Companies were already quite familiar with Zoom and its capabilities long before the COVID times. Since the pandemic, however, Zoom has become a very popular tool for interactions of all kinds—including workplace training. Why should learning and development professionals consider using Zoom to deliver training? What are its pros and cons? How does Zoom help facilitate training? How can corporate trainers, managers and others overcome limitations? How can they most effectively manage training in a hybrid workplace?
Here we tackle those questions as we take a look at 3 reasons to use Zoom to deliver training.
Readily Available and Widely Used for Workplace Training
Topping the list is Zoom’s ready availability and already widespread implementation in many settings. That means that your staff will enjoy the convenience and user experience of a training tool that is intuitive, quick to launch and easy to navigate.
Janet Zaretsky is co-founder of Impact Speaking Lab, which trains employees to be better leaders, sales professionals and communicators. “The pandemic forced those of us who are training professionals to pivot from in-person training to 100% online,” says Zaretsky. That transition, she says, required re-tooling both materials and training approaches to best capture and engage attention in a way that would help ensure said training would stick. Zoom has been an important aid in that process, she says.
Zoom, says Alina Jenkins, head of communications for Body Talk, a global communications training company, “is without question the best platform to deliver online training on.” While she says she also uses Microsoft Teams and Google Meet depending on client preference and security set-ups, Zoom has proven to offer the most options for both trainers and participants.
A Wide Range of Virtual Training Tools
In the past, tools for virtual training tended to be pretty stagnant. Many offered only asynchronous interaction and the opportunity to interact with others was limited at best, clunky for most.
The best forms of workplace training offer variety and engagement. That’s true in both in-person and in remote training environments. Using Zoom for training unlocks a wide range of tools that allow trainers and presenters to easily mix things up, vary formats and choose different types of interactions to keep participants engaged with them—and with each other.
“We have found that utilizing a number of different modalities of training on Zoom is best,” says Zaretsky. “We use videos, interactive exercises including worksheets and workbooks, cohort learning between training and prompts to practice skills learned after the training has resulted in long term integration of training.”
Justin Aquino, founder and head coach of Cool Communicator, which offers communication training, public speaking coaching and presentation skills courses, agrees with Zaretsky’s sentiment. “Zoom’s screen sharing, whiteboard and chat and Q&A features all come in handy for a variety of training needs. You can have as much or as little participation during workshops as you want,” he says.
Jenkins says her firm’s favorite of Zoom’s virtual training tools is the annotation tool which, she says, “involves the audience and also helps to orientate them when showing more complex slides.” In addition, she says, “white boards, chat boxes, polls and break-out rooms all help to make the training as interactive and engaging as possible.”
The Ability to Save Significant Time and Money When Compared to Live Training
Aquino notes that using Zoom to deliver training also offers the opportunity to accommodate both live and remote trainees with its tools for virtual training. That minimizes both times out of the office and travel time. He thinks back to a hybrid public speaking training session he held last year for a technology manufacturer where three participants tuned in over Zoom, and four were sitting in the room with him and the company’s head of L&D.
“We projected the Zoom view onto the big screen in the conference room so the remote members’ faces were visible. And we positioned the webcam so the remote participants could see and hear the whole room,” he says. “It took some planning, but it ended up being a great session. We got everyone to participate in the activities, give and receive feedback, and even had group exercises with groups composed of half in-person and half remote participants.”
It’s a great tool, he says, for use in hybrid workplaces. “You just need to synchronize the in-person experience with the virtual,” he says.
Aquino agrees that Zoom can help to minimize training costs. He recalls a four-week communication training program his company provided for a health tech startup last year. Fifteen employees participated—all were 100% remote.
“Zoom not only connected us over long distances, and allowed them to participate in the training from home, but also enabled us to do quick 20-minute training and coaching sessions in the middle of their day, with minimal interruption to their workflow,” Aquino says. “They just logged on, participated in the session, and logged off and they were right back to their normal work. This made it highly efficient.”
Jenkins agrees. “Some of our clients are now considering only using virtual platforms for training,” she says. Prior to using Zoom for workplace training, trainees would need to spend two or three days out of the office to attend face-to-face training sessions and would incur travel expenses as well—sometimes to another country. “Using Zoom means they can shorten the training time, minimize loss of productivity and save money on travel and expenses,” she says. “They can also roll out the training more quickly.”
The pandemic has presented problems for many businesses over the past several months. It has, however, helped to bring to light opportunities for improvement that businesses of all sizes can benefit from. Using Zoom to deliver training for remote and hybrid workplaces is effortless and engaging—a big benefit that trainers of all kinds have discovered during the pandemic. It’s likely to continue to be incorporated into workplace training for years to come.
Do You Already Use Zoom in the Workplace?
Corporations are using Class to empower and train managers and employees in a virtual classroom setting – without leaving Zoom. Class brings the typical, company-based Zoom training and development experience into an interactive, virtual experience.