VARK in Business

How can VARK help my Business?

  • enhance my staff (and my own) communication skills.
  • increase awareness that others may not share my preferences for communicating
  • improve team performance
  • enhance compatibilities
  • improve our new-hire processes
  • increase the range of strategies that are used for communicating within the business
  • reduce conflicts that are merely based on differences in our preferences.

Why not find out your own preferences for communicating by ordering a VARK Profile. It is quick and informative and for approximately $US13.50 it may change some aspects of your own communication style. To purchase a profile, first fill in the questionnaire.

You may think VARK is for students and teachers but VARK is basically a communication tool.  You could use VARK in your HR department to find out about the communication preferences of your new-hires.  One architectural firm used VARK to survey new-hires and found some had very low preferences for working with images and plans!

You may find that you have some staff (or clients) who are mismatched with those with whom they work.  You could use VARK to unblock communication channels among your staff and work teams.  You may want some input into forming work teams that have chance of success. For example, two staff were often involved in time-wasting arguments. One had a VARK high preference for talk and a low preference for using print.  She wanted to have things explained – to be told. Her colleague thought talk was a waste of time and insisted that she read his written plans for action. You can imagine what happened.  If you are interested, explore this site.

Do you know how you prefer to communicate?

Can you apply that Knowledge in your Workplace?

VARK tells you something about yourself that you may or may not know. It can be used to understand your boss, your colleagues, your employees, your partner, your relatives and yourself.  It is a short, simple inventory that has been well-received because its dimensions are intuitively understood and its applications are practical. It has helped people understand each other and businesses to learn more effectively about their employees, employers, suppliers, customers, new hires and clients.  It is a powerful tool for customer engagement.

VARK is copyrighted, and trademarked for use in business but there are inexpensive ways to use it.

Although we have known for centuries about the different modes for communication, this inventory, initially developed in 1987 by Neil Fleming in New Zealand, was the first inventory to systematically present a series of questions with Helpsheets for you to use to improve communication effectiveness. Getting a label from an online questionnaire is not much use. It invites the response, “So What?”  Finding strategies based on your individual communication characteristics is an effective way to self develop. VARK provides strategies that help people understand and move on from any label. Once you know about VARK, its power to explain things will be a revelation.

Who uses VARK in their Business?

Note: The confidentiality of these clients has been observed so they have been given fictitious names.

ABC Company wanted to add value to their management staff by increasing their focus on learning communities and the learning organization (after Peter Senge). To achieve this, they hired a VARK consultant to deliver interactive workshops to their managers using two sessions with 65 managers participating. In preparation, scenarios from the company were written in such a way that they explored VARK principles and solutions within their context. These were used in the workshops after an introduction to VARK’s role as a business tool. After the workshop, each manager went online and received a personalized VARK profile outlining their preferences for communicating within the company and offering strategies for improvement. As an ongoing commitment, managers were asked to explore how VARK could be used with their employees to improve learning. The consultant’s role in the leadership retreat received rave reviews.

DEF Company wanted to offer its clients a personalized VARK profile as a loyalty incentive. Each client was entitled to go online, complete the VARK questionnaire and receive, instantly on their browser, a PDF file customized to their VARK scores. The customization included advice about their business role and strategies for such things as communicating, delegating, and leadership. The company obtained a database of these clients that enabled them to better understand the learning preferences of their clients and to tailor their communication to them more appropriately. The PDF also carried promotional material from the DEF company.

GHI Company wanted to survey its customers to establish any links between their learning preferences and the customer support services they used. Their customer support services were known to be ineffective and it was thought that they may be able to redraft those services to match the learning preferences of individual customers. The survey found some interesting segmentation and learning characteristics among their clients. The redrafting task is progressing.

JKL, a government organization providing a gallery and museum service, wanted information about the learning and communication preferences of its visitors. This could help with inservice training for their professional guides and also for updating the information surrounding the exhibits.  A VARK survey was conducted online and useful segmentation data was assembled and fed back to the organization.

MNO, a group of nursing staff within a public hospital, had been disappointed with their lack of success in communicating health and hygiene for those with mild diabetes who were self-injecting insulin.   A manual was given to each new patient, but unfortunately the learning preferences of these patients had not been fully considered and the manual was  written for only one group of learners – those who were strongly Read/write in their preferences.  The consequence was that there were a number of poor performances with associated health risks including infection at injection sites.  VARK was introduced.  The manual was redesigned to cater for different learning preferences and workshops were improved so that those who had strong Kinesthetic VARK scores could benefit from effective demonstrations and other hands-on methods of communication.  Many of the health and hygiene issues disappeared or became less frequent as a result of this intervention to cater for the different ways that patients learn.

A music teacher was concerned about differences in learning exhibited by her students and other music teachers. She used VARK to profile her students and teachers and found some interesting examples which she presented at a conference for music teachers in the USA. patterns of behavior in learning music emerged from discussion, observations and the VARK scores.

A senior nurse used VARK for her Doctoral dissertation and implemented her findings into the nursing training at two major Californian hospitals with over 650 staff nurses under her leadership.  Performance improved after the trial and the training schemes were amended to include VARK Profiles and more variety for effective learning.

For testimonials from VARK business users, see here.

VARK Training – Some Business Scenarios

The short scenarios in this document provide some example situations in which knowledge about someone’s VARK preferences could be applied, in a business environment.

Download “VARK Training: Some Business Scenarios” PDF.