When it comes to ongoing driver training, companies have slowly started to add technology-based training techniques to their roster in an effort to supplement in-person training methods, which have historically been the preference amongst most fleet owners we know. The pandemic, however, is accelerating the transition to online training and learning. And, we think the change is a good thing.
Why Virtual Driver Training Is Gaining Popularity
Because of its convenience and ease of delivery, video training and online classroom-based learning is getting its turn in the spotlight. Instead of reading heavy manuals on complex driving regulations or the like, videos can provide carriers with a faster and, arguably, a more entertaining way to absorb information. All you need to partake in the virtual training is an internet connection and some kind of device like a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. Fleet managers can now rest easy knowing that drivers are safely social-distancing during the pandemic, while also keeping up their skills and learning about new regulations and techniques that directly impact their work.
How To Make Driver Training “Stick”
So, how can you make sure the content from your virtual training sessions really “stick” when you’re not actually there in person to monitor facial expressions, comprehension, and engagement?
Yes, there are plenty of video conferencing software platforms out there that let you see the faces of all your attendees online -- but, that requires being online at the same time. The benefit of creating an online training program for carriers is that they can do it on their time, at their own pace. This offers a big advantage over traditional in-person (pre-pandemic) training.
Our recommendation: Create a training program that incorporates fun and promotes engagement. This answer may seem a bit too simple, but we encourage you to give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Below is an example of how you can structure a quarterly training session with specific monthly learning modules:
- Month 1 – 30 minutes of online training accompanied by an assignment in the topic area of interest.
- Month 2 – Send out a survey that collects feedback and anecdotes from drivers on their work experiences related to the topic from month 1. You could even ask drivers to post pictures and their associated feedback into a private Facebook group as part of a contest to promote engagement amongst drivers.
- Month 3 – Consider hosting an event via Facebook Live or Instagram Live where drivers can tune in from wherever they are and follow along with you as you recap month 1’s training and review month 2’s driver submissions.
The Purpose of Spacing Out Training
The above schedule is just one simple example and we encourage you to come up with one that works for your organization. The schedule doesn’t matter so much as the opportunity for drivers to actively participate in their training rather than just be told to complete an assignment or read a handful of complex chapters in a manual. And, if the training just so happens to be attached to fun activities, engaging content and simple incentives, then you’re winning.
The combination of training, followed up by engaging activities, and the chance to connect with other drivers during a content recap creates a more engaging training experience that employees can actually get behind. The more your drivers are invested in the training, the more the content gets absorbed in the minds and daily habits of your drivers. This is how you can help your training content “stick.”
Spacing the learning activities out in three month sprints allows your drivers to think about the content and adjust their daily behaviors accordingly. There’s also another bonus to spacing out the training: It allows fleet managers to monitor the results of the training in the field and to adjust their training plans, content, activities, and engagement tactics accordingly.
How have you adjusted your driver training strategies during the pandemic? Tell us in the comments below!