Managing an organization is no easy task. It’s key that you’re able to support and enable growth for your employees in order for your organization to improve. The need to make employees competent and productive is well known, whether they’re in person or remote. But keeping remote workers engaged presents different challenges than doing so with your employees that are in the office every day. Solutions for remote workers must be scalable, measurable, and safe to make sure your remote workforce is proficient.
Remote working is gaining popularity. Many organizations will likely continue with having a remote workforce on some scale because of the advantages it presents. Flexible work practices are likely to be the preferred option moving forward as workers increasingly seek a better work-life balance.
The key to finding effective mitigations for the barriers that remote workers face lies in first understanding those challenges. Common problems for your at-home workers include lack of focus and distractions, failure to integrate into the company culture, feeling left out, and the inability to learn from others or receive the feedback needed for success, amongst others. Fortunately, there are some solutions to these issues, such as:
- Putting rules in place specifically for your remote employees.
- Providing open methods of communication.
- Ensuring remote workers have opportunities to interact, both with one another and with in-person employees.
- Creating easy access to online resources.
- Ensuring they receive the same training opportunities.
Remote working can be as engaging as in-person work when supported by a structured plan with the right assistance. A few ways to use technology for productive remote working include video conferencing, webinars, virtual events, live chats, and interactive online training through an LMS.
Providing Training for Remote Workers
Remote workers need the right training to be able to complete their roles and responsibilities, achieve their goals, grow, and ultimately succeed at their jobs. To achieve these things, training needs to be accessible to those working from home. It won’t benefit your organization if your remote workers are lacking in skills and knowledge.
In order to ensure optimal results, proper training for remote workers encompasses several different things. Firstly, you need to have a good grasp and understanding of the reasons why remote workers need specific considerations when it comes to training.
If you don’t train correctly, there’s a good chance your valuable resources will be wasted and have very little impact. Observations by supervisors, employee feedback, surveys, and questionnaires are required to determine whether employees’ skills are aligned with the organization’s Key Performance Indicators. Once gaps have been identified, training can then help to address any issues.
There are three primary ways you can train your remote workers. They are:
- Synchronous Training – In some cases, you may find the need to train a group of employees all at once. This primarily occurs after hiring several new people at once. The best way to do this is via online synchronous training tools that allow you to train as a group because the training material and content are the same and all of the trainees will be able to assist one another and progress at the same pace. Individuals should be able to log in simultaneously from anywhere in the world to participate in synchronous training. The fact that the same learning material can be delivered at the same time to everyone makes synchronous learning the best method any time you have a large group to train.
- Asynchronous Learning – With this type of training, the learner has greater control over their individual learning process and can move at their own pace. Typically, if using a good LMS, there’s no need to worry about scheduling or getting overly involved in every step of the process since the LMS will walk them through. Your LMS should be loaded with courses tailored to the specific needs of the learner. Most organizations require such courses to have certificate completions and assessments so trainers can tell how an individual user is progressing.
- Blended Learning – Just as the name suggests, blended learning combines both asynchronous and synchronous learning.
Choosing the Right Technology
The right LMS can provide all of the required features and more to meet remote delivery demands. The authoring and built-in tools in a good LMS make it easy for authors to create interactive, immersive, and customizable learning materials with assessments, records, tracking, analytics, and compliance support.
In order to keep remote learners engaged, the content you provide on your LMS needs to be high-quality. Make sure to provide content in small chunks rather than overwhelming and overloading learners with too much information. Once you have your content sorted out, you can start to develop a plan for ensuring your remote employees are properly trained. Here are some tips:
- If necessary, develop a training schedule and communicate it to remote employees. This will provide direction and is particularly important for new hires. Although many LMSs allow learners to work through content at their own pace, some guidance can still be helpful. Event and training calendars also make tracking easier.
- Clearly define measurable and expected outcomes. Trainees must understand what they will gain from the training and how it will help them do their jobs more efficiently and productively. Without clearly defined objectives and a visible purpose, you may find remote workers are lost and don’t engage well with the LMS and content.
- Establish standards for assessment. When learners are aware that they will be assessed and evaluated, they take the learning more seriously. In addition to being a source of pride, good scores are also a powerful motivator.
- The right training requires regular feedback and analysis to verify that the training is actually improving employee skillsets and productivity. Utilize data and analytics to catch any issues before they become a big issue.
Don’t underestimate the importance of tailoring your training so it’s accessible for your remote learners. They deserve the same opportunities as your in-person employees. Without the right training, you’ll struggle to keep remote employees productive, satisfied, and performing well.