Virtual Learning Capabilities
Our Approach to Effective Virtual Learning
In today’s constantly changing business environment, organizations are seeking to become productive in new ways, respond nimbly to change, and optimize their training budgets. As a result, companies are looking for innovative ways to engage and train their employees. Virtual and blended approaches have become essential. For over a decade, Wilson Learning has been designing virtual learning programs that produce the business results companies expect. During that time, we’ve become experts in delivering virtual training that makes a difference. As a leader in the delivery of distance learning, Wilson Learning has identified four critical areas that contribute to effective virtual learning:
1. Learning design that drives a constant stream of engaging learning activities
3. Facilitation that engages participants throughout the process and makes the technology components seamless
2. A technology platform that is user-friendly, supports the learning design, and allows real-time work
4. Support of virtual learning that ensures transfer to the job
Above all, the platform used to deliver virtual learning must be user-friendly and allow for real-time work, with the capabilities to support the kind of programs you want to deliver. The must-have features in a virtual learning platform are:
3. Screen and application sharing
Beyond these features, the following capabilities allow for a more impactful learning design and richer end-user experience:
1. Breakout Rooms
4. Customizable screen “pods”
7. Q&A (creatively shared among participants)
5. Ability to copy a presentation and use it as a template
3. Integrated video streaming
6. Option to preload content, residing on the site temporarily
Most platforms are separate from the telephone conferencing system, yet work well in tandem with phone providers for a seamless experience. Teleconference lines that have sub-conferencing capabilities are preferred because it enables the
facilitator to place participants into small group breakouts, mimicking the interactions of a traditional classroom. To ensure a clear and echo-free audio conference, provide each participant with a quality headset.
There are many good choices among virtual learning platforms in the market today; we can help clients select the most appropriate application for their organization.
We recommend a “producer” be on hand to provide technical support to participants. The producer provides help logging into the classroom, dialing into the conference line, accessing breakout rooms, etc. A producer ensures classes run smoothly, allowing the facilitator to concentrate on teaching without having to interrupt class to troubleshoot technical issues.
Unlike a face-to-face classroom session, in which the facilitator can use verbal and nonverbal communication to adjust the flow, a virtual session must be designed to drive forced communication. Our approach involves much more than using slides to conduct a “death-by-PowerPoint” workshop. Whether customizing our own programs for a client, combining our content with client content, or converting existing face-to-face workshops for virtual delivery, Wilson Learning keeps these design principles and best practices top of mind.
Inside-Out Learning. We believe that learning is much more than subjecting people to information in the hope that “something” will filter down or sink in. Instead, we tap into learners’ existing experiences and knowledge and grow understanding and motivation from the inside out. Learners are continually encouraged and challenged to develop awareness and gain insights about their thinking and actions.
High Interactivity. It’s a fact that when conducting virtual training, facilitators compete with very compelling distracters—emails, texts, cell phones, and the internet. We infuse interactivity into our virtual training to ensure the audience’s complete attention and engagement. With the use of virtual polling, chat features, whiteboards, and breakout rooms, participants often tell us that they couldn’t have multitasked even if they wanted to. We spend less time “telling” so participants can spend more time “doing.” As a result, participants actually find that they are having fun and—above all—learning in this fast-paced environment.
Our Content or Yours
1. We have a library of virtual workshops containing a dozen titles, with new programs continually being adapted.
2. We have a proven history of designing custom virtual programs to meet clients’ needs based on goals, strategies, markets, and business priorities.
3. Our designers provide consulting services to clients who wish to create virtual versions of their own conventionally.
Limited Session Time. Even the most dedicated participant will experience fatigue during long sessions. For that reason, our virtual sessions ideally last no more than 2–3 hours. We find when participants know a session will be this short, we are able to capture more of their energy and attention.
With these short time frames, it is important to make every moment count, which means no gratuitous use of technology. We keep the focus on critical information and skills—those things people need to do every day on the job. We also think about the tools they’ll find indispensable in their work and design the learning to support usage of those tools.
Small-Group Discussion and Practice. Small group size (maximum 16 people per session) is another way we maximize virtual session time. Every participant is an integral part of class conversations, even in the large group. During breakout sessions, participants have the opportunity to engage with and apply the learning even more through discussion and exercises.
Accelerated Learning. Our programs respect human diversity and employ a blend of learning methodologies that appeal to various expectations and learning styles. We include a mixture of:
1. Video models of correct interpersonal behavior
4. Worksheets, tools, job aids, and external resources
2. Role-plays, case studies, and/or simulations
3. Personal and/or group action planning
Use of Cognitive Models. We convert business concepts into simple, graspable models that help people understand, organize, and retain the learning. The models correspond to deep human understandings, and participants reflect on how the models apply in their own lives and work.
Real-World Application. Research in adult learning shows that training must be practical and focused on real-world issues that have relevance for participants. Our programs place learners in case studies and exercises that simulate their work situations, while requiring them to reflect on their own experiences and create direct applications.
Design is critical, but it’s the facilitator who makes sure every individual is consistently responding, participating, and learning.
Virtual facilitation requires expertise beyond that required to facilitate in a face-to-face environment. Even the most experienced virtual facilitator must handle a number of challenges—the inability to read participants’ body language, competing with conflicting priorities that cause participants to multitask, maintaining the energy level across the remote group, “netting out” the presentation of new content with clear and compelling language, and encouraging individual input and participation. And, if trainers are not completely comfortable, they can unintentionally impede the learning process by spending more time managing the technology than facilitating the class. Therefore, it’s critical that the virtual facilitator engage all participants throughout the process and make the technology components seamless.
Enhancing Virtual Facilitation Skills
While Wilson Learning has numerous highly skilled facilitators experienced in virtual facilitation, we also encourage our customers to have their own personnel certified. We offer session leader content certification and development opportunities to prepare trainers for success in the virtual classroom.
We focus on three areas when we work with our clients to enhance their virtual facilitation skills:
1. Skills, tools, and techniques needed to be a successful virtual facilitator
2. Best practices and lessons learned about effective virtual facilitation
3. How to optimize the virtual learning platform to enhance the learning
Support for Learning Transfer
All learning is a process, not just an event. While the focus might be on a workshop, it is important to consider the preparation that needs to happen before the learning as well as the follow-up that must occur to ensure the learning is extended to the job. One of Wilson Learning’s biggest differentiators is our approach to developing a learning transfer system that touches learners over an extended period of time, both for traditional classroom training and virtual learning.
Below are just a few of the synchronous and asynchronous methods we use to ensure skills acquired during virtual learning are transferred and reinforced on the job for improved performance.
Digital Reinforcement. Wilson Learning automates reinforcement and simplifies coaching to increase learning transfer, skill usage, and business impact. Digital reinforcement messages contain helpful reminders and tips, reinforcement activities, and links to videos, quizzes, and application tools. Learners’ managers receive corresponding messages that contain relevant coaching tools, tips, and activities.
Web-Based Mobile Apps. Our engaging mobile apps allow participants to practice skills just in time from their phone or tablet. Our web-based apps are designed expressly to work well across a variety of mobile devices.
e-Tools. Wilson Learning workshops contain a rich variety of planners, tools, and other resources to support on-the-job application and can be used electronically or printed.
Reinforcement Best Practice Webcasts. To provide maximum reinforcement, we frequently develop and deliver 60- to 90-minute reinforcement webcasts, bringing participants together to discuss what they’ve learned that works well and doesn’t work as they apply new skills on the job. Webcasts are an opportunity for participants to ask questions, share success stories, and learn from one another’s triumphs and mistakes. Clients who offer reinforcement webcasts find they achieve a very high level of skills integration into the culture and daily practice of their teams.
Virtual Program Availability
Building Relationship Versatility™ 7.0
In every organization, there is a hidden diversity—the diversity of Social Styles. Leveraging Social Style differences can lead to more effective collaboration, productive relationships, and greater productivity and business results. Recognizing others’ work preferences and adjusting to them results in more efficient communication and the persuasive ability to influence others. Improving versatility reduces tension in relationships and allows people to focus on the task and work to be done.
The Counselor Salesperson™ 7.0
Going to market with unique, high-quality products and services is no longer a guarantee that sales will be made and accounts will be retained. Remaining viable in today’s business environment requires salespeople who can respond to customers’ business needs, priorities, and interests better than the competition.
Salespeople must be able to quickly discover and understand the business issues related to strategy execution. It all begins with a consultative selling approach—working closely with customers to solve real business problems.
When competition is stiff, sales professionals cannot waste time on aimless searching to find new prospects. Instead, they have to be on target right from the start, quickly and efficiently finding the people and organizations that qualify as likely customers. A salesperson who is able to properly prospect will make the difference between winning and losing in business. Counselor Prospecting TM (CP) will show your salespeople how to win business and get ahead of the competition right from the beginning of the sales process.
Coaching the Counselor Salesperson™
The sales function is a key source of competitive advantage for organizations—there’s no place where competition is more intense. Having a highly effective salesforce and a consistent developmental approach to sales management are absolute necessities. The ability of sales managers to develop their salespeople has a significant impact on sales team success and revenue results. Consequently, the development of sales managers is a critical success factor for enhanced sales productivity.
Building Positive Influence™
Not a day goes by when most professionals and leaders do not need to influence others to achieve their goals. Whether in project teams working with people who are not their direct reports, negotiating internally over shared resources, or solving challenging problems involving cross-functional groups, influencing is a critical part of today’s workplace. Yet, influencing others is challenging and requires a process that focuses on reaching a positive outcome for both parties.
Communicating with Purpose™
Without effective communication, all other leadership skills do not matter. Leaders must communicate effectively with employees to ensure work groups remain aligned with corporate and departmental strategies. Too often, leaders have poor listening skills and send unclear messages to their employees. Both parties frequently misunderstand each other and tend to disregard what each is trying to say. Every organization needs to have leaders in place who can effectively use the basic skill of communication.
Meeting Leadership Challenges™
Some managers, both new and experienced, tend to focus on output rather than the people who are producing the product. Yet research shows that when a manager provides clear direction, information, and support, performance increases.
Leading for Performance: Meeting Leadership Challenges (LFP-MLC) helps managers learn how to shift their attention away from output and toward creating optimal conditions in three key leadership action areas.
The Consultative Process™
As organizations strive to address their clients’ critical business issues, technical professionals play an important role in creating and implementing solutions for external and internal clients. While they are experts in their areas, many technical professionals are not equipped to handle the business side of a project. They need consultative problem-solving skills to create value for clients, and they need to integrate their technical skills into a consultative process. When they are able to do this, the technical professional becomes a real source of competitive advantage.
The Versatile Salesperson™
Even the most unique, innovative products and services have limited appeal on their own. To respond to customers’ business needs, interests, and priorities better than the competition, salespeople need to add value. This process begins with being able to quickly strike a chord with customers—to make them feel comfortable talking about real business issues. In other words, sales success is as much about the “how” of sales as it is about the “what” of sales. Simply put, today’s no-nonsense environment takes an agile salesperson with exceptional interpersonal versatility.
Getting to Yes™
In today’s work environment, employees need to influence and collaborate with others over whom they have no formal authority. These collaborations may take place with employees, peers, and leaders at every level within their organization, as well as with others outside of their organization, including customers, suppliers, or those with whom a mutually satisfying agreement is needed. Strong collaborating and influencing skills are needed to ensure that managers have the ability to handle difficult issues and situations in a way that creates mutually satisfying agreements.
Managing Styles in Conflict™
Unresolved conflict in the workplace can get in the way of a workgroup’s performance and, ultimately, impact organizational performance. Businesses benefit when everyone in the organization is able to use a common, proven approach to preventing and resolving conflict. Knowing the hidden dimension of conflict—how it shows up differently for different styles—enables organizations to adopt a common language and framework for recognizing and managing conflict.
Leading Virtual Teams
In challenging and uncertain times a true leader, is a versatile leader. When leading virtual teams it is only natural that this may present insecurities. This webinar offers practical techniques and processes on a number of topics. We help leaders understand and appreciate how their team members feel, working alone, remotely and out of their comfort zone, as well as what their expectations are of their leader. We define expectations/delegating tasks with the WHW technique to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. We also provide solutions on monitoring without policing and using a trust and out-come-driven, effective and time efficient process. Additionally, we discuss the ‘’mandatory’’ protocol and process for efficient, conflict free online meetings, how leaders can help team members to ‘’lead’’ and organize themselves for working home. Finally, we highlight the importance of addressing team anxieties and discomforts by keeping the team energized committed and connected.
The Digital Medical Rep
Let us be honest with ourselves. Getting back to normality, is, for all types of businesses, including the Pharma industry, a figure of speech. There is a new reality which, has already a profound impact on all aspects of business activity, including the very function of sales. It is evident that even when social distancing regulations are totally abolished, B2B face to face sales interactions, will not be as they were in the past. Wilson Learning, globally recognized as a leader in providing training and developmental solutions for sales skills, demonstrates that current realities clearly suggest that the consultant salesperson, needs to learn to interact with customers remotely and digitally. Leveraging on its vast experience in working with Pharma companies, Wilson Learning strongly advises that E-detailing is the way forward for sales.
The Digital Consultative Sales Banker/The Digital Insurance Sales Advisor
The above webinar can be customized for a number of different industries. Our trainers’ decades of experience working in two of the most prominent Banks in the Island, offer a foundation for developing a digital workshop where participants are introduced and guided through various ‘’new’’ techniques on e-Sales.