Do your remote employees work well with others? Can they follow as well as they lead? In this article, I’ll explore how online group collaboration fosters Project Management skills in online training.
How Online Group Collaboration Fosters Project Management Skills In Online Training
Managing a project successfully calls for a broad range of talents, from communication and conflict resolution to interpersonal skills. As such, facilitating Project Management skills in online training is no easy feat. It requires firsthand experience, real-world application, and active employee involvement. Fortunately, you can use online group collaboration to foster these abilities in your online training program. Here are 7 ways that online group collaboration builds these vital skills.
1. Mimics Real-World Team Environments
Online group collaboration activities involve the same challenges employees encounter in the real world, such as dealing with different personality types or learning how to tap into the talents of their peers in order to complete the task. They must manage their time effectively and use the resources at their disposal to solve the problem or deliver the finished product. For example, conduct research and then utilize the right tool to create an online presentation, just as they would in the real-world team environments.
2. Challenges Preexisting Cognitions
Working with a group exposes employees to new opinions and viewpoints. They get to see things from a different perspective and challenge their current assumptions. In the workplace, Project Managers collaborate with individuals who have diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills. They must have an open mind, free of limiting beliefs and opinions. Interacting with peers during online training allows them to explore differing ideas and thoughts in a supportive environment. It promotes tolerance, diversity, and individuality.
3. Allows Employees To Adopt Different Roles And Responsibilities
Online group collaboration gives employees the chance to step into different roles and accept new responsibilities. They may be the team leader for this online group collaboration project, which enables them to delegate tasks, manage milestones, and offer support to team members. However, they’ll take on a less active role for the next group assignment in order to develop other teamwork skills, such as communicating with co-workers and following instructions provided by the Project Manager. Employees get to experience both ends of the spectrum and develop the specific skill sets associated with each role.
4. Builds Time Management And Organizational Skills
Project Managers must make the most of their time and allocate resources effectively. There is a wide range of sub-tasks involved in work-related projects. As such, they must have a knack for organization and planning. Online group collaboration helps them build these crucial skills, as it involves the same time constraints and limited resources. They have to organize every aspect of the project. For example, assign tasks based on preexisting knowledge and experience, or figure out how to complete the online assignment with the tools available. In other words, employees must figure out how to piece the puzzle together before the deadline.
5. Facilitates Free-Flowing Knowledge Exchange
Above all else, online group collaboration opens up the lines of communication so that employees can freely exchange information. They can benefit from one another’s experience and knowledge. In fact, online group collaboration projects are intended for this purpose. Every member of the team gets to share their unique expertise and explore the problem from different viewpoints. Here are a few additional ways to facilitate knowledge sharing in your online training program:
- Start A Corporate eLearning Blog
Create a corporate eLearning blog and invite employees to post comments and questions. You can even focus on a different topic or idea each week, or ask employees to guest-host the blog from time to time. Corporate eLearning blogs are great conversation starters, as they facilitate peer-to-peer interaction and spark lively but respectful debates. Post thought-provoking questions and interesting facts to engage employees and boost online participation.
- Create An Ever-Expanding eLearning Library
eLearning libraries give employees the “moment of need” tools they need to be productive in the workplace. However, you can also give employees the opportunity to upload their own resources. This allows them to share tips and tools that can benefit the entire team. Verify the links periodically to ensure they’re still active, and divide them into categories for your employees’ convenience.
- Encourage Online Discussions Through Social Media And Forums
Social media groups and forums give employees the ability to interact from around the world. They can offer feedback, advice, and support to their co-workers. Employees also build interpersonal and communication skills by participating in online discussions. Ideally, you should create a separate social media group or forum for each online training topic. Also, encourage employees to start their own social media groups to keep track of their team’s progress.
6. Imparts Practical Problem-Solving Skills
Employees are bound to encounter issues when they manage work-related projects. You can equip them with the problem-solving skills they need through online group collaboration. Working in team settings allows them to see the problem from different angles. This builds creative reasoning and lateral thinking skills. Thus, employees are better equipped to handle real-world issues that arise on the job, thanks to their practical experience.
7. Builds Conflict Resolution Skills
Not every online group collaboration project runs smoothly. In fact, some online activities are full of conflicts, miscommunications, and lack of cohesive planning. However, that gives employees the power to build their conflict resolution skills. Instead of arguing among themselves, teams have the opportunity to discuss the issues and come to a mutually beneficial solution.
Online group collaboration projects are just one of the many social learning activities that you can incorporate to your online training program. Read the article 7 Social Learning Activities That Are A Perfect Fit In Online Training to discover which social learning activities spark social interaction, especially when your employees are geographically dispersed.
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