Online training, webinars and video have been used in training for quite some time now. Much of the commercially available options seem to fall flat because they miss the tone, specifics or amount of detail you may need to train someone in your business. At Advantage Payroll Services, my company located in Long Island, NY, we have seemingly tried every option available with mixed results. We finally decided to start creating our own process.
Admittedly, we are in Phase One of building our training structure, but that does not stop us from using one of the most powerful technology based forms of training-video. The first step was to digitize our training manuals by putting them online. We started with sales and then moved to operations. We created an internal website just for our training material and all our staff members have access.
Each week we produce a short video with a simple tip that will help our sales staff remember an important part of a prospect meeting or maybe assist them with completing a document that the team seems to be struggling with. We send the video out via a link to the sale team. They log in, watch the short video and get to hear from the president directly. That happens to be me and I actually do the videos myself as I have experience in front of a camera. It does not have to be you if you are uncomfortable or not great at this sort of thing. If you are, then there is no one better to deliver the message. Company buy-in starts from the top.
We then talk about the video topic at that week's sales meeting. The response has been favorable from our team. They can access the online training site and give themselves refreshers anytime they need. We even have longer videos that show an entire mock meeting with a prospect. This helps them model a proper sales presentation and assures that our products and services are being sold in a similar fashion. It also increases your ability to replicate behavior and on-board newcomers faster while will improving closing ratios. Of course, you need to hire right. No training will help a bad hire.
Our vision is to be able to have our sales and operations video training and testing an integral part of our employee on-boarding and continuing education process. Here are three quick tips to help you create your own virtual training process.
1. Have a plan. Create a training and education plan that fits your needs. It does not need to be a treatise, but it should cover the basics regarding intention, time-frame and layout.
2. Change it if it’s not working. Plans are created to be breathing, adaptable documents so be prepared to adapt to the feedback you are getting and use more or less of whatever is or isn’t working. For example, if the videos are stiff and boring, add humor to lighten the mood.
3. Have a budget. Now this can be a ballpark figure. Be realistic about the resources you have and start small. Don't plan a $25,000 project if you don't have the resources. You will invariably be disappointed.
You too can act like a big company even when you're small—if you take the time to work through the details. Check out Jing. It's a free video/audio recording product that allows screen capture to create high-quality results. A good video camera, a professional light and a backdrop will only run you about $1,000 or so. You can make this work on a budget. I know you can, because I did it.
Read more technology tips for small business.