HR Advisors Conference Blog

Further thoughts from the conference or about the challenges of being in an HR Advisory role.

HR Superhero files #3: Webinars that wow!

In HR we have a 1:many relationship with our managers and employees. There is only one of us and many of them! We just can’t talk to each person one on one.

What superhero powers can you use to talk to everyone at once? I’d suggest that webinars are a fantastic tool for getting in contact with lots of managers or employees at the same time, share information, train people, answer questions and discuss issues. However webinars take a bit of skill to get right. Time and again I sign up to webinars that sound great – but are delivered in a way that make them boring and disengaging.

If you want to be a superhero and use webinars effectively as part of your HR toolbox, here’s my suggestions on how to do it!

  1. Give your webinar an interesting title. If you’re updating managers on performance reviews, don’t call it ‘Performance Review update’, try something like ‘Are you ready to review your team?’. If they read that and think ‘yes’ – they’ll be more likely to sign up! I’m running a webinar for Halogen this week called ‘The Fishhooks of Talent Management’. It’s about what can trip people up but fishhooks sounded more interesting than ‘Building an effective Talent programme’.
  2. Get to the message quickly. People are busy. Do a short overview of how the webinar will work but get into the content. I attended a webinar last week that was supposed to be a panel discussion about leadership, but the company hosting it talked for 25 minutes before we got to the panel. I’d gone and done something else while waiting. If you’re running this for managers – you don’t want to lose their interest.
  3. Interact with your audience. If you want to build relationships then you can’t talk at your managers for 30 minutes. Use polls to ask a few questions, use the ‘hands up’ function to ask for a show of hands, use the chat or Q&A function. I run webinars for accountants about various HR topics, and I get the highest ratings – not because my content is any more relevant than other technical topics, but because of the way I present it. It doesn’t have to be dry and one sided!
  4. Use visuals – you should have a change of slide or something new come up on the slide every 15 – 30 seconds. Remember, your audience aren’t seeing your face so they need something to look at! If you’re running a webinar internally and your technology allows – see if you can use webcam for parts of the webinar.
  5. Use interview style – rather than just talking through a presentation, if you’re training people on a new HR product, why have two of you interview each other? Or talk with a manager or employee who has been using the process. At the HR Game Changer last year, Ingrid Hood shared that when she was at House of Travel, they would run a webinar on a different country each week – interviewing someone who had been there. Or for product training – would interview a top sales person or someone who knew that product well.

If you’re not very confident, then run the webinar with a small group of managers or employees that your trust (or even with others in the HR team) and record the webinar – then load up the recording on your intranet. Managers can then watch that like an e-learning module. And if you’re really worried about webinars, then why not jazz up your PowerPoint presentation and record your voice over the top? Another quick way to provide some information to lots of managers at once!

Being an HR superhero takes some experimentation but I think we need to learn from L&D to be able to deliver what’s required – especially if you’re in an HR Advisor role where you are supporting many managers and don’t have enough time in your day!

And if you want to know more about how to design as well as deliver great webinars, there is a whole chapter in my new book Training Bites!!


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This entry was posted on April 21, 2015 by in Operational HR work and tagged , , .

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