Let’s be honest, working with other people can be difficult. Everyone comes to the team with their own perspective and history, not to mention their own ideas of how they think the team should function and what their own place in that system should be. It is difficult enough to navigate these sorts of interpersonal relationships in the best of times, but when there is a high pressure deadline facing the team it becomes ever more important and ever more difficult. Custom eLearning may not be a panacea for all the problems that face a team with a deadline, but there are several ways that Custom eLearning can empower teams to do better.
First, Custom eLearning provides a common vocabulary. Because everyone working on the team is approaching any given problem from their own perspective and backgrounds there can be little to no overlap in how people discuss specific issues or communicate about certain problems. The easiest way to try and combat this hurdle is to reduce the use of jargon or technical language within the team, but this solution is short term at best and will not actually fix the problem.
Custom eLearning can help teams go right to the source of the problem by providing them with a common vocabulary and set of examples from which to draw. With every member of the team having completed the same Custom eLearning course, the chances of people speaking about issues that others on the team do not understand drops considerably. Communication becomes easier, and when communication becomes easier, the team is able to accomplish better work.
Second, Custom eLearning patches holes in your team’s knowledge. This might seem obvious at first glance, but all too often someone is added to a team without a full knowledge either of what the project is, what the goals of the project are, or how they personally fit into the functioning of the team. Even more troubling, is when the disparate specialties of the various team members turn against each other.
Of course one of the main advantages to having people work in teams is that each person can bring a little bit of their own expertise to work on the problem facing the group (think Ocean’s 11). However, when each team member’s specialties are too disparate, it can result in a lack of accountability because no one else on the team has enough context to double check the work of anyone else. eLearning can keep this from happening by giving each member of the team at least a working knowledge of any particular area which might be relevant to the project the team is working on.
Third, Custom eLearning offers a bonding experience. It is a bit of a cliché, but shared experiences do help a team to bond and work better together. And while it might be a little difficult to reliably engineer a zombie apocalypse or super villain that only the team can defeat by joining together, providing them with a common experience like an engaging eLearning course when starting a new project can serve the same function of helping to create a shared history and team identity.
Whether you are trying to help your teams communicate, patch potentially dangerous knowledge gaps, or trying to bond the members of your team through a common experience, Custom eLearning is a powerful tool for empowering teams to work better together and achieve better results.
Photo Credit: David Rzegocki