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How to run engaging and feedback-rich training programs

The Polly Team

Employee Training Hero

What you'll learn

  • How to engage your audience throughout the entire lifecycle of your training program
  • How to maximize feedback gathering to continuously improve training sessions
  • How to add in engagement opportunities during live training sessions

What you'll need

  • Polly Workflows
  • A company Slack or Teams workspace
  • A video meeting platform like Zoom or Google Meet

The problem

How can you launch internal employee training programs that have a high level of engagement from start to finish?

Our hypothesis

When you’re able to tackle three key things well, we guarantee employee engagement during training sessions will increase significantly:


  1. Make it easy for people to engage before and during training sessions
  2. Include interactive components throughout the training program
  3. Build feedback loops so that you can keep improving future sessions


In this playbook, we’ll walk you through how to tackle all three with Polly.


Steps to deliver engaging and feedback-rich training programs

The solution: A series of touchpoints to maximize participation and feedback sharing

1Have a dedicated space for trainees

Whether you’re putting new employees through health and safety training sessions during onboarding, or creating opportunities for personal development across your company, it’s important to have a dedicated space that trainees can easily refer back to.


For the sake of this playbook, we’ll be focusing on having a dedicated space within your Slack or Teams workspace for employees to: 

  • Engage with timely check-ins throughout the training program
  • Easily find all of the information they need in one place
  • Add feedback or questions to pre-session Q&As


By having a dedicated channel for training programs, it also helps moderators be more organized by having a dedicated place to push surveys, polls, and other messages to drive engagement throughout the training program.

create a dedicated Slack channel for training cohorts


2Start every training session with an engaging icebreaker


Start every training session with a fresh and unique icebreaker. When you’re able to engage your audience within the first 5 minutes and get them participating, you’ll set everyone up for a great training session ahead!


Access hundreds of Hot Takes to get people excited to participate throughout the session. Some fun Hot Takes that Polly users love to ask audience members include:

  • Is it pronounced [Gif] or [Jif]?
  • Are dumplings ravioli? 
  • Time traveling to the future is better than the past. True or false?
  • Cats are roommates and dogs are friends

With Polly, you’ll be able to run Hot Takes and other icebreakers directly from Zoom and Google Meet for a fully integrated and seamless audience experience.


training session ice breakers

 Want to lean into your training session content? Create your own unique Hot Take inspired by your training session material! 


Explore the Quick Start Guide to set up your next icebreaker.


3Create an inclusive environment for all participants regardless of location

It’s no secret that hybrid meetings can be tricky and especially difficult for remote workers. When you have a group that’s in person, it can be easy for those tuning in virtually to have equal opportunities to participate.


That’s why it’s so important for us to be extra intentional when it comes to running hybrid training programs. There are some easy ways to ensure we’re making an inclusive environment for 100% of your audience. Let's walk through a few.


Make it remote for everyone

Instead of having onsite employees join together in one big meeting room, have everyone join the training session virtually. That ensures that you only have to optimize for one experience: virtual training. One caveat to this is if your training session involves a lot of back and forth participation, because realistically speaking, most offices don’t have a million and one office rooms for trainees to take over.


Power your next training program with Polly. Get a 1:1 walkthrough


Provide more than one way to contribute

It can feel less intimidating for a participant to put their hand up when they’re in the same room (or alternatively if they’re remote). Giving trainees the ability to participate in a variety of ways ensures that everyone has a different avenue to share feedback and make their voice heard throughout the training program.


Introduce a facilitator

Depending on the size of your training group, it can be a big ask to not only present the training program, but also to moderate it too. Having a facilitator can make for an inclusive training session because you’ll have a dedicated person who’s actively looking through chat logs, addressing raised hands (especially for virtual participants), and overall moderation tasks.


Giving trainees access to the necessary tools

If you’re running a training session with internal and external individuals, it can get complicated when it comes to ensuring everyone has the right permissions. With Polly’s web voting feature, you’ll be able to gather real-time survey responses from your audience. All you need to do is send an authorized link.



4Automate timely feedback and check-ins throughout your training program

The best way to continuously improve your training program? Timely touchpoints for feedback and check-ins.

Group 635599


With Polly, you’ll be able to set up automated workflows that trigger at the most ideal times of your training program to best optimize for high response rates and timely feedback.

Polls and surveys you can embed throughout your training program can include:

  • Feedback surveys after every training session
  • Weekly or daily check-ins
  • Timely quizzes to reinforce learning opportunities pre- and post-training sessions
  • Polls to keep track of progress
  • Open-ended surveys to collect feedback across training content, timing, and anything else that comes to mind


Drive survey engagement by 10x

Adding a Google Form (or the equivalent) into your lesson documents isn’t enough. Not only is it an additional step trainees have to take—meaning they’re less likely to engage—but it might not get seen altogether.


Instead, make it easy and frictionless for your audience to participate in Q&As, polls, and surveys from the channel that makes the most sense for them: 

    • Slack: Enable people to submit feedback directly from Slack. Create a training cohort-specific channel so that people actually see your updates.
    • Web: Send a weblink to those who prefer other communication channels like email


💡 Pro tip: The key to success at this stage? Sending post-event surveys through Slack DMs—directly to every attendee. Sending surveys via DMs has proven to increase survey response rates by 3.5X versus channels.


5Kick off your training program feedback loop


Aggregate and learn from all of the feedback surveys and polls throughout your training program.


post-training analytics dashboard

With a continuous stream of feedback across every stage of the training program, you’ll be able to uncover key areas to improve and implement for the next cohort. Analyze and compare:

    • Post-training session feedback across every session to easily identify your most (and least) effective training sessions.
    • In-between session pulse checks data to help identify if there are moments within the program that people are more likely to drop off or disengage.
    • Cohort vs. cohort feedback to better understand if the changes you’ve made are making a positive difference in the training program experience.
    • In-session engagement trends to uncover if certain icebreakers or presentation formats are more engaging than others and double down on them across all sessions.


Power your next training program with Polly