cookies on a sheet pan

A Floridian, A Baker, and A Blended Learning Enthusiast All Walk Into a Bar—And Talk About Web Based Training 

The title of this feels slightly deceptive because they’re all me—oops!

Well, now that you’re here, here are two fun facts for you: First up, I moved to Florida about six months ago. Second, I’ve been on a baking kick pretty much since I arrived. How do these things relate? And how does any of this relate to blended learning or web based learning? Both great questions. Let’s dive in.

cookies in the oven

Home is where the hot fudge is

Like most people who move somewhere new, I want to make my new corner of the world feel like home. The past six months have included everything from making new friends, to finding a new go-to grocery store, to exploring the parks and coffee shops around me. “New” has been the theme of 2021. I’m six months into living here though, and I can confidently say that what’s making this place feel like home the fastest is community. The friends I’ve made here are great, and how have I made them? Lots of group messages that read, “Hey! 🙂 I made [insert baked good here] today. Anyone hungry?”

Bust out the blender

Long story short, people show up for baked goods and friendship. Unfortunately, the same is not always true of training—especially web based training where things feel stale, dated, dry, and unengaging. There are advantages and disadvantages of online training for employees, but one of the primary disadvantages I’ve observed during my time at Lessonly by Seismic is this: People dismiss training when they aren’t in a room where there’s an instructor because they’re simply bored. On the contrary, when training only consists of people gathered in a room listening to a slide deck presentation, they also check out. 

Blended learning is the solution to this. It’s a combination of instructor-led training (ILT) that happens most often in-person or on live Zoom calls, and learner-led training in the form of interactive lessons, quizzes, videos, flip cards, etc.  (Pro tip, blending learning on your team with one of the best online learning platforms is easier than you think. Check out Lessonly by Seismic’s web based training solution for more information.)

Blended learning, however, is not exactly the golden ticket to delivering effective training and turning every employee into an expert at their craft. What are the challenges of blended learning? How do the best teams mitigate these challenges and create training platforms for employees that they find useful? Here are three short and sweet tips for baking, and also for leveraging blended learning with a web based training software.

1. Variety is key.

cram jam full of flavor

Baking-wise, this one is obvious. The best way to even attempt to approach Mary Berry’s level of baking is to establish variety in your baking repertoire. With the millions of recipes on the internet for breads, cookies, cakes, pies, scones, tarts, and more, variety isn’t hard to find—just hard to master.

When it comes to virtual training platforms for businesses, the best ones recognize that adult learners tend to like about 70% of their learning to be self-directed. My recommendation is to spend about 30% of your time training your team in live coaching sessions, onboarding workshops, and ongoing mass classes, but to let that remaining 70% of time be at the pace and convenience of your teammates. It gives them more autonomy over their schedules and investment in your content.

2. Accuracy is important.

flour

For cooking, you can get away with adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Baking is much more of a science. There is an accurate, correct ratio and recipe to follow most of the time. 

In the same way, accuracy in training is critical, and blended learning helps team training stay accurate. When I started at Lessonly by Seismic, our CFO gave my group of new hires a “Finances at Lessonly 101” rundown on the state of our business. If I were to play that recorded session for someone today, it would be useless because the information is dated. With web based training, a lesson called “Finances at Lessonly 101” could be easily updated and kept current for new hires to come. 

3. Progress takes time.

baking

Did I make some gluten free pretzel rolls for my mother-in-law that tasted like hockey pucks? Yes. Has a banana bread gone terribly wrong and ended up in the trash after one bite? For sure. Like most things in life, becoming a great baker takes time.

On the training side of things, remember that blending instructor-led training and online training is no small feat. Especially in light of COVID-19, there’s no one-size-fits-all industry standard for how training should be done. So be patient, listen to your teammates’ feedback, and meet your learners—wherever they are—with training that equips them with the information and skills they need to perform at their job well. For web-based training examples and best practices specifically, there’s no better place to look than at the stories of companies we work with: Salesloft, Goodwill, Deluxe, and more.

Happy blending—both literally and figuratively!

Lessonly by Seismic’s online employee training platform is better than brownies 😋

Okay, maybe that’s not totally true—but there’s only one way to find out! Give us a chance and book a 15-minute, no-pressure intro call with our team today to see the benefits of online training for employees and find out if we’re a good match. 

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