The Best Practices For Training Remote Employees
What we initially considered as a "short-term fix" has now become a permanent solution. That's right; I'm referring to remote work a.k.a the new normal.
Although remote work is an output of COVID-19, various multinational companies have considered it a long time back. However, with the constant lashes of pandemics and new variants, lockdowns, curfews and self-isolation- there had been an unprecedented shift towards remote work. As per the statistics of Appollo technical, about 4.7 million US residents work remotely at least 50 percent of the time. The corporate world has been faced with various challenges in the wake of this rapid shift. Training remote employees have been one of the most pressing concerns.
According to AIHR, around 61% of remote employees believe they need further training to be efficient in their current job, making providing quality remote training even more crucial. Another LinkedIn survey found that more than 94% of employees would stay with a company if it invested in their professional development. Investing in a great employee training program will increase your employees' competence and their job satisfaction, helping you retain them. These statistics prove that continuous training is crucial for both employees and employers. However, even after two years of the pandemic, companies are still struggling to ensure training remote workers as working at home has become the new normal. In this article, you will learn what remote training is, how it can be beneficial, and the best possible practices to train remote employees in an engaging, effective manner without spending a dime.
What is remote training? What makes remote training so crucial?
An employee training method that takes place at a distance and is a part of the learning & development process is called remote training. It is upskilling employees digitally, no matter where they are physically based. Most training is offered remotely via virtual classrooms, online courses, podcasts, webinars, and other e-learning tools. Upwork estimates that the number of remote workers will nearly double in the next five years compared to its pre-pandemic state, resulting in 36.2 million remote workers by 2025.
TalentLMS's remote work survey showed that 67% of remote workers want more training from their employers. The importance of having a solid training program for remote employees is more crucial than ever, whether your employees have always been working from home or have recently lost their choice. Investing in an employee training program will bring all your employees to a higher level of competency so that they can share a common set of knowledge and skills. By implementing such a virtual team training and development program, you will be able to repair any weak links in your organization and help spread the workload more evenly.
Providing ongoing training will enable employees to pick up where one left off, allowing the manager to work without supervising and assisting constantly. Moreover, well-trained employees never fail to make an organization more efficient. Therefore, continuous training can be viewed as a good insurance policy against the unexpected changes and needs that will arise from time to time in your organization.
Remote training helps organizations in various ways such as:
- Analyze the impact of improvement efforts.
- To help an employee prepare for a planned change in the role within the organization.
- Employers are encouraged to learn how to utilize technology effectively.
- To maintain a competitive advantage.
- To reduce technical errors
- Promote workforce safety and health.
- Boosts productivity of remote employees and profitability by increasing their efficiency.
- Well-trained employees are more engaged and motivated at work.
- Employees have the opportunity to improve their careers and grow personally.
- Provides better experience and knowledge that benefits their career progression.
- Trained employees save the company money.
- Helps to use all equipment, materials, and tools to their fullest capacity.
- Training in risk management programs.
- Enhanced employee morale and job satisfaction
Although various companies have implemented virtual training programs to varying degrees, the need for continuous training still exists. In response to the pandemic, quite a few people would have been able to make workplace changes quickly. For many organizations, training employees remotely will not be unfamiliar. The process of training a remote workforce shares many similarities with supporting one based in an office - both in regards to providing clear instructions and letting feedback flow both ways - but it is fundamentally different as well.
Best practices for training remote employees
- Make short-term goals and develop a strategy Keeping a short-term goal will keep employees focused and boost productivity since many of them work remotely. If you don't have the right direction, you might never get to your destination. For employees to work effectively, they need to know what the company strives for. It's important to set short-term goals to keep employees focused on where you're heading. When the company's objectives have been established, remote employee training can be organized. Prepare a plan that outlines what your remote employee training programs should focus on in order to achieve short-term goals. This will ensure the productivity and continuity of your remote employees.
- Use the right technology to train remote employees In this pandemic time, hours-long traditional instructor-led training can no longer be considered a safe method. Since employees are working from home, organizations need to find a new and modern approach to employee training and development programs. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, various digital tools have been developed to help organizations ensure business continuity, employee productivity, return on investment, and train employees remotely. Therefore, organizations must leverage the right tools like conversational ai-powered microlearning that enable employees to develop skills and stay productive. Keeping your employees engaged through both office training and remote employee training is the number one challenge that enterprises must face consistently.
- Streamline your onboarding process The best way to onboard and train remote employees is to assign them to a more skilled coworker who will guide them through the onboarding process and help them transition much more quickly. When employees feel like they belong to a company, they can turn to someone whenever they need help and may ask questions freely. It can help your team have a checklist with goals and actions for the week to feel accomplished at the end of the week. It's also a good way to acknowledge their achievements. To ensure that new hires are provided with the permissions, workflow documents, and communication channels necessary to start work, companies should spend time developing standardized onboarding and training content. In this way, much confusion and back and forth is reduced.
- Make training programs easily accessible Password accessibility is one of the major shortfalls of digital platforms. People tend to have various characters, numbers, and symbols that make up a not-so-memorable (or secure) password. It can be frustrating for your employees to remember another password each time they log into the company LMS. Is there a way to ensure that employees have access to training quickly? You can launch your eLearning course quickly and securely using a secure web link or setting up individual logins for your learners.
- Consolidate all training resources in one location Getting new remote employees up to speed and keeping existing employees engaged are two of the problems remote working has created for businesses. Hybrid working is becoming more and more popular among businesses, which means they must focus on ensuring their employees are continually upskilled and receive the required training materials. Using a Learning Management System, you can deliver high-quality training to remote workers and build a centralized training infrastructure for your entire organization.
- Maintain employee performance data Managing remote employees' training and performance can be challenging, particularly since traditional feedback may not always be available. Working remotely makes it nearly impossible to conduct performance reviews, one-to-one sessions, and provide observation feedback. Regardless, managers still need to offer guidance if they do not want to hinder their staff's development. It is possible to gauge employee understanding with interactive quizzes while monitoring progress over time. When managers review the results, they can provide useful feedback for L&D teams that can be incorporated into the authoring process.
Now that you've learned the best practices for remote training, it's crucial to learn the major benefits of implementing a robust development and training program.
Benefits of Remote Employee Training and Development Programs
- Improve employee retention
- Increase remote employee productivity
- Improve skillgaps and weakness
- Boost employee satisfaction and overall performance
- Built confidence among employees
- Increase organization’s reputation
- Improve business ROI
There is no turning back on remote work! Make remote employee training a priority. Since the demand for remote work continues to increase, remote training is also expected to rise at a similar rate. Keeping your employees' skills and confidence up to date is dependent on designing, developing, and implementing an effective remote training program. There are studies that indicate over 70% of companies who successfully improve employees' performance also deliver new training to meet these needs. (Source AIHR.) This data supports those remote employees should be provided with training and continuous support whenever required. Because, a robust remote training program can improve employee retention, morale, and productivity.
Read More: Why Microlearning is the best bet for remote employee training in 2022?