Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors own.
Remember when employees lived in the same building, and you could train in person or give someone one shade after another? And when newcomers join the company, they are introduced to coworkers, shown around the office, and often brought into motion by coworkers at nearby cubicles.
Things are definitely different now. The epidemic not only accelerated digital applications and remote work, but also required effective remote training strategies. These range from meeting the needs of homebound and geographically dispersed workforce to training new recruits who have never been to the site, onboarding, up-skilling and re-skilling. What’s more, all of this needs to be done quickly, as employers are under pressure due to great resignations, the effects of zoom fatigue, and so on.
Keep up with it a lot. However, with Covid-19’s two-plus years, businesses have learned many important lessons and can apply them to meet growing training needs.
1. Be prepared to train the delivered workforce
There is no doubt that the flexibility to work from home is here to stay, as more companies take remote sites as a permanent alternative. It also expands the pool of talent available to them, as candidates no longer need to be in a specific location.
Of course, delivering and remote staffing is nothing new, especially for technology companies. Mine, Cipher Learning, maintains offices in 23 countries, but employees always have the option to work anywhere, including outside their home, and productivity is high.
Nowadays, many more companies employ a wide range of employees in geographical and time zones, it is important to provide training for them. This personally presents an opportunity for awesome “Death by PowerPoint” sessions to go into formats that are really stuck.
In order to effectively train distributed remote employees, companies should first ask themselves some questions:
A Training must be live (Involves some schedule-fight or session at multiple times), or is it suitable for on-demand delivery?
A What tools are needed to deliver it? (E.g. video conferencing platforms, collaboration tools, and learning management systems.)
A How management can drive engagement Simulate learning experience with material and in an office? (Some possibilities are to introduce breakout rooms and course gamification during live sessions.)
A How to respond (Via email, via managers, on video, within the learning system) and performance tracked?
These will help to optimize the training to ask and answer and maximize the results.
Related: Here are 5 ways to get the most out of professional development workshops
2. Streamline process
The more dispersed workforce also brings other changes to training processes. For example, when you hire a new hire, they may be up to six hours ahead of the official business time, so it is more difficult to schedule video calls with HR.
Automation can help solve scheduling problems, reduce paperwork, and provide a smooth training experience. For example, the onboarding process in my company is completely automated. New team members are automatically enrolled on the training platform (they do not need to be added manually), and new recruits can instantly log in, see their learning path, what they need and get up to speed quickly.
There is also the advantage of automation beyond onboarding. Artificial intelligence, for example, has already begun to change many areas of training – quickly analyzing large amounts of data to evaluate learning gaps, recommend next steps, and personalize the learning journey.
Related: 5 Ways AI is changing the look of learning
3. Take advantage of asynchronous training
Sometimes learning synchronously means (all together, live and in real time), but many businesses have also included asynchronous formats (available to students at any time) also, usually for financial reasons, because it is expensive to carry people.
There is also the reason for the benefits: during the epidemic, waking up with more people at home and at work, being able to learn at their convenience has been particularly beneficial. Through automation, adaptive learning, tracking capabilities, and more, learning platforms have evolved to improve asynchronous learning. And although many people see this type of training as a solitary experience, it does not have to be. Employees can communicate through groups or forums, work together on training projects, engage with consultants, and maintain company updates.
4. Prepare for up-skills and career development
As more companies accommodate remote work, skilled people from around the world are competing for the same job. High-achieving candidates are goal-oriented and focused on growth, so in order to attract the best possible employees, companies should provide opportunities for high-efficiency and career development.
Through e-learning, people can set their career goals, get personalized recommendations and see their progress. The right time to focus on career growth, using training to motivate and retain employees.
5. Make training readily available
Imagine this scene: a remote employee working on a new task, but stuck half way. What do you do? Ask a colleague for help? That person may be too busy to answer directly. Do a Google search? It takes time to test through dozens of results. This scenario occurs more often than companies admit.
Employees need quick answers, aka “just-in-time education”. Here are some ideas:
A Answer common questions Online knowledge base and how through video. (Be sure to ask employees and their managers what those common questions are.)
A Offer a “micro-learning” course Made with pieces of digestible material. The best format is a short video that students can watch at five minute breaks. Focus on the essentials; Unnecessary information should not be cut.
A Encourage employees to be subject matter experts, Sharing their skills on a variety of topics in centrally accessible and organized short videos.
Employees should have micro-learning when they face any obstacles. Trust me, they will thank you for it.
Related: Remote work to stay here. This is the time to update your leadership path.
Apply learning lessons
Epidemics have forced businesses to look at training and other necessary processes through a different lens, even as they quickly move / respond to digital innovation and become creative in changing situations for employees and customers. And staff expectations have shifted. A silver lining is that some processes have changed for the better during this time.
The main advantages for businesses that apply the above lessons are: lower training costs, simplified processes and higher hiring and retention, to name a few. As more and more of them think outside the box about how, when and why employees will learn, they will provide training experience that will create grades.