It takes a lot to get people’s attention these days. So, if you struggle with checked out employees during training, it’s likely you need to up the fun quotient.
Here are 21 actionable ways to make your trainings immediately more fun.
Generate excitement beforehand
Your employees will begin to form their learning mindset before your training even begins, so use your training promotion to set expectations for fun.
- Give your training an enticing title. Instead of “Holiday Customer Service Expectations and Guidelines,” go for something that piques their interest and speaks directly to how the training might benefit them: Bah Humbug! Dealing with Customer McScrooge and Other Holiday Customer Service Hacks.
- Promote the training to generate interest beforehand. Think outside the standard email or meeting announcement, like an interoffice postcard or text message invites.
- Post articles, videos, podcasts, games, and other resources relevant to your training in your social feeds to get the conversation started early.
- Ask your team to put some time into a fun pre-training activity, such as reading a controversial or engaging book on the subject, visiting a relevant exhibit at a local museum, or attending a talk. It may seem like a big ask, but they’ll come to the training ready to talk and learn more.
The way we consume information every day has become more and more visual. Your employees are used to videos, images, and aesthetically pleasing websites supplementing their learning — so make the classroom or your eLearning environment visually engaging.
- Use images, such as photographs, comics, and drawings, to break up information-heavy sections of your training.
- Use brightly-colored images, graphs, and flow charts to make data and statistics more engaging.
- Queue up videos and gifs to animate your points. Tap a broad source of resources to keep materials engaging — from instructional videos to pop culture references.
- Tie concepts to relevant images or visual representations. By repeating the images throughout your lessons, they can become a sort of visual shorthand that will help your students learn and retain information.
Encourage creative play.
Creativity isn’t just great for encouraging productivity and new solutions — it’s also essentially high-level learning in action. Creative play grabs your team’s attention, applies learning to real-life simulations, and makes things a lot more fun.
- Have your team role play common scenarios and act out challenges, solutions, and even bad choices.
- Invite your employees to draw, paint, and collage as a means of expressing their understanding of abstract concepts or complex ideas.
- Create a training video as a team. This will increase engagement, improve retention of ideas, and can serve as a learning asset in the future.
- Play music throughout the training to strengthen learning and keep the mood upbeat.
Games are pretty much synonymous with fun. And by gamifying training, you up the stakes for your employees and increase the chances that your team will be rapt by your training.
- Incentivize engagement. Create a scorecard that gives points for engagement tasks, such as demonstrating hands-on knowledge or sharing a useful article with the team. Display scores and award prizes for top achievers.
- Use rewards, badges, points, or another progress-tracking system to encourage your team to learn bite-sized chunks of information. These mini-lessons will build over time into mastery of larger concepts.
- Model your online training after a video game, with interactive steps, point systems, and clearly defined goals.
- Use a familiar game to organize your in-person learning, such as building out a training-specific Clue or Monopoly game.
- Encourage your team to make up their own quiz game to demonstrate and test knowledge retention.
Make it interactive.
Like creative play and gamification, interactive activities draw your employees in, mix up the learning experience, and make your team a part of the action.
- Get them on their feet to participate in site-specific learning, facility tours, or field trips.
- Make group discussions more fun by having teams answer creative icebreakers, like what their superpower would be, their favorite childhood book or tv show, or their favorite vacation memory. These can help the more serious conversations flow better, too.
- Tell stories instead of reciting dry information. Invite your employees to share stories and experiences relevant to your topic, too.
- Divide your team into small groups by expertise or knowledge base. Have each small group teach a mini-lesson to the rest of the team.
Looking for more actionable tips on how to make training fun? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Engaging Your Employees in Onboarding and Training.