our simulations to go virtual.
Has customer need for virtual training increased? And if so, what is it being used for?
The need for virtual training is definitely increasing, largely because of its convenience. People are scattered all over the place. We are dealing with global companies with employees that need training in multiple countries. However, let’s look at it from a logistical point of view. What can be done well in virtual training? Technical training, fact based training. Looking at it internally, let’s say that we suddenly develop 10 new rules for interacting with clients. It would be convenient for you to go online and look up those rules and understand them; to be able to leisurely look the subject up. Facts or tips are better as virtual, whereas if a subject is more, say, critical thinking skills, that requires interaction with other people and would be better in a classroom setting.
What is your personal opinion on whether virtual or classroom training is better? Is one more necessary than the other?
I don’t really know that one is better than the other. I think it again comes down to the information you are trying to impart on your participants. I would say that both are a necessity in their own right. For me, I think the most value can be gained by going through classroom training, and then having it reinforced through virtual training. Again I must make a distinction between the different classroom trainings. I would not say that lecture-based classroom training is dying out, but I would say that simulation and activity based classroom training is more important than ever. Lecture oriented training can certainly transfer or migrate to a virtual arena because it is almost always teaching facts and technical information. But experiential learning in the classroom is still effective and popular with our clients, and I don’t see that changing.
There you have it, words from the client connoisseur himself. Proper training is key in today’s business culture. Make sure that you and your employees have not only the proper tools, but the proper method of distributing those tools.
Big thank you to Tim for your time and expertise.