Remote work is a relevant topic nowadays because of the ongoing pandemic. Many industries have adopted this model to resume some level of normalcy in operations. Along with remote work also comes the need to conduct a training process that will benefit employees outside the office. However, there’s a significant challenge in implementing this system.
Those working outside the office or remotely have been thrust into a new way of doing things within a short time. This sudden change caused many companies to struggle in scheduling essential employee training while also ensuring efficient delivery of vital tasks.
This article will discuss a guide on how to jump-start a remote training program effectively. The goal is to ensure that best practices shared will empower organizations to strengthen their training system quickly. This applies to anyone who wants to maximize the benefits of using virtual tools to train, educate, or engage learners.
Challenges faced by training teams adopting a remote model
Remote training isn’t as simple as opening a video conferencing tool and sharing a presentation. For both public and private organizations, some common challenges of virtual training include:
- No in-person supervision. Lack of physical interaction is an obvious challenge for remote training. But it’s a pain point especially for those used to a classroom setting. Even with a traditional model, trainers can’t guarantee that participants are paying attention. Most of the time, trainees only attend because it’s a requirement. So, with virtual learning, it becomes more challenging because, without face-to-face supervision, it’s difficult to provide extra support when needed.
- Reduced information access. Remote workers who are new to this type of setup struggle in getting answers or help from co-workers. In the context of conducting training, this issue pertains to the problem of accessing training modules or how it all works. That’s why orienting participants before the training begins is critical. They need to know where and how they can manage the training modules without depending on support from the facilitator.
- Distractions. Remote work and remote training function differently depending on the needs of the company. But, one thing that is uniform is the need for employees to focus and avoid all types of distractions. Unfortunately, this concern cannot be eliminated when employees are based at home or outside the office. Many physical distractions surround them, which further reduces the efficacy of learning.
- Technical problems. A lot of things can go wrong with virtual training sessions. Apart from distractions, another concern for trainers is technical issues. It could be anything from a slow internet connection to a faulty VPN. Other times, participants may encounter trouble using the training platform or software. Unfortunately, there’s no way to eliminate technical issues. What you can do is reduce the possibility of them occurring.
All these challenges should be considered when planning a remote training program. There needs to be a conscious effort, as well as tangible means to reduce or prevent them. Below are the training best practices that should help with the seamless implementation of this learning model.
Create a training schedule that works for everyone
Planning and scheduling virtual training takes time. You need to account for the availability of each trainee and pick the right date and time which will ensure focus and participation. Use tools such as an LMS calendar that will help you in managing all activities related to the course. If possible, take advantage of all resources and tools available that will help increase efficiency in tracking schedules and training progress.
In addition to the schedule, having a checklist before the training begins is also crucial. This way, you can take note of specific details and factors that will impact the learning outcome. The checklist should also contain all the important steps, to avoid missing anything.
Define and discuss the preferred support process
Preparing for the possibility of encountering issues is the only way you can reduce or manage them. Before the training, you need to determine and assign who will help trainees when they encounter technical problems. There needs to be a specific troubleshooting guide and process. At least have an IT expert available during the training hours to provide support when needed.
For non-technical issues, the trainer can handle basic questions such as logging in to the platform, accessing training modules, and finding answers using the knowledge base.
Guarantee seamless access
Communication is vital when dealing with remote work and training. Unlike a regular office environment, you don’t need to worry about too much communication. You may need to send more emails and reminders or perhaps open a live channel for chatting with participants.
A few days before the training, you can send an email containing a screenshot of the classroom along with steps on how to join. You can also provide participants with a simple list of functions as well as protocols on how to call your attention if they want to answer. Also, send an email to encourage your learners to join early so that they can test the system for issues.
Orient trainees before you start
Similar to a classroom setting, you need to set expectations and lay down rules before the training begins. Learners need to know what you expect from them, and at the same time, they need to know the limit of your function as a trainer. Some examples of ground rules include keeping their mic on mute and raising their hand when they need to speak. You can also request participants to avoid using other gadgets during the training session. If there is a chat option, encourage them to use it to raise concerns such as connection problems, etc.
Make the session engaging
Since it’s easy for trainees to get distracted during a virtual training session, you need to use additional techniques to engage them. For example, you can motivate them by offering rewards such as virtual certificates. You can also use LMS features such as a leaderboard to track milestones and progress. Most importantly, always make yourself available to provide support. Even when the training is complete, you can let your trainees know that you’re available in case they have questions related to the training.
In summary, virtual training can be challenging but is a necessity as more organizations recognize the importance of remote work. With the help of these best practices, you can improve each session and optimize learning.