The Guide To Remote Employee Training In 2023
With the pandemic changing how many businesses work, remote work is now part and parcel of everyday life.
There are now more remote six-figure jobs than ever before, and the trend is only set to continue.
While this is great news for the employee who doesn’t like to be confined to a physical office, it can present some challenges for the employer, especially when it comes to training.
Traditional employee training management software might not allow you to get the best out of your team if they’re not all in one place.
So, how can you train your employees remotely (and successfully)?
Whether hosting webinars for various types of learners, choosing an LMS to aid the learning experience, or making use of video conferencing software as part of the training methods your team uses, there are plenty of ways to keep the training going despite these trying times being thrown our way.
It’s important to remember that remote training doesn’t have to be complicated and can often be more engaging for employees, as they can learn at their own pace and in their own time.
In this post, I’ll go through some of the best ways to train remote employees, ensuring that they’re still getting the development they need, despite being away from the office.
Training Employees Remotely: Step-By-Step Walkthrough
Training remote employees doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are the steps you need to consider to get the job done well.
Define What Success Looks Like
The first step in training remote employees is to define what success looks like for your organization.
Remote learning is all about tailoring the content to the needs of your team.
While the right learning management system will help you create and deliver content, defining what you hope to achieve with your remote training program is essential to ensure its success.
Draft A Remote Training Plan
Various practices for training remote workers start with drafting a remote training plan.
A plan will allow you to formulate how your training program will look, what content will be delivered, and how it will be provided.
This plan can be as detailed as need be, but I recommend starting with the basics and building it up as you go.
Train Your Employees Remotely
Delivering remote working training programs correctly ensures that your employees get the most out of the training sessions.
With virtual training of a remote workforce being more common than ever, plenty of remote training tools and resources are available to help you deliver content effectively.
From using virtual tour software that can take employees on a journey through your facilities to micro learning platforms that allow you to drill down into the specifics, there are plenty of ways you can make sure your team is kept up-to-date with the latest information and developments, without them having to be in the office.
You can also use screen-sharing software features to give employees a real-time look at what you’re doing.
Additionally, plenty of online resources can be used to supplement live training sessions.
For example, consider using any tool within Google Workspace (Google Docs, Sheets, etc.) to create collaborative training materials that employees can access at any time.
Evaluate Results And Course Correct
Measuring how practical remote training sessions have been when it comes to the actual deliverables remains one of the most important aspects of any program.
Consider using survey software to get feedback from employees after each training session.
You can also use performance data to track employee progress and identify areas where additional training may be needed.
Additionally, consider using tools like Slack or one of its alternatives to encourage employee interaction and collaboration outside scheduled training sessions.
You can ensure that your remote training program consistently delivers the best possible results for your organization by evaluating results and course correcting as needed.
Rinse And Repeat As Needed
Sometimes, remote training programs need to be regiven as is or improved as new technologies or processes are adopted.
Moreover, with each iteration of a training program one gives, the more such training can be perfected and effective it becomes.
This means that the remote training strategies used the first time round might not be the same as those used the second or third time.
Adjust Your Strategy As Your Team Grows
Another factor to consider is your team size.
The best practices for training a team of five might differ from those for training a group of twenty-five.
The remote training software you use might also need to be adjusted based on the number of people involved in the sessions.
The Benefits Of Remote Employee Training
Remote teams that go through regular, high-quality training sessions are more likely to be productive and engaged with their work.
With this type of learning offering various benefits, here are the top reasons to give your remote team the training they need and deserve.
Whether using gamification strategies to ensure that you create the best course possible, to incorporating microlearning techniques to break down complex topics into manageable bits, training employees remotely can help increase learner engagement.
From using onboarding software and various assessments to delivering online training for team members as part of their professional development when joining the company (and beyond), the costs associated with remote employee training are often lower than those of traditional, face-to-face learning experiences.
Delivering an on-demand, self-paced training schedule filled with only the needed learning materials provides employees with the flexibility they need to learn at their own pace and in a manner that works best for them.
One can also cater to various learning styles, helping employees upskill their digital literacy skills or learn about new technologies and applications in a way that suits them.
Online learning can help both the new employee and the one that’s been with the company for years become more productive.
With synchronous learning materials that can be adapted over time, employees can receive just-in-time training that covers the topics they need to know about – right when they need such information.
As opposed to asynchronous materials that can’t be changed once created, this type of learning helps ensure that employees are always up-to-date on the latest information.
As training needs change due to a company getting bigger, or going through a merger or acquisition, the scalability of remote employee training can help organizations keep up with these changes without incurring excessive costs.
Improved Employee Retention rates
Employee engagement also ties in with retention rates.
The various formats in which remote employee training allows you to deliver learning experiences can help employees feel valued and appreciated, which are two critical factors in motivation and engagement.
For example, appreciation can be shown by awarding digital badges or points to employees that go above and beyond what’s required.
Alternatively, one can also use social learning features to create a community of practice where employees can collaborate, share ideas, and support each other.
Compared to in-person training, where learners might have to take time off from work or incur travel expenses on top of the actual time spent training, remote employee training is often seen as a more convenient and cost-effective option.
This convenience can lead to improved employee satisfaction and loyalty.
The Challenges Of Remote Employee Training
While the above paints a great picture, not everything is positive regarding delivering remote employee training.
Below are some challenges you might face as an organization when trying to provide this learning experience for your team members.
Time Zone Differences
Having a remote workforce based in different time zones can make it challenging to deliver live training at a time that’s convenient for everyone.
You’ll need to consider the different time zones when planning live online sessions.
Lack of In-Person Interaction
While classroom training allowed for personal interaction and connection between trainer and trainee, this type of learning is often seen as more formal and structured.
Losing the personal touch might make building trust and rapport with employees challenging, both of which are essential for a successful training experience.
To combat this, try to create opportunities for social interaction and connection, whether through online forums, group chat rooms, or video conferencing.
You can also encourage employees to reach out to each other directly with questions or concerns.
If you must deliver training during working hours, taking over employees’ work time to provide training can be disruptive and cause frustration.
This gets compounded when technical difficulties prevent them from completing the training.
To address this, make sure you plan how to handle such difficulties if they happen.
This could include having a backup plan for delivering the training or offering employees alternative ways to access the material (e.g., through a PDF or a different website).
Some people will always prefer on-site, face-to-face interaction, and might not be highly motivated to participate in remote employee training.
Ensuring that such employees are well incentivized to participate is essential for the success of the training.
Offering the right perks for employees who complete the training might be something to consider.
Being able to accurately track milestones and review leaderboards to ensure that employees are making progress can be somewhat tricky with remote employee training.
While various remote tools provide features that can help with this, it’s not always foolproof.
Establishing clear objectives and goals from the start might be helpful so you can more easily measure progress and results.
You might also want to find creative ways to evaluate results and progress, such as surveys or interviews with employees.
In the next section, I’ll speak more about how to measure the success of your remote employee training.
Measuring The Results Of A Remote Employee Training Program
Being able to track milestones to ensure that employees are making progress without being physically present can be difficult.
That said, there are still ways to measure the success of your remote employee training program.
Here are some of the top ideas.
Pre-And Post-Training Surveys
Surveys administered before and after training can be a helpful way to gauge employee reaction to the training and what they learned.
Various apps, like SurveySparrow, QuestionPro, SurveyMonkey, and Google Forms, allow you to create surveys that can be easily distributed to employees via email or an online link.
Training Attendance And Completion Rates
Using learning management systems (LMS), you can track who attends the training and how much of it they complete.
This information can be helpful in understanding which employees are engaging with the material and which might need additional support or follow-ups.
The right learning management system will also let you track employee progress over time and see how they’re doing on specific objectives or goals.
Online Quiz Or Exam Scores
If your remote employee training includes quizzes or exams, you can use these as a way to measure employee understanding of the material.
Consider setting the minimum score employees must achieve to pass the quiz or exam.
Employee Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are a great way to get feedback on employee development over time.
When conducting performance reviews, you can ask employees about what they’ve learned from the training and how it’s helped them.
If your remote employee training includes social learning elements, such as forums or chat rooms, you can track engagement metrics to see how employees interact with each other and the material.
While it might not apply to everyone, this could include the number of posts made, the number of likes or reactions received, and the number of comments left.
Goal Achievement Rates
If your remote employee training is tied to specific goals that you want employees to achieve, you can track these goals to see how well employees are doing.
For example, if you’re using the training to improve customer service skills, you could track the number of complaints received before and after the training.
Another way to measure the success of remote employee training is to administer customer satisfaction surveys.
This can be especially helpful if your training is designed to improve customer-facing skills, such as sales or customer service.
When it comes to remote employee training, setting the right expectation and measuring success is critical to ensure that your employees get the most out of their training.
While not all employees might initially be on board with this type of remote training, it is essential to remember the benefits that it can bring and the general ROI to the company that is willing to adapt to the times and trends.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: The proper change management tools and strategies can help you successfully implement changes in your business.
Coupled with remote training, change management can help ensure that your employees are adequately prepared for their roles as they adapt to the changes in your business.
On a similar note to remote jobs, here are some of the best travel jobs that allow you to make money while traveling.
These jobs are perfect for those who want to see the world and get paid in the process.