Training at FCBA in COVID time

Training at FCBA in COVID time
Case of a UGAP/FCBA training project

COVID took us all by surprise and caused a strict lockdown in France from 16 March 2020, during which all non-essential activities were shut down. Faced with the scale of the crisis, companies had to bounce back and find ways to continue their activities and resume their ongoing projects.

As head of the furniture product marketing department at UGAP, I found myself with one of my projects at a standstill: training 40 employees (product managers, assistants, architects, specialised space planning advisors) on more or less technical subjects relating to furniture products.

When the training programme was drawn up with FCBA, we had envisaged this face-to-face training at FCBA Champs-sur-Marne so that we could visit the laboratories and see the tests carried out on the products in a concrete way.

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Unable to travel, we imagined with the team of Valérie Gourvès, director of the FCBA furniture division, a mixed training course, distance learning for the first theoretical part and face-to-face for the lab tests. Of course, the training was adapted to the new constraints, hence the division into 2-hour modules to make it easier to digest by video conference.

The training started in September and two 2-hour modules were delivered. It remained to follow the face-to-face modules which seemed more complex to run without the laboratories.

And there, second containment!

The laboratory teams, used to delivering face-to-face training courses during which the trainees “live” the tests, had to imagine the training in a different way by using different tools at their disposal, including films on the tests in question.

In the end, this training, initially planned for one day, was given in four 2-hour sessions with four different speakers. The trainers used classic PowerPoint-type training materials, but also played with different teaching methods such as the use of chat (to ensure that the trainees remained active at their workstations) and video when possible.

On the UGAP side, this experience was very well received by the teams. The employees were mobilised over shorter periods and the gap between two sessions may have allowed for a better appropriation of the content and the possibility of asking questions directly to the trainer afterwards. To be remembered for future training courses: no one had to travel. This format saved time and costs, limiting the environmental impact in advance. And the employees of UGAP, all over France, were able to attend the same training at the same time. Nevertheless, it lacks a bit of human warmth, but there you have to make the best of it…

Maud Travert
Head of Product Marketing Department Furniture – UGAP

crédits photos : AndreyPopov, Devonyu, shironosov Getty Images via