Career Advice

How To Train Your Remote Workforce

min read
Wani Azahar

It might have been a “hip” trend for many employers, but more firms are embracing work-from-home arrangements more than ever as we fight to curb the Covid-19 situation. Despite a dispersed workforce, training remains critical to staff and company growth. Here are some tips to train remote or freelance workers without compromising their learning experience.

Is Training Really The Answer?
Most trainings fail because it doesn’t answer a bigger question: is training really the answer, or is it something more?

Management usually views training as a means to an end, when what they really want is an improvement. According to the Association for Talent Development, this makes it easy to assume that the first thing staff need is (even) more training.

Training is aimed at developing skills, but skills alone do not enable an employee to succeed. For remote employees, it’s even tougher to have an informal check-in on their strengths, needs, and improvement areas — which is why it’s important to first list down the skills necessary to succeed. If they don’t tick all these boxes, only then it’s right to decide on training.

Accessible for All
With different time zones, various schedules and experience levels of a remote group, accessibility is key when it comes to L&D. Create simple, easy-to-access webinars on training topics that are relevant to your remote teammates. From Single Sign-On to online webinars, make it easy for your remote team to learn and develop their career.

Define Outcomes
Here’s the truth — employees won’t be as invested in their career development if they don’t know what needs to be achieved. The success of training remote employees largely depends on clear learning goals and expectations. This is especially important for remote training given the lack of direct in-person supervision during the process.

As Talent LMS highlighted: “Training outcomes are the measurable goals learners must achieve at the end of a session or program. In addition, these expected outcomes determine the success (or failure) of your training strategy.”

Keep It ICE

Without the luxury of physical interaction, it’s essential to keep remote training ICE — interactive, consistent, and engaging. Here’s a pro tip from Ken Shih, Head of Sales and Marketing, Aqumon: “Encourage everyone to turn on their camera during remote training. Not only does this add an extra layer of human interaction but engagement levels will also improve as a result! Remember to smile when on camera.

“Other than that, sometimes putting yourself in ‘work mode’ in a remote setting requires the most simple physical change — like dressing up in your work clothes. It’s super hard to be productive when you are wearing your pajamas all day,” he added.

Post-Training Is Just As Important
Simply posting a webinar online and hoping for employees to login isn’t reflective of successful training. Make it a priority to include post-training assessment and feedback as part of the process. Create tools to evaluate them (did I hear a pop quiz?) that can be accessed and submitted remotely, or schedule video check-ins. Of course, always follow up if remote staff perform below your expectations.

In fact, Christy Ho, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, WorldFirst, recommended: “As your remote colleagues learn at their own pace and style, be open about post-training assessments to help them where they need. Try using videos to do the check-in rather than a shared sheet to allow for some face time.”

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