The continuing growth of remote workforces has redefined the role of the modern employee. Instead of spending 9-to-5 in a cubicle, today’s workers are more likely to balance work with hitting the gym or running a quick errand during the day. And this trend is likely to continue. For organizations that want to leverage remote workers instead of outsourcing or shrinking their team, remote training can be an essential tool for onboarding new employees and refreshing their knowledge periodically. Remote training helps them stay up-to-date on company policies, procedures, and performance standards from anywhere they can get an internet connection. This is imperative, as remote workers often have less access to their company’s resources and culture than their co-workers who report to the office every day. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to nine tools and tips for effective remote training programs your team can use as part of your organization’s strategic plan.
Remote Training: 9 Tools and Tips to Train Your Remote Workforce
Set a Schedule for Regular Check-ins
A remote workforce can feel like (and sometimes is) a thousand miles away from the halls of the office. One way employees can feel more connected and part of the team is by checking in with managers or mentors during training on a regular schedule. For example, you might try scheduling a daily or weekly check-in to keep you and your remote employees on the same page. This can keep a remote employee from feeling as if he or she is operating in a vacuum and will help you stay informed about remote workers’ progress. A regular communication schedule will also ensure you’re not forgetting to check in with your remote employees. If you’re managing a large team, consider adding recurring events to your calendar to keep on top of your communication with employees. These events can remind you to reach out to your remote workers and keep them in the loop on important projects and initiatives during remote training.
Have Employees Partner Up
Many remote workers may not have colleagues nearby who they can reach out to for advice or feedback. Having a mentor or peer on the team can help remote workers feel supported and connected to their team. While you can’t force employees to take part in one-on-one relationship-building exercises, you can encourage it. Before you onboard new employees, ask them to reach out to their teammates and find someone they can partner with. Give remote workers some guidelines, such as suggesting they pair up with someone at their level or who has more experience while completing remote training. This will help remote workers feel supported as they learn their way around your team, processes, and tools. Plus, it will also enable remote workers to provide each other with feedback and support.
Instill Continuous Improvement Through Encouragement and Recognition
Remote workers may be eager to please you, but they’re often separated from the team and supervisors who could give them the feedback they need to improve their work. Keep remote workers on their toes by encouraging them to look for new ways to improve their work, whether that’s by learning new technical skills or developing new soft skills such as communicating more clearly or effectively. Remote workers may feel as if they’re not in your field of vision, so they may not be as motivated to strive for continuous improvement as co-workers in the office might be. You can create a culture of improvement by recognizing good work and pointing out areas where an employee can do even better. For example, if you notice an employee regularly exceeds expectations and meets project deadlines, give that person some public recognition.
Leverage Remote Collaboration Tools
A single remote employee who works alone may feel as if he or she is a lone wolf who has no connection to the team. But you can use remote collaboration tools to help your remote workers feel connected to each other during training periods. Consider installing a collaboration tool such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, which let users create channels to discuss projects, share files, and communicate with their team members. Or, if you’re using a virtual team of contractors or freelancers, you can also use online collaboration tools designed for remote teams, such as Asana or Trello. These tools can help remote workers stay informed about what’s happening on various projects and help them coordinate with their team members. You can also use these tools to keep remote workers on the same page as your office-based employees. If you see that remote workers are missing out on important announcements or don’t have access to the same tools as their colleagues, you can use a collaboration tool to keep everyone in the loop.
Use Video Conferencing to Establish Face-to-Face Communication Rituals
You can encourage employees to adopt face-to-face communication rituals by using video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Having video communication rituals will help remote workers stay on the same page as their co-workers in other areas during remote training. Remote communication rituals can also help remote workers feel more connected to your brand and company culture.
Train Employees Together Using Video Conferencing Tools
Remote workers often have to learn new skills as they move into new roles or take on new responsibilities. Instead of training individual employees in isolation or sending them to a lone learning management system by themselves, use video conferencing tools to train multiple remote workers at once. Remote employees can be separated from their peers and leaders, which might make it harder for them to make the most of training opportunities. Group training sessions can help remote workers feel more like a team and less like individuals who are receiving less attention than their in-office colleagues. When you’re training multiple employees at once, make sure you’re not rushing through the material. Stay focused on the content, and avoid getting distracted by side conversations that may occur.
Track and Analyze Employee Behavior to Improve Your Program
To improve your remote training program, you need to know how it’s working. Keep track of how employees are progressing through their training and how often they’re logging into the learning management system. You can then use this information to inform your program and make necessary changes. You may discover that some remote employees are falling behind on their training or skipping it altogether. You can address this problem by helping employees set training goals and encouraging them to stay on track. If you notice some employees are falling behind on their training, consider scheduling weekly one-on-one check-ins to help them get back on track. This will keep remote workers from falling behind and feeling disconnected from their team members.
Ask for Employee Feedback
You can also use remote training to ask for feedback on your program and how it can be improved. Keep track of where employees are struggling and what they would like to see more of in your LMS. This will help you tailor your remote training program to meet your employees’ needs. Remote employees may feel less in tune with your LMS than their office-based peers. They may not know where to find certain courses or how to navigate the system. You can use remote training sessions to explain the LMS to your employees and help them get more out of the program.
Offer Completion Incentives
You can encourage workers to complete their remote training by offering completion incentives. You can offer a bonus payment or another type of financial reward for employees who finish their training. You can also offer remote workers non-financial incentives, such as time off. Or, you can try a combination of both. Remote training can be an essential tool for onboarding new employees and refreshing their knowledge periodically. Use these tools and tips to help your remote workforce feel connected and supported.
Remote work is on the rise, so it’s critical that managers and HR professionals understand how they can best utilize remote workers. At the same time, it’s important that remote employees stay incentivized and engaged in their work. Remote training can do just that by providing employees with the information and skills they need to succeed. Remote training is an essential tool for onboarding new employees and refreshing their knowledge periodically. Use these tools and tips to help your remote workforce feel connected and supported.
ReadyTech is Here
Remote training is here to stay, as the need to keep up with the growing remote learning industry is stronger than ever. ReadyTech provides you with everything you need to train your employees, and we offer a full-service setup process and 24/7 live support. Do you have questions? Contact us today.