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10 Best practices for training remote employees

Obbaatt AngadiaOct 11, 2022

Currently, remote employee training is a hot topic, due to the COVID-19 crisis which has brought it to the forefront. Both public and private organizations have been forced into adopting a remote training model without any preparation or lead time.

Nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce already works from home at least partially, but this sudden shift has left many companies struggling to provide online training. Since the new policies are in place, many employees - and their trainers - are working outside the office and are separated for the first time. Additionally, when scheduled training has to be shifted to remote delivery of work-related tasks and projects, this problem is compounded.

In this post, we'll take you through the steps of launching a remote training initiative and share best practices on how to do so quickly and efficiently. If you're new to online teaching, want a refresher, or want to increase the engagement of your virtual training sessions, then you'll find some tips for getting training online faster and more effectively.

Smiling young female entrepreneur checking time on wristwatch while working on laptopDon't sleep on remote training

Some businesses have difficulty getting remote training for employees up and running during natural disasters or other catastrophes.

Even though developing a complete digital course overnight may be challenging overnight, you can use free online resources to train your employees quickly. We have compiled a list of twenty free online resources that will help.

It's easy to keep employees up and running, regardless of how simple the resources may be, such as answers to FAQs or changes in processes.

Respect their time

Having to work from home isn't always all about work anymore. Now, it's also about kids, pets, and housemates or partners who are suddenly home. For this reason, you should be mindful of your employees' time when designing your remote training program.

A clock pocket watchA lot of training can be done by sending push notifications to a mobile device, so don't forget to streamline it, especially when you switch to remote training. Don't write anything you don't need to. Get to the point.

Leverage technology

Reach out to tools you already have at your disposal - tools like Slack, Zoom and Google Hangouts are great. They are great for live-streaming lectures, working on collaborative projects, and posting videos.

If you are using a new remote workforce for courses, for example, make sure to use any teaching methods available, like screenshots or videos to show how a new process is completed.

This will make remote training clearer and easier to understand. Taking these screenshots or videos is one of the best practices for training remote employees on the software or programs that will be used in the future. It's a win-win.

A remote worker collaborating with colleges on slackBut it's not just about pictures - be sure the technology you choose allows for plenty of face-to-face time for employees. Whether your remote work situation is short-term or long-term, having some face time with the people in your organization can make them feel more connected.

Create training that's on-demand

Training remote employees on-demand and just-in-time is paramount. Remember when we said we respected employee time? Remote workers may not be working the same hours, so it's crucial to provide on-demand training so they can access it when they need it. 

If you are live-streaming a training, ensure they have access to a recorded link later on. You can also use mobile apps or video channels to share quick, one-minute bits of information.

Make mobile-first courses

First, on-demand training should be available on mobile devices. Why? In crises, many rely more on their mobile devices than any other technology.

The mobile functionality of your remote training will not be useful (or, in some cases, accessible) to all employees.

Develop quick bites of information

Develop in-depth on-demand, mobile-first courses but also include quick bites of information. Microlearning can be as simple as updated sanitation guidelines, updates to building codes, and additional resources on evolving emergencies that require remote workers to adapt their response strategy.

They are also extremely handy for workers who have to juggle work with caring for children or other daily obligations.

Balance self-guided and group training

This is ironic considering how many workers find they can be more productive while working in their pajamas.

Why is this? Many employees enjoy the freedom of setting their timelines and following their schedules from home. If they want to invest more time in building their skillset and balance group training with personal training on their professional development plan, this might be the time to do it.

A woman having a video call with a colleagueFocus on goals, not time in front of the screen

The image text reads: Stop worrying about seat time. Identify your goals.

With a remote workforce, employers do not have to worry about their workers sitting in front of a screen the entire day. Focus on your goals instead of worrying about "seat time."

According to Global Workplace Analytics, employees who telecommuted for any reason were more productive, satisfied, and economically viable to the Company than those who work in an office setting. Even without set schedules and company-planned workdays, this is the case.

It doesn't matter how long it takes if your employee can accomplish their goals more efficiently at home.

Document all training

A solid learning management system can help track employees' completed training. This is crucial, especially in fields where certifications and licenses require training to stay current.

Woman in White Long Sleeved Shirt Holding a Pen Writing on a PaperThe documentation process also helps you keep your training programs consistent and seamless. If the person in charge of developing training leaves your Company, you'll still have a record of courses and resources used in each training.

Create a culture of remote work

You fostered a supportive work climate in the office, and now it's time to replicate that for remote workers. The remote work culture includes clear job expectations, support and help avenues, and places (online or in person if possible) where employees can connect.

Since remote work is not reinforced by daily interaction, it is essential that everyone understands and is aware of what is expected of them from the start.

To sum up

That's it for this deep dive into remote employee training. We covered a lot of material, and we hope you found some useful information that will help you improve your remote sessions.

If you have any tips to share with us about training your remote employees that we did not address in this article, we would love to hear about them.