In response to the changes brought forth by Covid-19 on the training of employees, many private and public companies have had to adopt a remote training model with little preparation or lead time. Nearly a quarter of employees in the US work from home with only essential workers and those in the service industry physically attending work.
Many companies are struggling to come up with appropriate online training models for remote workers. Many employees, working from home, have been separated from their trainers.
Companies have had to adjust to the new reality that if training is to be carried out, then online training seems best. This article focuses on the best practices to be adopted in order to effectively and efficiently train remote employees.
A schedule is a guiding system that informs all trainees what will be done at a particular time. A training schedule will communicate the dates and times of certain training activities. An easy way to manage training is by using an LMS calendar which is more holistic in the sense that it incorporates multiple files, spreadsheets, and to-do lists in one tab.
Traditional methods were very ineffective as they would break every aspect of the training program into multiple tubs. This becomes problematic when dealing with many trainees as tracking all files, to-do lists and spreadsheets becomes time-consuming.
Training is wide, covering expectations, experience, working environment, and human behavior. To effectively train trainees, have objectives for each training session.
Essential steps in the training programs can be forgotten, or given little attention if the training program is random, without pre-determined directions. Objectives will provide a checklist of what is to be done when handling certain situations. Take an example of a trainee dealing with a dissatisfied customer.
Know the signs that indicate dissatisfaction
Learn how to eliminate dissatisfaction and how manage expectations on the part of the customer.
Master the techniques to employ in order to calm down a dissatisfied customer
Learn patients and listening skills
How to deliver bad news
What to do or say when dealing with an abusive customer
What happens when the trainer can't be reached by trainers in critical situations? What happens when there is a connection problem and online communication is no longer possible?
When in emergency situations, have another person, preferably an IT member of staff prepped, educated, and trained to offer assistance to the trainees. The IT individual should be readily available, on call, and well groomed in terms of what to do, say, and how to handle various trainee needs.
Certain rules, like the maximum number of emails to send to trainees only apply in an office setting where you have physical access to employees. Find other means, other than emails to pass information to learners to keep them informed all the time.
Communicate your intentions of holding a training session prior to the time or date. Share all the files, links, pictures, and forms needed for the session.
Orientation is a familiarity practice where you establish roles, and communicate the objectives and plans you have for the trainees. Remote learners need to know what to expect when participating in a training program.
Issues to be covered during orientation include
How to deal with systems failure and connectivity issues
Etiquette like keeping the microphone on mute when not in use
How to ask questions or seek clarification without disrupting the entire session-recommend the raised hand emoji/features.
Time allocated to each learner in case of discussions
Even after the training session has ended, remind the students that you will be online, ready to provide solutions, answer questions, engage on certain issues, provide feedback on assignments and provide clarity in areas or concepts yet to be grasped.
Find ways to motivate your learners. Most training programs will issue a certificate of completion after a session is successfully completed. However, you can go a step further and provide tokens of appreciation for jobs well done, or mention learners who performed well in areas covered. Ensure that all learners are motivated, engaged, and well-groomed.
Technology should help you maximize any task you do. It should also help you eliminate barriers that come with remote training. Since training is online, technology should help you reach all your learners in different geographical locations easily.
Learners should be able to reach you through various channels like email, WhatsApp, and other social networks. Technology should aid in facilitating visual training. Cameras and listening devices should help you monitor what the learners are doing.
Many people will have their mobile phones on them compared to other devices such as laptops.
Create training sessions that are mobile-friendly. By nature, phones are portable, and almost every person has them. A mobile-friendly session ensures easy accessibility by learners.
Training sessions should be available on a demand basis when needed by learners. When preparing a session, ensure there are links and short videos that can be referred back to by the learners.
To sum up
Remote training is a new concept that many companies and organizations are struggling to get a grip on. However, in an ever-changing world, everything is headed toward digital transformation and the training of employees hasn't been left behind. Companies and organizations, therefore, have to find ways to transform.
Online consulting is a growing trend that businesses should consider. Online consulting is a great way to connect with a customer base that is already comfortable with technology