Getting used to post-pandemic changes at the office
A lot has changed since we were all ‘at the office’. As we all return to working at the office (at least some of the time), most of us will return to a new environment, with new ways of working and new policies to follow. This can easily leave staff feeling wrong-footed, and re-training becomes a priority – to ensure that all staff is on the same page.
Re-training is often more challenging than training new recruits because you have ingrained patterns to overcome and re-write. Training sessions also need to require minimal investment, both in terms of budget and time spent. Today we have incredible digital storytelling technologies that can enable faster training programs, with better retention.
Fully immersive experience rooms are a prime example of these kinds of technologies. Their role in keeping all staff aligned when circumstances change is an important one, and all companies should include these technologies in their training schemes.
How digital storytelling can quickly get new staff up to speed
New recruits today are different. Many of the university graduates entering the workplace today have spent the last few years in virtual lessons and may have never spent time in an office. This is a steep learning curve, and human resources professionals have a duty to help this cohort get comfortable in their new setting as quickly and efficiently as possible. Digital storytelling can help achieve this because it uses the familiar on-screen interaction that the new recruits will know well.
It also helps the participants to really engage with the training, and it can be personalized to match specific situations. 3D content and virtual training programs can also help to cross ‘the experience gap’ by giving new recruits a more lifelike training experience. This is especially useful when access to those ‘real-life’ training resources or equipment is costly or limited.
Using digital storytelling to re-train existing staff on new methods, safety protocols and policies
The experienced staff brings incredible value to a company, but when circumstances change it can be hard to erase old habits and working methods. Re-training this particular group of employees can be a significant challenge – unless you have a secret weapon up your sleeve.
Digital storytelling brings something special to training programs because it encapsulates new ideas and methods in a ‘wrapper’ – the story.
Stories are how our brains process and retrieve complex experiences, and it enables us to pack a lot of data into something that seems entirely natural to us. When we use digital storytelling to re-train existing staff, it helps them to cement their memories better than if they were just told the same information. It’s an experience they can relate to and recall later with incredible clarity.
Experiential learning is the key
What makes digital storytelling especially good for training programs is that it’s a form of experiential learning. Storytellers around the world have known for millennia that stories are compelling because the listener projects themselves into the story, often by resonating with a particular character. As a result, the listener is actually a participant – because they are actively involved with it as an internal experience.
The fact that we experience stories is what makes them so memorable – it’s why mnemonists use narrative structures to memorize large amounts of entirely abstract data (like long strings of numbers, or a series of playing cards). When you deploy your training programs in the form of a digital story, you turn them into a kind of experiential learning. Not only are the participants more involved in the material, they also retain it for longer. In this way, digital storytelling gives people an experience to learn from.
Ways to deploy digital storytelling for (re)training
There are numerous ways that companies can deploy digital storytelling for training programs. It doesn’t take a huge investment – however, a chief value of these storytelling technologies is that they can be used for many different end-purposes. It is quite possible that your company may already have an AV setup that is capable of being used in this way. The key is the digital storytelling software that powers it – if it is powerful enough, it can enable your company to use the same equipment in an infinite number of ways.
The most effective digital storytelling technologies for training are:
These can be fully-immersive rooms that envelop the audience, or a wrap-around screen that fills the visual field (typically 240 – 270°). The effect is that the audience is totally drawn into the experience, and this is further enhanced when these can be interactive. Touch-capable screens mean that participants become architects of their own journey, drawing them in even further.
Individual consoles and interactive signage
Interactive signage can be a versatile way to do training programs. Using an interactive screen, the participant has their own console that they can use to navigate their story. They can make choices that ensure that their training experience is as personalized as possible.
Video walls (interactive)
Without being able to fully enclose the audience in an immersive experience, a large screen or video wall is perhaps the next best thing. Using touch-capable screens will ensure that the training experience is as interactive as it needs to be. Participants can learn from their own choices and actions, as well as vicariously – by watching and learning from the actions of others.
The digital storytelling software that makes it work
Without digital storytelling software, a screen is just a screen. An immersive experience has very limited value if it cannot be regularly updated and customized to meet current needs. To get your AV setup to deliver real value – and keep delivering it – your digital storytelling software needs to be up to snuff. There are several options out there, ranging from relatively limited software up to enterprise-grade solutions like the Hyro platform.
It’s easy to look at the software component as a secondary concern, but it actually has a critical impact on the success of your digital storytelling enterprise. With a sufficiently capable, enterprise-grade solution, you should be able to easily adapt content without needing to hire a creative agency or specialist to do it for you. When you have the ability to adapt and create freely, your training programs can be rolled-out faster and have more immediate results. It also means that your AV setup has a higher utilization rate because there is a shorter interval between concept and finished storytelling experience. This ensures you keep attaining the best possible results for your team.