The growth of the Work From Anywhere Movement in the past decade can't be understated. Remote and hybrid teams are as commonplace in the modern office as printers and water coolers. With Global Workplace Analytics reporting that the total number of remote workers is up 173% since 2005, it's clear that this isn't a passing trend but our exciting permanent reality.
In the past, all job and development training happened in person. Full departments would go through training as a team, the trainer would develop a strong sense of each employee's learning style, and subsequently, personal bonds would form between those being trained.
More often, these types of training and relationships are built online. If you look out your window today, you'll see fewer cars at rush hour because more and more employees are working remotely. This adaption to remote training shouldn't be feared, but embraced as a chance for company-wide innovation and providing more opportunities for folks around the world.
Remote training can be as straightforward as pre-recorded podcast episodes or as involved as live internet training. The software and strategies vary, but the outcome is the same. When you support remote workers as well as you support our on-site employees, we all win.
No matter if you're training new hires or providing existing staff with on-the-job product updates you'll need the appropriate tools. A well-developed training toolkit is important, so here are some of the top workforce training tools companies are using across industries to train their remote employees.
Learning management systems are everywhere. In the olden times (a few years ago) LMSs were most often utilized in educational environments, but today they're accessible to anyone looking to deliver coursework or e-Learning for training.
When searching for the LMS that fits all of your remote employee training needs, there will be some decisions you need to make. Do you want your training to be organized by month or by module? Will all training sessions require a team video conference? For tips on how to structure your onboarding or education and choose the best LMS for your company, here's everything you need to know.
At first, you'll notice more similarities than differences between LMS and LEP – they're both learning platforms, they both track training progress, and they both administer certifications. But whereas an LMS is composed of a single suite or app, an LEP is an entire holistic learning portal.
By combining the micro aspects of employee training (e.g., videos, podcasts) with the macro (e.g., eBooks, tiered modules), LEPs are as flexible as remote training can get. This flexibility goes both ways: the company trainer has the opportunity to carefully curate training materials so only necessary steps are taken and remote employee trainees have the flexibility to train on their own schedule.
As effective and streamlined as LMSs and LEPs are, sometimes your training requires live interactions. With remote employee training, this looks a bit differently than in-house training. Instead of meeting in the conference room, you'll be meeting virtually with support from your video conferencing software and hardware.
The good news is there's a bounty of video and audio conferencing tools at your disposal, so your remote employee training can continue without so much as a pause for buffering. The only thing left to do is make sure your remote employees have the best technology for video conferencing, here's what we recommend.
Here's a tip: Make use of screen sharing and recording capabilities, so in the future, you have a backlog of saved training videos or can provide videos to those who can't attend.
Yes, project management tools are most commonly used as tools for project management, but that would stop them before they've reached their full potential. You've already got the software, why not use these same tools for training remote employees?
Remote employees can use project management tools to manage their training progress, assess their training, and collaborate for group training sessions. Your current favorite project management platform, like Trello or Asana, is ready and waiting to be repurposed to aid in all your remote employee training needs.
You read that correctly too, more tools to repurpose for training! During the training process for remote employees, communication is constant. Whether you communicate through live video conferencing training sessions or built-in communication tools in your LMSs or LEPs, you need to stay connected with your trainees. The best communication starts with connection, so be sure to have all your bases covered – when it comes to remote employee communication, tools like Slack will be your best friend.
Now that you've selected your remote employee training software it's time to strategize. Training remote employees isn't as simple as writing eBooks, creating a training schedule, and emailing your employees to get started. Training remote employees presents new challenges you may not anticipate if you have not trained a remote team before, but no need to worry.
We've laid out a strategy to help you overcome whatever may arise as you train your remote employees. For more information on how best to manage your remote employees, check out our complete leadership guide.
Your training will only be as productive as your pre-planning allows it to be. By taking the time before remote employees begin their training to lay out what the training process will look like, you're troubleshooting problems before they have a chance to rear their heads. Once you've outlined the training schedule, send it to your remote employees with time for them to familiarize themselves with it.
The pre-training should reflect the tone of the training process, have it focus on big-picture principles and save the detailed instructions for the training itself. Pre-training is all about setting the appropriate expectations: when remote employees know what to expect from their training experience it'll go smoothly.
Here's a tip: Include opportunities for feedback on the pre-training. Maybe you left out a key training topic only a remote employee would notice is missing the most efficient training is collaborative.
Training shouldn't be an annual appointment, but an activity that's threaded through your remote employees' typical responsibilities. This training should reflect current industry trends and innovations and be consistently scheduled so it's part of weekly life at your company. When training is a part of your remote employees' regular schedules they'll be more likely to prioritize it and approach it with the same enthusiasm they bring to their other engagements.
As important as pre-training is to set appropriate expectations, post-training provides remote employees with the tools to expand their training on their own time. Understandably, sometimes training is rushed or not prioritized. Maybe your company is having an unexpectedly successful quarter and employee attention was elsewhere, this is where the post-training comes in.
Post-training should come in the form of instructive resources that aid employees in implementing what they learned in training. The idea here is to send materials that reflect the expectations of the company, the ideal outcome playbook in the form of resources they can revisit.
Here's a tip: Short videos are a great post-training tool. They can be revisited at any time by trainees and fit nicely in the familiar terrain of remote employees.
Remote employees are a valuable asset in this, the modern workplace. When you serve them with the best training practices available, you're setting your whole team up for success. Looking for more? Here's everything you need to know about remote work.