In the last few years, Corndel has designed and delivered hundreds of launch events and workshops for learners on our leadership and digital skills training courses. Often the culmination of many months’ hard work tailoring the programme and diligently enrolling learners, launch day is a positive, forward-looking occasion.
Whether run face-to-face as part of a blended learning model, or delivered remotely, the launch enables the new cohort of learners to get to know one another as well as meeting their Professional Development Expert (PDE) coach. Our learners are generally full of anticipation about the programme and how it will unlock their personal development and career aspirations.
Covid-19 – and the start of when business became anything but usual.
Clients who had opted for face-to-face launches and workshops suddenly needed them to be delivered remotely so the learners could start their programmes.
For example, a cohort of employees from a leading insurance firm were embarking on an 18-month Data Analytics Diploma programme, delivered by Corndel. A week before the launch, businesses across the UK were starting to make preparations for the now inevitable disruption of the coronavirus pandemic. Our client was no different, trialing homeworking and testing technology to enable work to continue uninterrupted.
Over the coming days, we worked in close partnership with our client to move the pre-planned in-person launch event and workshop to an online platform, where all participants, including Corndel Coaches and Facilitators, were home-based. We set about creating a virtual learner experience that, although different, was no less valuable than a face-to-face event.
A similar situation was unfolding at a major Swiss bank, where the majority of staff were asked to work from home following government advice. To maintain continuity, we worked quickly with our client to switch the arranged face-to-face workshops to interactive online sessions and enable their learners to get started on their data analytics learning journey as planned.
Moving a training event online – tips and reflections from our expert facilitators and coaches
Tip: Consider running the same session multiple times on different days and at different times.
Tip: Keep the webinar running during breaks so participants don’t need to rejoin each time they return to the session.
Tip: Use the notepad (Microsoft Teams) or an equivalent tool to ‘park’ questions during the session, in the same way you would use a flip chart in a training room.
Tip: Look for a platform where you can have a private chat with participants – this is useful for individual queries and questions.
Tip: Encourage interaction early on in the session. Research shows that those who speak in the early stages of a meeting are more likely to contribute throughout.
Over the last few weeks, we have seen first-hand how hard people are willing to work to re-work logistics so their employees can still benefit from highly valuable pre-planned learning and development. If you would like to discuss any issues related to working at home and remote meetings, or more broadly around wellbeing and managing a dispersed team, we are here to share our experiences and offer advice.
“Thank you guys for adapting this session for us – it worked really well.” Learner, Insurance firm
“Just wanted to say a huge thanks for a really great first workshop session, the SQL that was covered with us today is something I can already apply within my day to day activity.” Learner, Swiss bank
“This is a really important initiative for Hogarth. It's important that we carry on with the programme during these times. The course content is strong, the programme is valuable and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact it has. Thank you to Corndel for turning this around and enabling us to launch this virtually.” Richard Glasson, CEO, Hogarth