You must at some point have sat through a conference or a video call where you struggled with getting the screen connected, or the audio wasn’t clear, with frequent interruptions from your or the other end like “your voice is breaking off”, or “the screen went black, we can’t see you”.
Typically, around 10-15 minutes are then lost in fixing the issue, with wires being pulled and pushed to check if they are properly connected, opening and closing tabs, reconnecting the session etc.
Now imagine if this continues throughout a training session. Needless to say, it’s going to be quite ineffective and a waste of time. These audio/video and connectivity issues are a part of online conferencing.
With these problems, how do you expect to efficiently manage a remote training program?
In today’s global marketplace, employees are scattered across cities, countries and even continents. And remote training is the most cost-effective solution to train your global workforce. Organizations are branching out and still manage to stay in constant touch with their employees, ensuring that effective communication takes place among all the team members.
This ease of operation without the employee being required to be physically present at the workplace gave momentum to the remote training model.
What is Remote Training?
Remote training is the process of delivering training to a dispersed workforce at diverse locations. This could be achieved through a video conference, webinar, live chat, podcast, eLearning courses etc. The intent is to ensure that all employees are on the same page in terms of knowledge and skills.
How to Create Remote Training Modules
1. Gauge Their Strengths and Weaknesses
Before you proceed to design a training module, you first need to analyze the learning requirements of your employees. To do this, you can talk with their reporting managers, as they’ll be able to give a fair idea of the team’s performance and skills.
But also send out a general survey asking employees to rate themselves on each skill that you wish to cover. Based on the feedback you can gauge how deep you need to delve into the topic. Here’s are 5 Ways to Create Effective Interactive Training Content.
2. Break the Training into Small Chunks
In remote training, employees are disconnected from the trainer due to the physical distance. And if the trainer is unable to view the learners, it becomes difficult to judge the employees’ response to the training being imparted.
To make the training session interactive and engaging, it is best to break the topics into short concentrated modules and focus on each element rather than overwhelming them with information.
3. Ask Thought Provoking Questions
Once again, to evoke interest and generate engagement, you must ask questions frequently and also encourage the learners to ask questions. Keep the session open to discussions. If you are designing an online learning module, you can add interactive elements like quizzes, polls, drag and drop, videos, etc. to make it more engaging.
4. Include Problem-Solving Activities
The purpose of every training program is for employees to learn new skills and concepts and apply them in real-world situations. Whether you are delivering training on a mobile-based platform or via webinar or live call, ensure that you give them tasks to perform.
In a mobile-learning module, you can include simulations and scenario-based training modules, which we will cover later in this blog. During live calls, you can give instant tasks with a time-limit and ask the employees to work upon it.
How to Create Mobile-Friendly Training Content
How to Deliver Remote Training
Based on the time-zone of the employees’ geographical location and their job roles, you can select a delivery method that will ensure maximum impact. A majority of these training delivery methods are designed for employees to peruse on-the-go, as this will enable them to carry on with their daily job responsibilities and simultaneously upskill themselves.
Remote training modules can be delivered in the following formats:
These training methods are quite cost-effective as you can easily find free tools on the internet to develop your learning content.
1. Webinars- Pre-recorded or Live
It is entirely your decision whether you want to deliver a webinar session live or send a pre-recorded version. Based on the availability of the remote team, you can arrange for a webinar at a time that is convenient for all the team members.
2. eLearning Presentations
Presentations are no longer a boring collection of slides. With new tools available, especially to create presentations, you can create an interesting training module for your remote employees. With animations and special effects, you can liven up your training deck.
Simulation is a virtual representation of a real-life scenario. Mainly used in defense and healthcare training, this model has made its way to corporate training rooms. Simulations can be created on online training platforms, where employees are given a scenario with multiple choices.
Based on the choices made by the employee, the simulated exercise proceeds. The best part about simulated training is that even if the employees make a wrong choice that would lead to some disastrous outcome, they get to re-do the sequence. This helps them learn from their mistakes.
A lot of organizations are going in for video-based training. This is because a video not only conveys the message effectively, but also engages the user with a powerful audio, background music, rich graphics and motion. People on an average spend six hours per week watching videos.
Creating one for training your remote workforce will enable them to go through the content whenever they want. And since videos are visually appealing and easy to remember, users won’t mind going through it multiple times. Here’s How to Create Engaging Corporate Training Videos
5. eLearning Modules
Online learning or eLearning is the most popular form of employee training, where course modules are created and made available on computers. Today there are mobile-first content creation software that help you create mobile-friendly content for your tech-savvy employees. This helps them access the courses anywhere and anytime.
Moreover, these software tools can add enrichments like multimedia and quizzes to make the content engaging for the employees. You can use a tool like Kitaboo Insight that can be integrated with an existing LMS to deliver training on every digital device- smartphones, tablets and PCs. Remote employees only need to download an app to experience a rich and compelling learning content.
6. Screen Capture
Screen capture is used when one has to explain about a new software. If you have implemented a new tool or software and need to train your remote employees on how to go about it, it is better to use a screen capture software.
A screen capture tool will record the trainer’s screen, while also recording the narrative in the background. So, employees get to view a video where they can see the trainer’s screen, understand each step and hear the narrator’s explanation.
Things to remember while delivering training to your remote team:
1. Always Ask for Feedback
Whether you are delivering training via a conference call or mobile devices, always ask for feedback at the end of the training session. This is important so that you can improvise based on the suggestions offered by the employees. This will help you conduct a better session next time or make changes to your online training module for better engagement.
2. Have a Discussion Forum Ready
Since many of your remote workers might not be interacting face-to-face on a regular basis, it is important to give them a platform to share ideas and raise doubts. An online discussion forum will help everyone connect and answer each other’s queries quickly.
3. Include a Q&A Session
Once again, irrespective of whether you are conducting training via call or webinar or mobile, ensure that you set some time aside for questions and answers. Many a times, when you ask employees to come up with questions on a conference call or a video call, you might hear crickets.
So, the trainer must be ready with questions to ask during the training session. This helps in having a two-way communication. In eLearning modules, however, it is easy to incorporate quizzes and polls, with options like drag and drop, MCQ, labelling and many other formats.
Here’s a short video to guide you:
In-office employees have the advantage of interacting with colleagues and mentors, thus gaining knowledge and lessons through these informal interactions. Remote employees, on the other hand, have to rely on the training materials you provide them. Hence, it is important to create an effective training program for remote workers.
You also have to ensure that constant support is provided to clarify their doubts and help them perform better at their job. Today, a lot of organizations offer remote working options to their employees. So, one needs to get their remote training approach right to ensure effective data retention and maximum output.