In response to the uncertainties presented by COVID19, many organizations have asked their employees to work from home (WFH). However, it is not just the dangers posed by the coronavirus that is causing this shift. Many corporations today including Amazon, Google, and Apple have embraced flexible work arrangements and the trend is on the rise. A report by Buffer has found that 99% of the people it surveyed wanted to work remotely at least for some time during the course of their career. Another survey by Blueface shows that remote work (WFH) is on the rise and will be giving a stiff competition to on-premise work.
While flexible work environments are good news for the employees as they can strike the right work-life balance, they also pose a challenge to employers, that is, how to provide continuous remote training to the employees?
Related Read: How to Create an Online Training Program for Employees
There are several benefits of remote training:
Flexibility: Employees can take the training from the comfort of their homes and are not be restricted to their office and office hours.
Affordability Factor: Employers can host their content on a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) and provide access to course material to their employees across locations. Besides, they can also update and modify course material online and notify changes to employees using in-built communication tools.
Improves Employee Productivity: Employees are not restricted to a fixed schedule to take up the training. Thus, they can focus on completing their more immediate tasks and take the remote training as and when they find it convenient. Employers have the option to set a deadline, thus, ensuring that employees take the training within a timeframe. This flexibility ensures higher employee productivity.
Offers Personalized Training: Organizations can personalize the training by creating course content that fills their knowledge gaps. Besides, they can also personalize the training by designing course material in a digital format of their choice, for instance, in the form of audio, video, infographics, presentations, or any combination of these. Personalized training ensures that it is more engaging, relevant and practical.
Facilitates Knowledge Retention: With remote training, employees can revisit the concepts any number of times they want, and this facilitates better learning and knowledge retention. Besides, remote training provided in the form of microlearning, or concise bits of knowledge attractively packaged in the form of audio and video, further facilitates the process of knowledge retention. Remote training also reduces cases of absenteeism and instructors can access immediate feedback on tests and assessments.
Now that you are aware of the various benefits of remote training, we now look at some tips you can use while training remote employees.
Use a Content Delivery Platform to Deliver Remote Training
The more flexible your workplace becomes, the greater is the challenge to train them on-site. While you have the option to fly or drive in your instructors and employees to a specific venue, you can better utilize these funds by investing in a cloud-based content delivery platform and uploading all your course content on a central repository which all the stakeholders can access from anywhere and anytime. These tools also provide communication and other features to simplify training of remote employees.
To illustrate with an example, you can use email or message boards to communicate the schedule of training. The instructor and employees can login to the system for the remote training session, similar to a physical classroom, but in a virtual space. The instructor and trainees can interact with each other using audio, chat and other interaction tools. And the employees who cannot be present for these sessions can access webinars and podcasts later, so they don’t miss out on important information or updates.
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Ensure That Your Courses Are Simple and Easy to Access
Multiple passwords are one of the greatest drawbacks of the digital era. From banking to social media, to emails and apps, the average person is forced to keep track of various passwords, some of which have to be regularly changed. The Single Sign-On (SSO) method is now becoming an accepted part of online management. The SSO allows people to access all their cloud-based applications with the same login. By embracing SSO, you can provide your employees with a smooth training experience – they can start, pause and resume their training with a single click of the mouse. And if the SSO is also integrated with the mobile, you will be able to give your remote employees more flexibility to learn from anywhere.
Ensure that Learning is Continuous
Research shows that more than 70% companies that successfully enhance the performance of their employees are also quick to deliver new training to meet their business needs. What this means is that organizations have to ensure continuous training of their remote employees and that they have access to training at all times. One way to do this is to use LMS apps for mobile devices. By using an LMS app as your remote training tool, you can empower your employees to learn on-the-go and just-in-time using the platform they love the most – their mobile phones. A word of caution here – while offering mobile learning, you must ensure that the content is reflowable, or in other words, it adjusts to the different screen sizes and browsers in order to provide a uniform reading experience.
Make Learning Interactive
Remote training tools provide several opportunities for learning and collaboration using forums, social media, message boards, chat rooms and messages. However, the endless opportunities present online also give severe competition to your eLearning courses. The question then arises, how to capture the attention of the remote employees, especially when they are not under direct supervision of the instructor? The answer lies in leveraging the capabilities of your LMS. With features such as gamification, infographics, audio and video, video conferencing, live webinars etc., you can make training remote employees more interesting and engaging.
Monitor your Remote Training
Various training tools like KITABOO Insight have a real-time assessment and analytical tools that keep both remote employees and their training managers in tune with their progress. Several LMS support multiple types of quizzes and assessments that provide remote employees with quick and relevant feedback, so they know their progress. Managers can also keep up to speed by using reporting features that provide information on learners’ progress, course engagement, completion rates and more.
As the world faces a new reality, organizations are forced to provide flexible work environments to their workforce. However, out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. Integrate an online learning platform into your existing IT systems and use its powerful features to provide continuous learning to your remote employees.