The ABCs of Sensory Overload: C is for Communication

Ardent Learning

So far in our series about how to reduce sensory overload for leaners and improve retention and engagement during training, we’ve covered the importance of assessing your current learning strategy and available tools, as well as how using a blended approach can help balance inputs and reduce overload. The final factor in a smart strategy that prioritizes learners is communication.

Communication has a big impact on helping learners not feel overwhelmed or unprepared. First, communication helps employees stay mindful of what sensory overload looks like and what can lead to it. Additionally, varying communication methods and focusing on how learners prefer to be reached can also reduce sensory overload. Here’s what Ardent recommends:

  • Ask learners for communication preferences: Get employee feedback early and often about how they want to be communicated with. Do they prefer email updates? Pings on a Slack channel? Videos? Gather enough information to be able to make informed decisions on how you choose to share updates and create training materials.
  • Set expectations early and be consistent in messaging: The best way to reduce sensory overload is to communicate with learners up front about what the expectation should be. Let them know what their experience will include and what they should expect. Make sure to stick to the plan and be consistent in delivering against those commitments in order to best engage learners.
  • Use diagrams and visuals to explain options, timelines, or processes: Communication isn’t only text and emails. Make sure you’re including visual communication components too, in order to best reach all learning styles.
  • Vary communication methods including email, text, personal calls, virtual calls, or daily huddles: Consider how to match your communication method to your objective. Updates and changes to training session times might work best in a text or email, while going over a concept about a new process is likely better discussed in a short call or meeting.
  • Build social options, such as lunch-and-learns, video coffee sessions, or virtual water cooler discussions into your communication plan: All training doesn’t need to be formal, and all communication surrounding training objectives doesn’t need to be in an email or a meeting.

For the full scope of how to reduce sensory overload for learners and encourage better, more engaged learning, download our sensory overload resource to use as a guide.

For more info about how to create custom learning assets that support your training initiatives and empower and engage learners, schedule some time to talk with us. We can provide you with a free consultation to help you better understand what training that drives your business results should look like.

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