At Driverseat, we were already well underway with an online learning strategy before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Our learning management platform was secured, we had people on the team with experience in creating online learning, and content was already being developed.
However, like most organizations, this content was augmented with face to face learning, both for our Franchisees and our internal team.
The ability to train people exclusively online became a top priority as travel became more restricted and face to face meetings were discouraged. We had to ensure that our ability to onboard new support staff and Franchisees was not interrupted, so we were beyond grateful that we had the forethought to start the process long before it was necessary.
The biggest challenge was in the transfer of Driverseat culture virtually. Tactical training is easy; but how do you inoculate new team members with the stories behind the learning? How do you present it in a way that resonates with learners, and stays with them in a manner that translates to success in their new business?
We adopted a team approach to this challenge, incorporating webinars, video calls, experiential learning, and a variety of mediums to communicate with participants. We involved other Franchisees in the experience, and ensured that the learning styles of participants are considered. We treat our online training as an event, designed to teach learners how to think in line with our Driverseat brand, rather than what to think.
In embracing virtual learning, we have been in a position to experience some benefits that actually make it better than face to face training:
- We are now equipped to deliver training regardless of what is being recommended by our public health experts. This allows us to keep pace with the demands of our business during unpredictable times.
- Participants benefit from more one on one instruction than was previously possible during face to face training. We can adjust to the pace and learning style of the participants.
- Our virtual training allows us to be mindful of the needs of our new franchisees around following public health guidelines and keeping start up costs low.