As many businesses begin to show resilience to see beyond the current challenges caused by COVID-19, workplace training and graduate development programmes are starting to become possible again.

Although some businesses have opted to halt external recruitment until next year, there have been small glimmers of hope. Particularly in the banking sector, major companies like NatWest and HSBC have confirmed that their graduate schemes will go ahead this year.

It is naive of course, to think that a graduate programme, or any workplace training programme for that matter, will be run in the exact same way it has previously. Safeguarding employees, conserving cash and preparing adequate training materials are all new things for business leaders to consider.

The fact of the matter is simple. The majority of training programmes will now need to take place entirely virtually. This means swapping out learning in the classroom for video conferencing software and digital learning methods.

While training materials can be easily transferred from physical documents to digital data, businesses need to ask themselves whether merely throwing tonnes of online material at employees is an effective way to help them learn and improve within their roles - especially if it is part of an onboarding or graduate development programme.

The answer to that question is likely to be no, meaning that businesses need to find innovative ways in which to provide training that is:

a) Entirely virtual
b) Engaging, interactive and useful.

Virtual simulations, when created carefully and implemented correctly, can be utilised to achieve this.

What are virtual simulations?

A virtual simulation is the reflection of reality or a real-time scenario, delivered through a digital source. As opposed to a typical business simulation which provides a physical environment, virtual simulations are typically delivered through a screen.

As part of a virtual simulation, participants will be required to engage with online material and make decisions which will have an impact on specific results.

How can virtual simulations complement training materials?

Virtual simulations can help to bring training materials to life by actively engaging with employees and giving them an opportunity to learn by doing, even when they are working from home.

By working collaboratively and actively attempting tasks and scenarios related to their own roles, individuals are more likely to retain information and apply it to their work, thus boosting their commercial awareness. This is something that is vital for business leaders looking to ensure continuity in a post-COVID workplace.

As part of an effective virtual simulation, business leaders should consider implementing the following:

  • On-demand e-learning and microlearning
  • Live virtual training modules
  • Facilitator-led group discussions and activities
  • Interactive PDFs and toolkits
  • Training films related to specific products and services
  • Experiential filmmaking activities.

Our approach to virtual simulations for the remote workforce

At MDA Training, we believe that coronavirus shouldn’t limit training plans. We are continuing to provide interactive, innovative and exciting training events for industry-leading businesses around the world, delivered entirely virtually.

Our specialist consultants possess years of experience in delivering virtual learning programmes in the following sectors:

Our virtual simulations are designed to offer real flexibility, enabling employees to learn on-demand and make significant improvements in their day-to-day roles. They can be delivered as a standalone solution or as part of a wider training programme.

All of our virtual simulations can also be custom designed as e-learning solutions to meet any specific learning needs you may have by utilising our in-house digital production team and learning technologists.

For an example of how we bring virtual simulations to life, please watch the video below: