Are Workshops Still Relevant in the Future of Work?
I recently spoke with a seasoned HR professional. Among other things, we discussed whether workshops have outlived their usefulness. She mentioned the challenges that she sees with what was once a L&D staple in the current work environment.
1. Time Constraints: Finding time when everyone is available for a skill building workshop can be a daunting task, especially when each person already has a jam-packed work week.
2. Logistics: In a hybrid setting, the difficulties of bringing employees together for a workshop are amplified. Varying time zones, and different locations add layers of complexity. In addition, in a hybrid workshop (some present and some remote), employees will inevitably have uneven experiences.
3. ROI Evaluation: Given how difficult it is to measure ROI on a single workshop, the HR team is right to question whether this is the most effective use of valuable Learning and Development (L&D) resources.
4. The Forgetting Curve: If the skills are not practiced right away, people can quickly forget what they learned further reducing the ROI on time and money spent.
However, upon further reflection, I came up with 9 reasons why the good old workshop can still be an excellent use of time and money.
The Case for Workshops
1. Skill Building: Ideally, workshops impart practical skills that team members can apply immediately. At the very least, just by participating can help individuals work on their communication and teamwork skills.
2. Employee Satisfaction: Offering skill based workshops reflects a commitment to employees’ professional development, boosting their job satisfaction and morale. Equipping employees with new skills often results in heightened motivation and engagement.
3. Team Building: Workshops provide a forum for team members to connect and discuss work-related topics and challenges, distinct from work-creeping-into-private-time-happy-hours or project-centric meetings. If you want to maximize impact and engagement, build your facilitation skills.
4. Building Empathy: Workshops can offer opportunities for employees to shine. For instance, a junior team member may find a workshop breakout group with senior managers a chance to be heard as an equal and showcase strengths not typically evident in day-to-day interactions.
5. Fostering a Learning Organization: Hosting workshops sends a clear signal that learning, growth, and development are integral to your organization’s culture.
6. Cost-Effectiveness: When implemented efficiently, workshops can be a cost-effective method of enhancing employees’ skills and workplace culture. Add your expert view to this ROI of Training document.
7. Talent Attraction and Retention: Offering skill development workshops can make your company more attractive to job seekers, positioning it as a place for growth and development. Existing employees are more likely to stay with a company that offers opportunities for skill improvement and career advancement.
8. Improved Team Collaboration: Workshops can unite your team through a shared language, fostering better communication and collaboration. Employees gain a shared understanding and terminology, facilitating cross-functional collaboration.
9. Measurable Results: Well-designed workshops can be evaluated through performance metrics, allowing the organization to monitor the impact of training efforts.
In the ever-evolving landscape of the workplace, systems and processes may be automated, but the heart of your company remains its people.
Learning and development, skill enhancement, adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and creative problem-solving are vital components of creating an organization that thrives.
While a single workshop may have a limited impact, workshops delivered as part of a strategy can be a core element for building culture, developing and retaining talent and achieving organizational growth.
Check out our workshop offerings or reach out to talk about how we can help your employees and your company thrive.