If you could change one thing about your organization that would increase employee productivity by 200 percent, would you do it? There’s not a manager out there who wouldn’t be interested! That X-factor is training and development and the latest research indicates it’s not only attracting employees but retaining them. This isn’t news to us here at The National.
We focus on learning and development in all we do, from our 65-acre campus to our state-of-the-art IT services and support that enables high tech, interactive learning experiences. Working with many diverse learning organizations, we are able to stay on top of what’s hot today while anticipating and offering innovative options that keep us at the forefront year over year.
Let’s go behind the scenes to see what innovative learning and development looks like at The National.
Learning comes first
Attendees who are here for a week or even two quickly bore with classroom-style lectures. For an organization that brought in managers from across the county, we helped change things up daily – several times a day, in fact. The room that was set up as pods in the morning with people seated around tables for small group discussions, became a theater for a multimedia presentation after lunch. They also wanted more relaxed breakout sessions, so the room was set with comfy sofas and chairs.
Another client requested 24 flip charts for the front of a room. This got us thinking. Could a game, played by groups at tables, achieve the same goals with more energy and audience engagement? Turns out the answer was yes and the feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive.
An intensive training session for another client drove home the idea that out-of-the-box thinking was needed. To help participants apply their creativity, and identify who takes charge and who holds back, we suggested a challenge course activity. Employees had to get everyone in their group over a high wall using only a few tools for help. The hour-long activity not only got everyone actively involved in problem-solving but was a welcomed break in the day.
With more than 900 guests staying for a week, mealtimes are of the utmost importance. Our focus on locally-sourced foods and the creativity and skill of our staff and Chef offers new menus and exciting options for every meal, every day.
Just last night, dinner included a carving station and a choice of four different entrées, while a giant salad bar featuring creative toppings and protein choices provided even more options.
Downtime works harder
Looking out the window during break times, you might mistake The National for a college campus, with students crossing our courtyards and stopping to catch up with passing colleagues.
We keep that feeling going in the evenings. After dinner, groups wander out to the fire pits, enjoy a casual game of darts, or join in a karaoke session in the Black Olive Bar & Grill.
The National isn’t like other facilities that hold meetings and conferences. We’re designed different so we can meet L&D needs in ways that engage everyone, from millennial to boomer, soldier to CEO, with equal parts of innovation and attentiveness.