Staff training comes in many different forms. There are lectures and classroom-style courses, there’s on-the-job training, mentoring, and semi-regular staff retreats and team-building exercises.
Increasingly, many well-known organisations are incorporating elements of drama-based learning programmes in a holistic approach to staff training. Professional training providers like Steps works with household names such as BP and Barclays right through to Bupa – demonstrating that using drama-based training can benefit companies of all shapes and sizes, within any sector.
Classroom training has its place and can be a highly effective way of delivering knowledge and skills to employees, but engagement is crucial in any type of training and a more participatory, hands-on approach often pays dividends.
An ancient Chinese proverb runs: “I hear and I forget. I see and I understand. I do and I remember.”
Role-playing is one participatory technique with which many people are familiar. Some will be openly dismissive towards the concept but, when done properly and under the guidance of experts, it can be an invaluable tool. Consistent and credible role-playing in small group environments can provide both preparation and insight for a wide variety of scenarios and potential workplace situations, from difficult meetings to conflict resolution.
This is perhaps the one technique that many people think of in relation to this field but there are many different types to choose from – especially when using firms like Steps. Steps provides drama based staff training and is one of the leading companies in this field, so you may want to consider them when investigating this type of training.
Of course, you also need to understand the different techniques used with an experiential approach and here we run through some of the main examples.
Interactive drama, for example, involves actor-facilitators beginning a scenario. At a certain point, one of them stops to ask the group for help –sparking lively debate and discussion. Suggestions are then taken back into the drama to see how they ‘play out’.
Scripted drama is similar, but the trainees are presented with a complete scene that explores complex or difficult situations in a safe environment. Facilitators will ask the group for responses after the drama, identifying and discussing the issues and behaviours raised.
Drama based training??
High quality drama based training is extremely versatile and can be tailored to suit a wide range of sectors, situations and participants. It can be used to provide whole training modules in its own right as well as to augment and complement more traditional training methods.
It can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but there is always a serious intent behind it. That is to pass on knowledge, skills and ideas, and to stimulate critical thinking and debate.
As many companies have already found out, drama can have a big part to play in getting the best out of your staff.
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