10 Essential Tips to Train Remote Employees Effectively
With no one batting an eye on the things you do, whether you put on your shorts while working, or if you’re sitting on your bed or at the table.
You just need to do your work.
Yes, working remotely is the new cool and everybody loves to get things done right from the comfort of their home, but it's not all flowers-and-roses.
A huge number of organizations find themselves in a spot of bother since the much dreaded Covid-19 pandemic loomed upon the global population.
The offices are forced to shut down or are required to work at a reduced capacity. Consequently, the focus is gradually shifting from traditional brick-and-mortar offices to a remote model of working.
What does that mean?
Due to the changing trend (and obviously, the pandemic), many companies have to ask their employees to work remotely, or not-from-office, which is quite a novel experience for most of them.
This sudden shift in the working culture has posed a challenge for employers to introduce and implement effective remote training programs for their employees.
So in this article, we will explore the issues faced by companies as well as employees due to remote work and the ways to effectively train the workforce for it.
1. Longer working hours - When personal and professional life comes together, it becomes difficult to switch between them. Employees tend to slack off quite often in a rather distractive environment and as a result, completing the work tends to consume more time than it should.
2. Lack of face-to-face supervision - There is no watchful gaze hovering all around you in a remote work environment. This might feel relaxing at times, but it creates a communication gap and can lead to negligence of work.
3. Isolated work environment - With no more colleagues around, things can get a bit uninteresting and mundane, and loneliness can creep in. This can also cause excessive stress to the employee.
4. Technical challenges - You can’t just rely on basic computer knowledge to work remotely. One needs to be efficient with the latest software and necessary tools to produce the best results.
So enough with the challenges.
But how do we tackle them? What is the solution?
Remote Training for Employees
Just like any other work model, remote working too requires training and development sessions. This equips the employees to handle such challenges and work efficiently towards the set goals.
According to Flexjobs, 95% of the people surveyed feel that their productivity has remained the same or increased when working from home, and every one out of two reports being more productive when working remotely.
This means, working remotely is possibly going to become the new ‘normal’. So it makes it even more important for the companies to focus on training their remote employees to do the job effectively.
Here are 10 essential tips to train remote employees effectively:
Selecting a Delivery Method
Before you start working upon the content of training for your employees, decide the medium which you will choose to share it.
This should be finalized with a specific focus on various factors related to your employees, their capabilities, and the organization’s preference.
Several methods/ mediums for remote training:
- Online video courses
- Live webinars with mentor’s support
- PDFs and documents (reading material with assignments)
The companies can opt for any of these methods (or a combination of them) to carry out the training process.
Keeping Up-to-date with Technology
In today’s digital world, technology should become your chief ally and there is simply no way around it.
Promote the use of software like Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, Hangouts, etc. to collaborate and work on projects simultaneously without much hassle.
Don’t go too hard on making big changes. Maybe you can start using screenshots and bite-sized videos to convey some ideas or solutions to your employees. This allows even the newbies to try their hands out in technology without making a fuss about it.
Organizing Thoughts Effectively
With everyone working remotely, it can get a bit difficult to gather useful ideas and promote creative thinking. At such a time, a premier mind-mapping software such as iMindQ can come to your rescue.
It is an innovative software focused on making the presentation of ideas effortless for individuals as well as teams. It offers various unique ways to organize and visualize key ideas, thus making them easy to remember.
As a team leader, you can use iMindQ to transform the concepts and processes into bite-sized chunks for your employees. Its major benefits include- content mapping, better team collaboration, boosting creative thinking, and project planning.
The professional environment is quite dynamic and the world has changed multifold after the Covid-19 struck. To cope with it, there is a need to continuously keep ourselves proficient in various skills.
Therefore, create a culture of continuous self-learning among your employees. Not only will it help them advance in their career, but also help them become better and more efficient at their jobs.
Whether it is learning how to code or content marketing & SEO, there is a lot of room to grow.
You can also encourage your employees who focus on self-development. Recognize their efforts in front of the team or gift them something. This will boost their confidence and motivate others to develop new skills too.
Whatever medium you choose to train your employees, remember to make the content easily accessible 24*7.
It is so crucial for employers to respect the time of people who work with them- even remotely.
Working from home does not mean that the employees will be available every time for training purposes. So, take care of that.
For e.g. If the training is delivered through a live webinar, make sure to record it and make it accessible anytime on-demand. This will ensure no one gets left behind even if they miss a certain training session.
As your employees are working remotely, many of them can undergo ‘cabin fever’ and feel overwhelmed with training along with the added pressure of delivering results.
This can be tackled by promoting a collaborative environment where the employees can form teams or pairs to achieve certain tasks. This helps in promoting a feeling of teamwork even in a remote environment and takes off a lot of anxiety.
Moreover, you can gamify training and several other tasks by introducing quizzes, polls, etc. to effectively engage the employees.
To ensure that the training is successfully executed, track your team’s performance regularly. Looking at the results helps in understanding what is working and the things that need to be changed.
In any way, never bother your employees with continuous tracking and evaluation. This could hamper their confidence and creates a sense of insecurity in their minds.
Instead, try using the latest software and methods to check how well the employees are interacting with the training platform and their specific results.
Create a Support System
Define the support process for your employees- whether it is related to training or anything thereafter.
Remote work requires technical skills which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Provide clear instructions and insights on the whole process. FAQs are a great way to clear doubts and save an ample amount of time.
Moreover, be available for your team. Make yourself accessible (or some other member) to them to discuss and resolve any related issue. This creates a personal connection with your team and helps to foster a healthy work relationship.
Goals Over Time Spent
Stop focusing on the screen-time spent by your employees to determine their productivity level.
Understand that a remote working environment is quite different from an office space. The time spent can vary a lot according to different employees and their working styles.
Instead, try to be more goal-oriented. Evaluate various performance metrics to see if the work is done effectively or not.
In other words, if an employee achieves their goals efficiently, it should not matter that they choose to spend some time off work.
Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
Keep in mind that working from home does not mean that your employees can dedicate every single minute of their day to the company’s goals. They have a personal life to live, and family and friends to be with.
Set goals that align with the company as well as the employees. Define certain goals and the projects to be delivered, set a time frame, and be open to feedback.
Moreover, understand your team well. Know about each employee and their capability to do work in a remote environment. This will help you to strategize accordingly and bring the best out of them.
Summing It Up
This article sums up our viewpoint of remote work, the challenges it brings, and several ways to make remote training more effective. It covers all the important steps in the process of building a remote team that is well-trained and ready to thrive at work sitting anywhere in the world.
So what do you feel?
We would love to know what you think of this article. Feel free to comment with suggestions and tips you would like to offer to make the process of remote training better.
About the Author
Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, social media, AI, and Big Data. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.