Virtual Training Increases Nearly Seven-fold at Deloitte Services

When budgets were cut several years ago at the beginning of the economic downturn, Deloitte Services began to use virtual classrooms for technical training. “We still had plenty of money for training, but our budget was cut year over year. That forced us to rethink our strategy around delivery,” explained Bill Pelster, a Seattle-based managing principal for talent development.

Before 2008, Deloitte’s virtual training sessions numbered approximately 900. Now the virtual classroom is used for nearly 6,000 classes per year. The best use of the virtual format, Deloitte has found, for updating technical skills or knowledge among auditors, financial advisers, tax experts, and risk-management specialists worldwide. Other U.S. companies have also discovered that virtual training can work well.

Despite some organizations’ belief that soft skills training doesn’t work well in a virtual environment, I’ve successfully delivered storytelling online and will be increasing the number of web-based presentations and courses in the future. The next one, a presentation to a board of trustees, is scheduled in early March.

How about you? If your company is offering virtual training, tell us how it’s been delivered and how well it’s worked.

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