Engaging and Memorable Communication on a Shoestring Budget
April 26, 2023 | 397 Views
View the recorded webinar on this topic here: https://youtu.be/0KkRAaBytIo
by David Kreitlow, Director of Training, Matthew Steele, Manager of Training and Development, and Paul Miramontes, Senior Training Specialist/Field Trainer
During the pandemic, we as trainers had to figure out effective ways to communicate information to our teams without it costing a lot of money. Let us walk you through what we found to be a lasting, effective, and low-cost way to get the message out.
Just-in-time learning is focused on information that team members can immediately implement when they need it. This means only focusing on the knowledge or skills necessary for a current challenge or skill gap you have identified that needs to be addressed right away.
At Wienerschnitzel, we schedule webinars every week, but we only share content that is needed for the next day or the coming week. We can think of this as microlearning – delivering the content right before a team member’s shift.
How we delivered this initially was by using Zoom or Microsoft Teams, easily accessible platforms that can be either free or subscribed to for a nominal fee. While everyone knows how to use Zoom, for example, this platform is usually accessed through email which has its issues – you need to have correct email addresses and make sure the emails don’t go into spam, etc.
What we evolved to instead is Learning Management System (LMS) integration so that everyone knows exactly where to go to get the information they need. Everyone’s name and information is in the system and all team members have to do is click “join” to be admitted. They don't have to download an app, click on a link, and try to log on or enable their camera. The LMS system also allows us to track visitation. In addition, it gives those who were not able to attend the webinar the ability to see the content at a later time since the information is uploaded to a Vimeo account.
Use Your Resources
There are many resources available in every company’s structure for no cash outlay. It is important to use these resources to keep costs down and mine the rich information available at your fingertips. This starts at the top in the C-Suite, getting those individuals involved, which will draw attendance. We have our COO engaged at every single one of our webinars. He has a lot of knowledge and information that he wants to get out at different times of the year, so we treat him as a guest on our webinars and we interview him. We also use other members of the C-Suite when appropriate. Allowing the team members and franchisees access to these company leaders, and asking questions in real time, keeps the engagement going and shows team members how valuable they are.
Another resource we utilize and leverage are our vendors. Recently we switched soda brands and we used the company’s VP of Executive Sales to answer questions and talk about the rollout. We went to their headquarters and interviewed them, allowing franchisees to ask questions directly to the source. Why not utilize all of your vendors? Go to your vendors and ask them if they can offer their time. It only takes an hour: 30 minutes for a dry run and about 20-30 minutes to interview the vendor.
Franchisees and GMs
Don’t forget to also use your franchisees and general managers. Ask them to share best practices and interview them about what works for them. Other managers and franchisees watching the webinar can then ask questions and offer their own advice. These are the people that are the experts in their jobs, living it day in and day out.
Make It Engaging and Memorable
Of course to make the communication effective, you need to leave your audience wanting more. First you want to get the meat and potatoes information across, but you also need to make it fun and engaging so they want to come back next week. Usually that happens on the bookends.
Start with an icebreaker by using fun facts, recognizing a celebration, or honoring an accomplishment. You can even start by asking general questions to get people engaged, such as “What’s your favorite holiday?” At the end of the webinar, use Kahoot! to create a game for a nominal fee or use a free poll. Award points or prizes to encourage participation. The idea is to have fun and award points or prizes to keep people engaged.
Put It All Together
To make our communication memorable and engaging, we introduce the topic with music, fun facts, and icebreakers. We then tell them what will be covered using compelling brand images, we give them the information they need with colorful visual aids, and we share information from operations, marketing, and purchasing. We finish with competitive fun where points and prizes can be earned. The beauty of this method of engagement is that it doesn’t take a huge investment in time, takes no special equipment (we use our laptops), and is inexpensive. We spend about $1.30 a day, and that won’t break the bank!