June 16th, 2:34 pm
As businesses expand from one location to the next, more and more organizations see the benefits of virtual training in the workplace. Whether that's on cost, flexibility and convenience, remote's training popularity is growing and not going anywhere anytime soon.
Together with the help of well-designed platforms, video contents, webinars, and e-learning courses, adapting remote training has become easier than before. This article contains training ideas for remote employees that will surely help your organization incorporate virtual training in your workspace.
This list contains:
Before diving into any training class, you should know what your motivating factors are and have a solid objective of why there should be training in the first place. For example, is it to educate your employees on a particular topic? Is it to address a lacking skill? Is it to further enhance a specific skill set in your organization? Once you have your training goals, it's easier to convey your purpose to your participants than just running in circles.
Setting expectations with your participants clarifies and establishes a sense of accountabilities for both parties involved in the training. It's also a way of ensuring that everyone is on the same page and enhances the communication line between a trainee and the trainer. The expectation setting also provides a reference point at the end of the training. Finally, it's also a way to check on whether the training has met its objective.
Like expectation setting, establishing the house rules help keep a harmonious training session. For example, understanding the outcome and what's expected in each training will be helpful for your colleagues and employees.
Once ground rules are established you will be able to fully trust and expect great higher satisfaction and attendance rates.
There is an ongoing discussion on what training approach is best and most effective. If you are betting on just one, you may want to think twice. Each person has different learning styles; the best training approach depends on your training needs and trainee demographic. Here are the different training approaches and their components:
Self-paced learning enables the participants to go through and finish the training courses and assessments at their own pace. In the absence of an instructor-led setup, the trainee's course completion assessments and exams supplement every end of each lesson. In most cases, some organizations combine these two modes of learning, depending on the need for each training course.
Real-time learning banks on active and live engagement between a trainer and a class. All the participants go through the lessons simultaneously, scheduled on a specific time and date.
Blended learning: a combination of self-paced learning and real-time learning where there is a mix of instructor-led training and available technology. This approach is also called hybrid learning.
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This one may not probably be the best for all the training you’ll offer, but for those topics that may be challenging or may come out as slightly ‘boring’, it’s good to create something your employees will be excited about.
Some incentive examples may be in the form of an added time-off, a snack/lunch voucher, or rewards points if you have a digital reward system. In the short term, your employees get these perks because they are taking the training course. However, they’ll also get a long-term benefit from the lessons in the training.
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Training should not be a one-day business only. The best part of training is after one has taken a session. It's when they'll have the opportunity to implement what they have learned. They’ll also get to test these training lessons in real-life scenarios and use them to their advantage to become better individuals and team members in the organization.
With a mentorship program, you ensure that the learnings from the training are not lost or dumped somewhere after one has completed the session. For the mentor, this is an opportunity to gain leadership exposure. The mentee, on the other hand, will gain skills and wisdom from an expert in the organization.
One way to make remote training more engaging is to provide your participants with a gamified learning experience. Gamification is not new in the training space, with some organizations already using it as part of their training strategies. Although the word game is present, only the gamification techniques are added, such as adding points, rewarding badges, using timers, and making the course competitive by installing leaderboards.
Gamification also incorporates the principle of incentive, which makes the training more inviting for participants to join. A 2019 study showed that gamification has significant effects on cognitive, motivational, and behavioral learning outcomes.
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Learning is never a one-way street. Sometimes it is two-way, but if you can make it into a multiple-way street, the better. For example, just because your participants are not in the same room doesn't mean that you can't foster an environment where there is an exchange of ideas. One way to do this is to insert activities that encourage your class to collaborate, such as chat discussions, whiteboards, open line discussions.
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From the invite to the snippets of how the training will look - send them over to your participants. You can email the call details ahead, even a week before the schedule. You can also send short reading materials or infographics to help set your participants expectations. Remind your participants to check if they can access the link to your training session and provide them with an alternative if there will be login issues on the training day. The purpose is to let your participants know that your communication line is open even before the training has started.
Even if you've designed your training to encompass everything, there will always be questions and clarifications that will surface after the courses. So inform your trainees that your lines are open in case they have these follow-ups. You can also provide assignments and reading materials to supplement your session.
To make sure that your training is successful, track both your progress and your team's productivity. Tracking your progress lets you know if you have met the objectives you had set beforehand. It also lets you see what elements of training need to be improved further. Similarly, you can also point out your best practices and use these as leverage in your subsequent sessions. Another way of knowing if your training is successful is by tracking your trainees' productivity and assessing whether they have implemented what they have learned into their day-to-day work. Implementation should be the final goal of every training.
Knowing what your participants think about your training is an essential step in understanding your team members. More often, organizations choose a one-size-fits-all training approach. There is no harm in using a templated training content and style. However, they may not work for everyone because of the different learning styles that your employees may have.
Doing surveys and after-training feedback sessions can help remedy this situation. Consider asking questions like, "What type of training do you want to be available?", "How would you describe your learning style?", "What is the one typical training style that doesn't work for you?"
Having a culture where training is part of the priorities shows that your organization values continuous learning. It's also easier to encourage your employees to regularly think of their development when they know that you support such endeavors. When people constantly upgrade themselves, they become better workers and individuals. This, in turn, exposes your organization to more opportunities to transform for the better.
According to a survey, adults 18 years older spend an average of 5-6 hours of phone usage daily. As more and more people turn to their phones for just about anything, making mobile-friendly content may be your next most significant consideration. Doing this involves you making specific alterations in your training layout and design. You can incorporate these elements that work best on mobiles, such as short videos, microlearning 2-3 minute modules, or short polls and quizzes.
One of the ways to keep your participants engaged is to hook their attention constantly. If your presentations are too text-heavy, chances are your participants will be loaded with so much information that they may become disinterested. You don't want this to happen in your training, especially if there is already a considerable investment of time and resources.
Consider making easy-to-consume content that is easier to digest. For example, if your topic is about a step-by-step process, consider showing an animation instead of a list. In addition, you may want to use an infographic to compress the details of a long article. Other suggestions include PDFs, videos, templates.
Another way to keep your participant's attention during your training is to make visually appealing cues. A trainer is limited in performing gestures in remote training, unlike when they are conducting it in-person. That's why visual cues are essential to guide the participants on what detail to focus on and keep their attention. Be creative in your visual cues using GIFs, relaxed yet professional fonts, bright colors, icons, arrows and lines for direction.
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It's an understatement even to say that training is essential in every organization. For businesses to survive, one must regularly reinvent and look for ways to improve through continuous learning. In addition, as the landscape of businesses changes and moves towards remote-based environments, so does training. Trying these training ideas may help you and your organization move towards this transition.
Trainers also need to be tech-savvy and become prepared for inevitable complications such as videos that won't play, participants that can't dial in the meetings, or even audio problems. This means that training someone virtually involves another skill set, including versatility, tech knowledge, and engagement.
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