Remote work has become very common today and is on the rise, with many companies having employees working for them all around the world.
According to a Buffer report, 99 percent of survey participants say they would like to work remotely at least some time for the rest of their careers.
Following that, another survey by Blueface shows that by 2025, remote work will rival in-house work.
While this is good news for employees offering more flexibility and work-life balance, it forces employers to face yet another dilemma: how to effectively train employees at remote locations.
Now, with a worldwide crisis, everyone who can is being asked to work remotely. This complicates training and especially anything that needed to be done on-site and in-person.
Remote training is the solution for many businesses, trainers and HR departments.
But what does it refer to exactly and how can it be used to train remote employees in the best way possible?
What is Remote Training?
It is delivered through the use of online courses, webinars, podcasts or live internet training and other elearning tools.
Why Do You Need Remote Training?
The term ‘remote’ indicates that the trainer and trainees are not physically in the same room.
This calls for the help of training technologies that can transmit live face-to-face training and other means different to traditional employee training practices.
What are the Benefits of Remote Training?
Apart from flexibility, remote training has to offer the following:
What are the Challenges of Remote Training?
However, there are also downsides to it which are essential to get to know when preparing to offer remote training:
It may be regarded as impersonal by some.
Despite the challenges, companies across many industries have been battling with them and came up with effective training strategies to eliminate the disadvantages.
What are the Most Popular Types of Remote Training?
There is a great variety of remote training methods that you can use to deliver training to employees from a distance.
The most popular that organizations use are the following:
Self-paced learning: through the use of online courses, remote workers can learn at their own pace and convenience.
Live-video conferences: video conferences are perfect for fighting feelings of isolation and can be used as a way to strengthen the connection between remote teams.
Knowledge base: a dedicated knowledge base can educate, remove employees and provide detailed explanations on matters that all struggle to understand.
Shared document storage: create clear company guidelines and training materials and store them on cloud where everybody has access to.
Remote desktop: remote desktop programs allow team members to log in on another computer or device and perform real-time demonstrations. This way they can quickly overcome tech-related problems and focus on their main tasks.
Webinars: webinars can transmit information in a visually attractive and quick way without the need for team members to be physically present.
Simulations: using video games to train remote workers through real-life work scenarios can build on knowledge retention and
Screen-captures: communication through the use of screen-captures or screenshots are very common and effective as it helps team members see the content of another computer’s screen at the moment of the shot.
Screencasts: on-screen tutorials, video lessons and SlideShare presentations are examples of video recording showing a computer screen that can facilitate learning.
Podcasts: these are digital audio files loaded with information that you can send to remote workers.
Amongst these any other means that fosters effective internal communication are essential for remote training.
Phone calls and emails are a great example tool as they are two communication channels that although they have been around for a while, they are not obsolete yet.
Other communication & productivity software like Asana, Trello, Slack, Monday.com, etc make remote training and work easier.
How to Run a Remote Training Program
If your company has one or more remote teams, think about how to make remote training work. What you need is to establish a remote training program.
To do this effectively, we suggest going through the following steps:
1Research the learning needs of employees
First, you need to find out what the learning needs of your employees are. To avoid leading your company blindfold or covering subjects your employees already know about, you need to search for areas of development.
An initial questionnaire or a talk with each employee can help to uncover blind spots and reveal the real weaknesses you need to focus on.
2Plan the training
Next, you have to think about what the training will include so that it works along with your learning goals. Will it be a series of training courses, a combination of traditional classroom-based and online training – blended learning, PowerPoint presentations, webinars or both?
Also, what elements should it include? For example, would you have an ice-breaker and conduct an introductory webinar for all members to get to know each other?
Determining this early on should help you decide what’s the best course of action for your company and the effectiveness of your team.
3Set clear expectations
One thing you should make clear when providing remote training is expectations. Clearly define what you expect employees will get out of this training and find out what they expect they will learn.
Conduct goal-setting training sessions that reinforce the short- and long-term goals, KPIs, and milestones.
Also, make sure these goals are documented and everyone can access them and hold weekly meetings to discuss team or individual progress.
4Prepare the training content
If you already have the training content, or it is scheduled to be delivered by an external source – or an organization, skip this step.
If you don’t, you can come up with the course content yourself.
Course development costs may range depending on the resources you have, your budget, the time at your hands and the people in your team who can help you create a course – e.g. an instructional designer.
5Send resources to employees
Come up with a way to send training resources to your employees. The best way to host your resources is by using an LMS.
Another way is having a knowledge base with training materials or shared document storage. In some cases, it can be through your LMS, Dropbox or Google Drive. Either way, you have to ensure that everybody has access to it at all times.
6Keep to the schedule
As a remote trainer, it’s important to be able to talk with your remote team frequently to ensure that you are on the same page. When you are promising to send out training materials, do so on the same day to make sure that you stay up to date with the training and you keep your employees engaged.
7Ask for feedback
Lastly, don’t forget to ask your employees for feedback. Gathering opinions is essential at any stage because you need to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
You can gather feedback through a survey to allow your employees’ thoughts to be heard. Ask questions like the following:
Variations of these three questions may exist, but it’s important to get out the main points of what employees have to say about the training.
8Invest in the company culture
Because remote training can get tiring for your employees, make sure to add some ‘company culture’ as part of your training. You can do this by introducing an informal set of common behaviors and values.
Also, teamwork activities as part of an online course can work great. When combining this with a communication channel like Slack, where employees can talk about their learning experiences or anything related to work, it can do wonders.
How to facilitate remote training
Currently, there are many training tools you can use to start offering remote learning without the need to be in a physical training room.
How to Choose a Remote Training Platform
Choosing a remote training platform is easy as long as you know what you are looking for in terms of features and have a rough idea of how much you expect to spend on one.
LearnWorlds, which comes as an all-in-one solution, offers more than any LMS platform can offer, providing you with the possibility to create unique interactive learning experiences.
Backed up with the ability to create online courses with its course authoring tools, LearnWorlds allows you to add any learning activity you want in your training course including PDFs, ebooks, audio, video, HTML5, and embedded content.
Also, LearnWorlds and Zoom you can create live webinars and get them right into your LearnWorlds school.
This gives you the opportunity to create live conferences and talk directly with your remote team.
Last but not least, comes the gradebook and certificates which can complement your remote training initiatives.
With the gradebook, you can have an overview of your employees performance and check who has completed the training or not, what grades they got and which answers they gave to each question.
Certificates work as a great incentive for people to complete the training and it adds to their professional profile.
These and many other features make up the LearnWorlds platform. For a closer look at what we offer go through our list of features.
Are you Planning to Offer Remote Training?
In a remote work setting, providing remote training is an ongoing process and it shouldn’t stop as long as you have remote employees working in your business team. Besides, as statistics predict, the ever-changing nature of work requires it.
While you are at it, make sure to check its effectiveness continuously monitoring the results through an LMS or an online learning platform that offers this possibility, like LearnWorlds.
Start exploring the LearnWorlds platform using your free 30-day trial and find out what it can do for your remote team today!