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Every year, employees in countless organizations engage in the “check the box ritual:”  They attend mandatory training to comply with safety, financial, or legal requirements.  In the past two decades, many organizations have resorted to web-based training to ease the burden:  organizations do not have to spend as much on training delivery, and employees can complete the course as quickly as they can click through screens and select the right quiz answers. These trainings are never enjoyable because, frankly, there are only so many ways you can tell your employees the same thing again and again.    Or is there?

At its core, training is about people learning how to do their jobs well.  It does not need to be about the organization telling employees.  As long as employees learn what they need, the training is successful.  If your seasoned employees are frustrated with hearing the “same old, same old,” why not shake things up a bit?  Here are four ways to make compliance training more interesting:

  1. Make the students the teachers: If your employees complain that they know this stuff so well they could teach it, let them! Assign everyone a topic to teach.  Participants pay more attentively because they are curious what their colleagues will say.  Presenters actively think about the content as they decide what to teach.  Trainers only need to correct mistakes or fill in the missing gaps.  It’s a win-win all around.
  2. Gamify the course: Competition breeds interest.  Divide the class into teams.  Ask questions before presenting the lectures.  Award points for correct answers.  Correct the misperceptions around the wrong answers.
  3. Encourage creativity: Break the class into teams.  Give them time to work in small groups to devise creative, non-lecture presentations that teach their assigned topic.  Participants benefit from thinking in depth about the topic as they prepare and stay alert as others present because they are curious to see the spectacle.  For an extra boost of excitement, add competition to the mix by awarding a prize for the best presentation.
  4. Create a mystery:  Create puzzles or case studies which participants must solve based on the laws, regulations, or rules that you are trying to teach.  Again, give them the challenge before discussing the rules and focus only on what participants did not get right.

What do all of these techniques have in common?  They all:

  1. Actively engage the learner.
  2. Expose knowledge gaps that inspire curiosity.
  3. Focus on what the audience does not know.

By limiting the lecture to closing the gaps in knowledge, participants will feel that the course did not waste their time on things they already knew.

For more ideas on how to spice up your mandatory training, contact Comprehensive Learning Solutions.