When it comes to remote employees, the concept sounds good in theory, but many business owners struggle with managing them effectively and seeing productive results. I am no exception. At one point I nearly through the towel in on remote employees as they left me with more frustration than value. As I would discover, the problems started from the beginning with training (of the employees).
In this article, we will explore the best practices I've developed for training remote employees to ensure that your company’s workforce is equipped to operate from all over the world.
Let’s get started.
1. Use Multiple Training Formats
One of the best practice for training remote employees is the incorporation of multiple training formats. Individuals learn in various ways. It is essential to be inclusive in how you conduct your training to accommodate employees who learn best by reading, writing, listening, and observing visuals.
In this regard, it would be valuable to have audio sessions in the form of the company’s members providing verbal sessions, with recordings of the audio teachings. Additionally, regular podcasts for employees to catch up on any new developments in the company can be valuable to enable employees to learn in their free time.
Videos providing information about how the company works can be informative in showing remote employees the value their work adds to the company from an objective perspective, which goes a long way in making employees feel like they make a relevant contribution to the company. Additionally, you can have worksheets and writing activities to test the employees' knowledge while stimulating their reading and writing skills.
2. Conduct Short Online Training Sessions
Short online training sessions are one of the best practices for training remote employees. Online training sessions can be tedious for employees, given that it entails sitting in front of a screen for an extended period, listening to someone speak without having meaningful engagement.
Employees can easily lose focus when they are forced to sit for extended periods, causing them to retain less information as their attention span decreases. The key to ensuring that your employees take away as much information as possible is to ensure that you conduct your training sessions in a short timeframe.
It's important to ensure that your training sessions provide reasonable breaks during the training hours. Ideally, you should give tea breaks and a lunch break. It is also valuable to host training sessions until mid-afternoon, as employees may become overwhelmed after continuous hours of learning.
3. Use Interpersonal Activities
Remote working can be a lonely experience. It is crucial to facilitate interpersonal, engaging activities when training employees. By facilitating interpersonal activities between remote employees, your employees build relationships that will enable them to have colleagues to engage with while working remotely.
Importantly, facilitating interpersonal activities when training remote employees will allow your employees to engage with each other on the work you have taught them. During these activities, they will have a safe space to ask each other questions they may not have understood and are hesitant to ask you as the employer.
4. Provide Questionnaire to Gauge Employees' Understanding
When it comes to remote training, it can be challenging to gauge whether your remote employees genuinely understand what you have taught them. In this regard, it is valuable to provide questionnaires to measure your remote employees' understanding of the training you have conducted.
Providing questionnaires for your remote employees is a best practice in the remote employee training context as it ensures you know what your employees understand well and what aspects of the training are unclear to them that you should revise.
5. Manage Individual Meetings
Having individual meetings with your remote employees is a best practice in the remote training context because it allows you to identify individuals who might need additional training and identify employees who have strong skills that may make them good team leaders who could assist struggling employees.
During individual meetings with remote employees, you can ask employees if there are any aspects of the training that they find valuable versus elements of the training program that are ineffective in educating them. This knowledge is invaluable as it will guide you in future training sessions to ensure your training is meaningful and efficient.
6. Employ Team Building Exercises
Contrary to popular belief, it is popular to have fun team building exercises when training remote employees. Employing team building exercises during training for remote employees is a great practice because it encourages employee cohesion.
Team Building exercises in the context of training remote employees can include facilitating games where individuals are put in groups and play games based on the information taught during the training.
For example, a game of 60 seconds where the questions are based on information about the company.
Prizes should be awarded to employees to incentivize active participation in the activities. Given that the employees work remotely, it would be wise to award prizes in the form of vouchers for popular platforms like Amazon.
7. Administer Anonymous Forums for Feedback
Another great practice for training remote employees is to have an anonymous forum where employees can share their questions and provide feedback on the company's operations. It is likely that they will have pertinent questions or valuable input that they may be too shy to address.
Being aware of what the employees are struggling with or aspects of the training that can be improved will go far in assisting you in running an effective training program for your remote employees.
Ultimately, implementing these best practices for training remote employees are essential for your company's success. When training remote employees, it is crucial that your training encourages collaborative activities and provides employees with the opportunity to pose questions and provide feedback during the training on how to improve the training program.
Ready to check out some virtual meetings tools to increase productivity in your online training sessions? Read The Best Virtual Meeting Tools for Improved Remote Team Collaboration.