A return to classroom training
The question we’re increasingly hearing from our clients is “when will it be safe to resume our face to face training sessions?”
Training and development is the only sustainable solution to close the rapidly widening skills gap in a fast-changing world
With the continuing uncertainty, companies are have having to weigh up the information around COVID-19 against a rapidly expanding gap in employee skills and development, which, as we all know has a direct impact on employee engagement.
So, whilst some of these development needs are being met with online and virtual simulations (including some of our own) there is still an overwhelming feeling that people want to get together to experience all the benefits that a face to face group training can offer.
Back in April this year, most UK and US companies were envisaging rescheduling sessions for October to December. That aim now seems unlikely as long as uncertainty persists around what “safe” actually looks like, with so many different factors to consider. However, July saw the resumption of ProfitAbility’s simulations being delivered face to face for clients in Malaysia and Germany, in response to demand for classroom training – so we wanted to share the measures our teams put in place, using prevailing government guidelines and advice from medical experts, to ensure the safety of participants without compromising on the learning experience.
Before the session:
- Provide tailored information so that COVID-19 information is easily understood by various audiences and is available in alternative formats and languages
- Timetabling of staggered use of shared indoor spaces such as dining halls, game rooms, and lounges as much as possible
- Preparation of the materials to be used in the session (see below)
- Temperature check before entering the room
- Place hand sanitiser on entrance (and exits)
During the session:
- Use of Perspex screen for facilitation to allow facilitator to remove visor during facilitation/presenting
- Use of disposable gloves when handling equipment
- Use of larger versions of workshop materials (slides, manuals, simulation kits etc.) so everyone can see whilst adhering to social distancing
- Use of bigger tables to ensure everyone can be seated at a safe distance
- All seating a minimum of 2 meters apart
- Face visors to be warn throughout the session
- Sanitisation of all equipment before and after each event
- Separate equipment for each team to avoid risk of cross contamination
- Use of multiple entrances and exits and discourage crowded waiting areas.
- Arrows on the floor to show routes around room
- Circular spots’ to show where observers/facilitators stand to observe/listen/facilitate
- Use of iPads and apps such as Klaxoon for voting
- Staggered coffee/lunch breaks
We are conscious that a “one size fits all approach” doesn’t necessarily work when it comes to safety. There are a number of factors to consider and businesses have specific requirements depending on sector, location and the simulation we are running with them. We are working with our clients individually to ensure we are adapting our approach accordingly.
The feedback we’ve had from courses run post COVID-19 has been overwhelmingly positive. Rather than participants being guarded and distant, we have seen a significant increase in engagement and participation – possibly as a result of months in isolation! Although the group dynamics are different, the overall experience is still as powerful and fulfilling as it was before the world changed.
Training and development is the only sustainable solution to close the rapidly widening skills gap in a fast-changing world. So, the message from us is if you are ready and keen to resume face-to-face training, we are ready to deliver that safely. If you would rather, for the time being, that your teams’ developmental needs were met through virtual alternatives, we’re ready too!
A “one size fits all approach” doesn’t work when it comes to safety