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Developing Virtual Training During COVID-19

Jan 13, 2021

By: Jennifer Hodnett, SVP People and Talent

COVID-19 has changed the way many companies do business, including the process for new team member onboarding. With two new hire classes joining NTG in 2020, the People and Talent team worked to develop a hands-on, virtual training session for over 150 people. Traditionally all new hires travel to the Atlanta headquarters for a week-long, in-person session – filled with getting to know ins-and-outs of NTG, time with leadership and co-worker introductions. The challenges presented included being able to create the same energy, deliver quality training and introduce new members to the NTG company culture as past training classes.

“This past year brought many new challenges, but with each new obstacle comes an opportunity to learn and grow. NTG’s first virtual training was a success and opened the door to many opportunities on where and how training can continue to grow. This first training was just the initial step in developing the skill sets of all of our employees at NTG.” – Natalie Cook, NTG’s Director of Talent Development.

Planning

First, the People and Talent team worked together to make an engaging schedule, integrating multiple forms of delivery and creating a variety of content. After deciding that all content would be delivered through Zoom, the team sourced the hardware to allow full participation from all members on the calls. When putting together content needs and strategy, a diverse training was assembled to assist all different types of learning, including videos for visual and audio learners and scavenger hunts for more tactical learners.

Training

Cutting down on the number of topics covered from previous years was a key part of the virtual training to ensure more focus on relevant material for each person’s role. For example, the use of SymTrain was implemented, which allowed the new hires to run through simulations that mocked live calls to develop this skill set. Another concern was making sure new teammates get to know their individual teams and feel welcomed into NTG’s company culture. In addition to the larger sessions, breakout sessions were included in the training for each city’s office to acclimate with one another. To make sure information was retained during this new style of training, all new hires completed a six-week post-training.

Result

Overall, this new system was very successful. The People and Talent team discovered that new hires asked more questions than in past trainings – instead of having to raise your hand in a group of over 300 people, questions were collected and answered over Zoom. Another positive was that leadership was able to create videos prior to training, giving new hires opportunities to learn from experienced industry leaders. Moving forward, a portion of NTG’s new hire training will be virtual allowing for a more uniform training across all the offices for both training week and post-training.

If you’re interested in developing your Logistics career with NTG, check out our open positions to join our team.

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