How to Train Your Remote Workforce the Right Way

Viren Kapadia August 30, 2021
How to Train Your Remote Workforce the Right Way

Remote Working Is Here to Stay

Enterprises are run by people. Investing in the workforce and staying invested is vital to ensuring growth for the individual and the organization. It does not matter how they are located--on-site or off-site--the need to make employees competent and productive is well accepted. Of course, for remote workers, the challenges to keep them engaged are different and require solutions that not only meet the objectives of having a competent workforce but do so in a scalable, measurable, and secure manner.

With remote working currently finding favor, either due to external compulsions or choice, trends indicate that flexible work practices are likely to be the preferred option in times to come as workers increasingly seek a better work-life balance.

Remote Working Challenges and Solutions

Understanding the challenges faced in a remote working environment is the key to finding effective mitigants. Some common challenges include:

  • Out-of-sight out-of-control syndrome
  • Missing peer pressure and competition
  • Lack of social interaction and connection
  • Absence of Peer Learning
  • Distractions and Lack of Focus

Some common solutions include:

  • Laying down rules and establishing timetables
  • Opening up communication channels
  • Increasing interaction opportunities
  • Creating online resource centers and data banks

In other words, a well-thought-out structured plan with technical support and training can make remote working as engaging as on-location working. Video conferencing, webinars, virtual events, live chats and messaging touchpoints, interactive online training, etc. are some ways to use technology for productive remote working.

Right Training for Remote Workers

However, just setting defined rules and applying technology solutions will not work. People have to be trained rightly to orient themselves to adapt to remote working, how to maintain and upgrade skills, how to acquire new competencies for different roles and requirements, and how to cope with fresh challenges.

Right training entails giving the right inputs, at the right time, in the right manner, to the right target group towards the achievement of intended goals.

Right Training Essentials

Right training is a strategic effort and encompasses the following activities for optimal results:

  • Assessing the needs of the users and enterprise resources : Training without a grasp on the knowledge and skill gaps of the target audience is like shooting in the dark. Precious resources are likely to be wasted with negligible impact. Employee skills have to be in tandem with the organization's business goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) Knowledge gaps must be closely assessed through supervisor observation, employee feedback, surveys, and questionnaires. Once assessed the training needs to be developed and imparted to fill these gaps.

  • Finding the best mode of delivery : Based on the need, remote workforces may be trained in three ways:

    • a) Synchronous training : For instance, a batch of new hires may be required to be given induction training and acclimatization inputs. This is best done for the cohort as a whole via online synchronous training tools since the training material and content are common and the trainees are placed on the same footing in the work situation. Teaching is planned around a known timetable and individuals log in simultaneously from wherever they are remotely located. The commonality of purpose or need to give specific inputs to specific teams or sets of people, maybe instructor-led, with same time broadcast are best met through synchronous learning. Some tools used for this type of teaching include video conferencing and chatting tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, etc.

    • b) Asynchronous learning : allows learners greater control as they can learn at their own pace and convenience. Scheduling is not a cause of concern. Learning content is available for any time use. Specific or need-based courses are created and loaded on the corporate LMS for ready access by learners. Course completion certificates and assessment scores are usually stipulated by enterprises for such courses. Google Classroom, Lumos Learning, etc. are some apps used for this purpose.

    • c) Blended learning : incorporates elements from both of the above modes of delivery. Complex remote training requiring both self-learning and e classroom is best delivered through a mix of technological tools.

  • Choosing the right technology : The above remote delivery and other demands can all be met through a feature-rich cloud-based LMS. Creating and providing interactive, immersive, and customizable learning material with assessment, record, tracking, analytical and compliance support is easily feasible with the authoring and built-in tools in a good LMS.

  • Prepare the training material : Content has to be engaging, interactive, and most importantly pertinent. Chunky information rather than cognitive overload should be the guiding principle. Real on-the-job problems must be taken up to show how the training inputs provide possible solutions.

  • Setting the framework : this involves the following:

    • a) Set a training schedule : and make it known to your identified trainees-- a schedule gives a direction to the training program. Trainees know when and how they can access learning. Tracking is easier on the back of an event calendar. Adhocism is removed and a particular cohort follows the schedule at the laid downtime points getting trained at the right time for the right job.

    • b) Delineate measurable and expected outcomes : trainees must know what they will get out of the training and how it will help them do their job more efficiently and productively. In absence of clearly defined objectives and a visible purpose, learner acceptance will be below.

    • c) Establish assessment norms : when learners are made aware that they will be assessed and evaluated they attach seriousness to the learning. Getting good scores is not only a matter of pride but also is a strong motivator. It increases healthy competition and gives impetus to knowledge accretion.

    • d) Do impact studies and analytics : right training requires regular feedback and analysis to verify that the training is making a difference in skillsets and productivity. It also gives insights into the effectiveness of training, for course corrections and making any process changes, if required.

Using Expertise

Getting proficient in imparting virtual learning requires expertise. The experts help in optimizing resources for the best outcomes. Gyrus is deeply invested in training and development. Our GyrusAim LMS has cutting-edge features that can help provide the right and powerful virtual training experience to remote workers covering all aspects from gap analysis to evaluation and documentation. If you are concerned about human resource management and the right training for your off-site workforce, feel free to contact us. We will help make a difference.