Remote working turned into a standard working environment as the number of Coronavirus cases started to rise worldwide. However, the pandemic wasn’t the only incentive why people are opting to work remotely. Yet this isn’t limited to employees only, the employers too are considering hiring remote candidates. A Gallup poll conducted in 2017 found that 43% of employees spent at least some time working from home.
With the number of people choosing to work outside of the company facilities rising, companies need to find ways to deliver the training to their remote employees in the best way possible. With that being said, let’s take a look at the challenges managers deal with in delivering their training.
There are numerous challenges that managers deal with when it comes to training their employees from afar. While there will always be challenges with delivering training, be that on-site or online, the latter comes with some unique challenges that management needs to tackle. Let’s see what those challenges are.
We’re all aware of how important building trust is in every kind of relationship, especially among team members. However, with remote training, the issue is that being far away from each other, some trainers might find it difficult to believe that their trainees will be 100% focused on what is being delivered and instead will bail on it.
There are a few technical difficulties that those training from home are prone to. From the lack of internet connection to the software bugs that make it impossible for the participants to access the training program. However, lack of internet connection seems to be one of the most common issues that online trainees deal with. The moment the internet connection stops working, the time to finish a certain module is automatically delayed for an indefinite period.
Sometimes, the staff might not be able to access the training program due to the program not being supported by the computers they have at home. These kinds of issues are certainly challenging for both the trainees and trainers.
Training remotely means that, most likely, you’ll be training from home, and being home means that you’re surrounded by your loved ones. While this is certainly a bright side of online training, at times, it can be quite a hassle. There are times that they can distract you with noises in the next room. Not to mention the distractions like the television, cellphones, and social media people use most when they’re in the comfort of their homes.
If there is an issue most prominent in remote working environments is the lack of direct interaction. This automatically becomes a problem for remote training too. A hard pill to swallow is that trainers are somehow afraid that they won’t have the full attention of their trainees, seeing how they’re training from home and they see it as a compulsory activity.
Many people associate the word remote with isolation. While this doesn’t hold any truth for many, some people can’t really handle training by themselves with no people around. They might have gotten used to the social benefits of receiving training on-site that they couldn’t see themselves doing otherwise.
While this doesn’t mean that they’re separated entirely from the rest of the society, as they can still communicate with the other participants virtually, they don’t feel the physical presence of them, and this can influence the well-going of the training.
Sure, one can decide to provide training online, but if you don’t have much experience in this direction, it can escalate quite quickly, and you as a training provider will experience time and financial losses. So, what practices should you be following for an effective training program? Let’s find out.
The first step one ought to take is to find out what skills their staff lack and that a particular training can offer. For this intention, you can conduct a skills gap analysis and identify what skills are needed to meet your business objectives.
Once you have come up with what skills your employees need and identified their training requirements, you can start creating a training plan and inform your employees when you believe it is the best time to do so. The training plan should include the training process and the time the training is expected to take place. You should share the schedule with your employees so that they will have time to familiarise themselves with it and see if they need anything clarified.
When starting a new training program, you should carefully decide its schedule. Seeing how the employees will have other work responsibilities, you’ll need to make sure that the training program is incorporated into their daily responsibilities. You don’t want the training program to happen only once and then the staff to forget about it, but you want the staff to be involved in the training continuously and complete it faster.
In an on-site training setting, the participants are more likely to turn to each other for help whenever they need to. We want that to be replicated even in the virtual setting. So, you as a trainer should encourage informal learning between the staff. So, if they don’t feel comfortable asking you questions they might have, they can always turn to their peers.
Now that you have decided all about the training you’re going to be delivering and the time it’s going to be delivered, you can focus on how you actually are going to deliver it. Remote training sometimes is considered to be training that is quite similar to the online meeting. While that is certainly one of the methods used to train staff, that isn’t the only one. Let’s take a look at the other options.
Synchronous learning is a type of training in which the participants are all engaged at once. So, there is a single time slot in which the training can take place. So, with this type of training, you’ll need to plan your teaching sessions and ensure that you are announcing the participants in due time.
In contrast to synchronous learning, asynchronous learning is a training type in which the participants choose to engage with training in their own time. Also known as self-paced learning, employees can run asynchronous learning with or without an instructor. This means that it will be the participant’s responsibility to be its own instructor. This type of learning is results-based learning as at the end of the training, a score, assessment, or a completion status are required before a specific deadline.
Just like the name suggests, blended learning combines the two types of learning we touched upon previously—synchronous and asynchronous learning. Depending on the company and how complex the remote training requirements are, this type of training is considered the best option as it offers the flexibility the other two types of learning don’t.
Indeed, the type of training you choose for your staff and how you choose to deliver it impact the training effectiveness. However, the remote training software you decide to include in your training is equally influencing. While you can still run the training through applications like Skype, Excel, or PowerPoint, this solution might not be the best out there.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to invest tons in these tools; however, you have to make sure that the tools you’ve chosen to incorporate in your training will ease the process and not the opposite.
There you go, these were the six best practices for training remote trainees. We hope you’re going to be using these practices to enhance your remote training program. Let us know if you will!