A a solid majority of the training material we produce in the corporate world is based on some sort of regulation or technical specification and must be very straight forward and matter of fact due to the subject matter, but not everything needs to be quite as staid. Many times the way we train our customer service and sales reps is the way we develop our outward persona to our customers. This is an area in web based training where a little humor can go a long way.
As I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters the goal with web based training in for the learner to retain the information being taught and ultimately transfer that knowledge to on the job skills. Effective and appropriate use of humor can go a long way in keeping your employees engaged with your online training initiatives. Sales and customer service reps are on the front line dealing with customers every day, your web based training for those employees needs to reflect your corporate culture. One of the best ways to teach these types of skills with an online course is through the use on consequence based video simulations. This type of simulation based training is a prime opportunity to introduce a little humor into your WBT.
In the simplest sense consequence based training gives the user the opportunity to do something the right way and the wrong way. One way to broach the wrong way with impact is to take it to an extreme. By setting up your wrong way scenario in a manner that makes the user laugh it also makes them realize they do not want to put themselves in a situation that makes them look silly. You have created a tool that makes your employees think about what they look like when they are in a similar situation and how they can avoid looking like the person who looked a little ridiculous in the training course.
In order to use humor in your training you must first have appropriate subject matter and second it must fit into your corporate culture. Make sure when you push to use humor in your training it is in good taste and fits within your company guidelines.