Earlier this month, Wenco released its latest mine performance solution, Wenco Learning. This online learning system was built in conjunction with corporate training consultants PRIME Learning. We sat down with their director of corporate development, Alanna Dean, to talk about why most corporate training fails, how Wenco Learning is different, and why online learning is more than just PowerPoints.
Everyone's had to take some form of corporate training. What's different about Wenco Learning?
A lot of times when you go to training, you attend a lecture or a presentation. Then you leave and it's like, "This was good. Maybe I'll use some things, maybe I won't." There's not a lot of follow up. ...
When someone goes to training, they need to get information. But, we also need to be able to measure the fact that people are using the information. When people take the courses that we've done for Wenco Learning, people are evaluated and there are opportunities for a lot of interaction so they can solidify their knowledge. Everything that we do is driven by, "Are people actually able to apply what they've learned?" It's very application-based. We want organizations to be able to say, "Yes, we've seen a significant shift moving from Point A to Point B."
... And not boring. People hate going to training because it's just boring.
That's true! So much corporate training is very dry and disengaged.
I'm not sure if you've perused our website at all, but one of the first pictures on our website is someone sleeping in class. Typically when you go to training, there's somebody up talking at you, not with you. They're not tying the information back to your life or your job. A lot of times, trainers are just up there talking about themselves — which is really boring! They're not having that personal connection.
Also, a lot of times people go to training, it's either disciplinary or they feel like they have to improve somehow. How we approach it instead is, "You're already really good at what you do. How can we advance your skills? How can we make you better?" We look at training from a place of continuous improvement, not a place of deficiency.
And, this training mostly takes place over the Internet. What are the advantages of administering corporate training online?
From what we're seeing, it's not just online — it's blended learning. This is really important for Wenco's clients. [Wenco's] online learning is so cutting edge, I would say most other organizations will not have anything like it. Typically with online learning, people just post a PowerPoint and they think that's online learning. What we've developed is everything from simulations to videos to narration. There's testing components. There's visuals. We're capturing everything possible to speak to all different types of learners.
What we're also seeing is, when someone takes the Wenco Learning courses, they also use a workbook. They have that tangible component as well. They have a resource guide, a toolkit that helps them navigate once they finish their training. Then, all of the face-to-face training will supplement what they've already done, so it's not redundant. It's a reinforcement of what they've learned.
"Essentially, this is a university for Wenco applications. The breadth of what Wenco Learning is offering — it's really vast. I get excited thinking about it, which is awesome."- Alanna Dean, director of corporate development, PRIME Learning
Why do you think people are gravitating toward online training these days?
It's definitely the best way to go, especially for clients or organizations that have multiple geographic sites, that need consistency and engagement. People love the flexibility. As long as it is interactive and fun, people enjoy and respond to online training. We're trying to dispel the myths that it is just a basic PowerPoint. Online learning should be almost as invigorating as a really good face-to-face course. With the solutions we've developed, we have people walk away saying, "I really got something out of it. I'm looking forward to the next course. This added value to what I do." If it's not adding value, we don't want to do it.
People say they're getting a lot of value out of Wenco Learning, at least.
It's pretty exciting. Essentially, this is a university for Wenco applications. The breadth of what Wenco Learning is offering — it's really vast. I get excited thinking about it, which is awesome. The feedback that [Manager, Client Services] Craig Utian has shared with me from your existing clients who have already tried it out has been really, really positive. It's very difficult — these are difficult topics, trying to convey super technical information and put it in a palatable package. So, the positive response has been great to hear!