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The ongoing COVID -19 pandemic has disrupted life in profound ways. It has changed the way we interact, shop and work. It has also changed how businesses conduct their activities. With social distancing norms in place, many companies have asked their employees to work from home. Although a trend toward working remotely had been growing even before COVID-19, companies had to quickly make arrangements for their employees to move out of the main office into the home office.
Among the numerous logistical issues for companies to address has been remote employee training and development. Remote training is not an easy fix. It is crucial to understand that remote working presents a lot of challenges – technology, distractions, staying organized and various other factors. However, remote working offers several benefits.
To make remote training effective, we will look at how you need to train remote employees, the benefits of remote training and why you need to document everything.
How to train remote employees during COVID-19
Unless you give your employees the requisite training, it could be difficult for them to adapt to the work-from-home model. To ease the transition for your workforce, it is crucial to know how to train remote employees. HR Daily Advisor provides some valuable tips.
Provide advanced training to your employees – While it may seem too late if your employees are already working from home, the current crisis is not likely to be the last or only time companies need to shift staff to remote work arrangements. Advanced training while employees are still on-site can give them the tools and skills they need to succeed in a remote environment. For those now working remotely, providing a broad overview of available online tools and strategies will set them up for success with subsequent training programs.
Teach your employees time management and how to organize themselves – Everyone can’t excel in the work-from-home model. Time management and staying organized are the two main challenges that remote workers face. Some who are good at this in the office might struggle when they work from home – especially when they deal with such distractions as children and day-to-day domestic demands. Provide any necessary resources and support to help them cope.
Share remote communication etiquette with your employees – You need to make your employees understand that dealing with people virtually is no different from in-person dealings in the office. Establish etiquette standards for video conference calls – such as not shouting, and the need to dress appropriately.
Make sure training resources are accessible remotely – e-learning is an extremely potent tool for remote workers. According to Kimberly Cassady, chief talent officer at Cornerstone, companies should provide online access to learning and development materials. Your L&D materials should also include how to make remote learning more effective.
“For example, if your organization has adopted a more flexible work from home policy, a learning course on how to stay productive when working remotely can help employees manage their tasks and stay engaged. Meanwhile, online courses about stress management and mindfulness can help employees navigate worrisome situations – while simultaneously equipping them with important soft skills for the future of work.”
Look after the emotional health of your employees – You do need to train your remote employees on technology, logistics and adapting their work ethic. But it is important to understand that you should also address their mental and emotional well-being.
According to Peter Jackson, CEO of software company Bluescape, “Loneliness and depression are major pain points for remote workers, and those that are new to working from home can be negatively impacted by the sudden drop-off in social interaction. This can lead to a breakdown in collaboration and productivity, especially as those who are used to face-to-face meetings struggle to identify how to establish those same connections virtually.”
To overcome this hurdle, you need to focus on building team culture. You can start your virtual meeting by interacting with your team members on a personal note. For example, you can ask how they feel about the remote work environment, or simply general day-to-day questions. When you interact with them on a personal level, you can get to know how they are feeling, and address early signs of burnout or disengagement.
Benefits of remote training
You can conduct remote training in various ways, such as e-learning courses, instructor-led face-to-face training over the web, webinars, customized podcasts, etc. There are several benefits of remote training, which include the following:
Affordability – In traditional training, you need the instructor as well as the trainees to be present in the same room. You either need to bring all your employees to a particular geographical location or pay the instructor to visit your office or any other preferred location. However, that is not the case in a remote training setting. Employees and instructor/s can join in from wherever they are, making remote training more affordable.
Availability of resources – Regardless of your location, you can get the best trainers in the world to instruct your employees. You don’t have to bother about visa issues and programming conflicts. In traditional training, you have to call the trainer to your physical location
Convenience – In traditional training, you need to follow a strict routine because you have to meet the trainers face-to-face. External problems like travel issues, inclement weather or any other emergency can hamper the training schedule.
The need to document everything
There is no doubt that remote training can prove to be useful for the development and growth of your employees. However, when it comes to remote training, make sure you document everything.
If your organization has only one person in charge of training, that person’s knowledge about your training programs leaves when they leave your organization. Documentation is essential to keep your programs and materials accessible to subsequent employees who fill that position.
Document all your training processes and store them in a centralized place where more people from your organization have access to your training materials. Make sure all your documents, slide presentations and videos are marked so that people other than your primary trainer can assume the duties if necessary.
When it comes to training documentation, security is always a priority. After all, training materials comprise your company’s valuable intellectual property. As most training materials and programs are now in digital format, you need a robust solution to keep them secure from theft or compromise by disgruntled former employees, competitors and cybercriminals.
DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption to businesses in every industry. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions.