How to Create Online Communication Skills Training
Clear communication can unite your organization—while poor communication can divide it. Have you ever had a basic misunderstanding derail a day’s work? Have you left a presentation more confused than informed? Or has a manager’s feedback seemed insensitive rather than helpful?
Unclear communication is at the heart of each of these very different problems. Workplace understanding, productivity, and growth all depend on our ability to send and receive clear messages. Employees who communicate well stand out. Managers who nurture communication skills have more effective teams. And companies with a culture that encourages communication tend to have higher levels of employee engagement, operational flexibility, and strategic alignment.
Whether in meetings, over email, or through messaging, we spend 50-80% of the workday communicating—which means that honing communication skills should be a priority for everyone. And we all could use a refresher now and then.
So, let’s take a look at how you can build compelling training that boosts communication skills throughout your organization.
Identify the communication skills you want to teach.
An engineer rarely talks to customers. They usually communicate through email or internal messaging. On the other hand, a customer service representative can spend hours fielding calls. You’ll need to figure out what types of training are most valuable for each team and prioritize accordingly.
Start by polling teams about the communication skills they use most often—and the ones that need improvement. This valuable information can then be used to develop targeted training. An all-in-one training system like Rise makes creating targeted online training quick and easy.
Rise includes free access to hundreds of prebuilt lessons developed by pros. That includes training on essential communication topics such as improving your verbal communication and presentation skills, delivering and receiving feedback, and choosing the right communication medium. You can even check out this example course on Workplace Communication Basics for some extra inspiration.
These lessons and sample courses are ready to go, so you can start training right away. But you can also customize them to target specific issues on your team.
Give learners plenty of practice.
Knowledge and understanding are only the first steps to learning. To make communication skills stick, your learners need practice.
Communication skills training is often taught in a classroom setting—with the idea of giving learners space to practice their skills with others and receive coaching. However, this model can be intimidating to people who are reserved or who may be uncomfortable trying out new skills in front of a class.
Online training can help solve this issue. With Rise, learners can practice a skill independently—and privately—until they master it.
So how, exactly, do you learn and practice communication skills in online training? Here are common ways people communicate in a business setting—and how to address each with training:
- Email. Many people struggle to come across as professional—yet friendly—in their business emails. To practice this skill, have learners compare examples highlighting distinctions between effective and ineffective emails. That will help them become more confident in their composition and grammar skills.
- Conference and video calls. Speaking to a group can be challenging—especially over the phone. With online training, you can provide a series of scenarios to simulate a conference experience. An exploration of which topics are best discussed on a call and which ones should be saved for in-person or video conference meetings can follow.
- Managing a meeting. Meetings can quickly fall off track if the facilitator doesn’t know how to lead the group. Pre-meeting checklists and step-by-step instructions can help teach this skill. Tips for encouraging participation, keeping things civil, and building consensus can provide depth. What’s more, learners can practice those skills by completing knowledge checks or scenarios with hypothetical characters.
- Participating in a meeting. Speaking up during a meeting can be intimidating. But you can help learners get comfortable asking questions, stating opinions with confidence, and listening to others with empathy and sensitivity. Helpful strategies include walking learners through actionable techniques, example questions, and “What would you do?” scenarios.
- Delivering presentations. Ask anyone who’s been tasked with speaking in front of a crowd: Designing, writing, and giving a presentation can be daunting. Conversely, online training can show learners—in a private setting—how to structure presentations, cope with presentation nerves, and even field challenging questions.
- Reports. Preparing a report involves more than just writing, and often, people don’t know where to start. Online training gives learners time to break down each step in the process (research, outlining, writing a draft, etc.). The provided examples and templates can guide learners through the steps.
Make training easy to access.
Most people want to learn and strengthen their communication skills, but scheduling conflicts hold them back from in-person training sessions. To make matters worse, in-person training occurs within a set time frame—so learners usually don’t have time to practice at their own pace.
Unlike in-person training, online training lets you reach learners wherever they are, 24/7. They can parse out training in segments or complete an entire course in one sitting. Online training also gives learners time to absorb concepts when they’re most receptive to learning—and provides them time for reflection.
When it’s time to create communication skills training, identify what you’d like to cover, and Rise will take care of the rest. You’ll have easy-to-access and customizable prebuilt lessons loaded with meaningful practices, and intuitive features to build your own communications training content. You’ll have built-in reporting, too, so you can see how your training is landing with your team.
And, with the online training you deliver with Rise, your learners have the freedom and space to learn at their own pace. Rise simplifies the process for creating, delivering, and managing training that your learners will actually enjoy taking.