Training is the secret to continuous career growth, but keeping your employees engaged in training after long work hours is no easy feat. This is especially challenging in the case of remote employees.
Now that the post-pandemic workplace is primarily virtual, organisations are coerced to introduce digital learning and adapt to the new normal.Now that the post-pandemic workplace is primarily virtual, organisations are coerced to introduce digital learning and adapt to the new normal. Click To Tweet
However, as organisations scramble to adapt to virtual learning, they need to find effective ways of delivering training and development programmes that can easily be integrated into their new routine. You can host day-long virtual meetings, PowerPoint presentations or share onboarding guides for new employees to go through. But, how much of that information will employees retain?
Challenges of Remote Employee Training
Remote training has several challenges. Here are some common ones you may face when you start training employees virtually:
1. Declining Attention Span
The forgetting epidemic is real. Research shows that we forget 80% of what we learn in 30 days.
2. No face-to-face supervision
Employees may see training as just a box-ticking exercise and hence fail to give it due attention. On the other hand, instructors may struggle to supervise and communicate with employees during remote training sessions.
3. Little or no access to information
Getting answers to simple queries can feel like a large obstacle for remote employees trying to access the training.
4. Social isolation
Informal social interactions may not be possible in a remote learning environment, and participative or team-oriented sessions may not be possible.
5. Work from home distractions
Remote workers must have a dedicated, quiet workspace to focus on the training session.
6. Technical issues
From unstable network and faulty VPN connections to access-related issues, it’s highly likely for remote training sessions to be interrupted.
The key to solving remote training’s common challenges lies in properly planning, formulating, and organising engaging remote training sessions.
Increased Adoption of Microlearning
In the era of remote learning, one of the most effective methods of imparting training is through microlearning. The pandemic has left people overwhelmed and stressed out with the prolonged work from home arrangement. Thus, spending hours in front of the computer for training is not something your employees may look forward to.In the era of remote learning, one of the most effective methods of imparting training is through microlearning. Click To Tweet
In contrast, bite-size learning or microlearning methodologies delivering short and focused training content at regular intervals may be a better alternative. According to a study, microlearning makes learning 17% more efficient and creates 50% more engagement. Besides, it addresses the needs of modern learners.
Outlined below are the steps to impart microlearning for your remote employees:
Step 1: Ascertain the Learning Objective
When creating the content for a microlearning programme, determine what you want to achieve with the program and plan it accordingly. Every piece of content should be created with the core objective in mind. It’s best to create a structure in which each module delivers a specific outcome and contributes progressively to the overall training objective.
Step 2: Choose a Training Delivery Model
Often remote training is misconstrued as being similar to an online meeting. However, remote training can be delivered in the following ways:
- Synchronous Learning – A typical instructor-led training session wherein all learners virtually participate simultaneously at the stipulated time slot. The facilitator of the training should plan the learning sessions carefully in short bursts and make sure that the sessions are announced to the employees well in advance.
- Asynchronous Learning – On the other hand, this model is self-paced and independent, where learners complete their training without instructors. However, it requires regular training assessments where training results are measured and analysed to determine training effectiveness.
- Blended Learning – As implied by the name, this model combines the best of both synchronous and asynchronous models to offer a custom solution. It provides greater flexibility to approach complex learning requirements. For instance, it could involve both an e-learning module and a virtual classroom session scheduled through a Learning Management System or LMS.
Step 3: Plan the Training Material
Now that you know the learning objective and the delivery model, the next step is to plan and organise the material. In this step, create a course outline to organise key concepts and ensure that it all flows logically. Talk to subject matter experts and assimilate their inputs into your training plan.
Step 4: Buy the Necessary Tools
Running a remote training session using Skype for communication, Excel for attendance tracking, and PowerPoint for training delivery may not be effective. First of all, it will make it hard for you to keep track of the employees’ training progress and secondly, it will provide your employees with a below-par experience. Instead, it’s recommended that you invest in the latest digital tools designed to impart effective training. This includes the below:
Conferencing and Webinar – Zoom, Bluejeans, Webex
Virtual Classroom – GoToTraining, Larksuite, BigBlueBottom
LMS – A learning management system that makes it easy for you to schedule, deploy, manage and track your training initiatives. There are several platforms out there like Cornerstone, SAP Litmos, iSpring Learn, Zeus Learning and more.
E-learning Authoring and Content Tools – You can opt for specific authoring tools to create and arrange content in a standardised course structure instead of uploading PDF manuals, word documents or PPTs. Some popular tools include Articulate Storyline 360, Adobe Captivate, Elucidat, Camtasia and more.
Step 5: Choose Your Content Formats Wisely
The quality of your training content can make or break your remote learning program. Thus, it pays to diversify your content formats to make learning more engaging.
Choose the right format according to the concept that needs to be explained. For instance, an infographic can be the best choice to explain a process, and an explainer video can appeal to learners when explaining a complex theoretical concept. Other formats can include podcasts, games, simulations, quizzes, PDFs, job aids, etc.
It would be more effective to blend different formats to help learners retain information and keep them motivated to learn more.
Step 6: Incorporate Practical Learning
It does no good for employees to learn theories and hypotheses and never apply them in real-world scenarios. Hence, stress on the practical implementation of new ideas in the context of their job roles. Organize case studies, industrial experts/guest speaker sessions, role-playing scenarios, branching scenarios, real-world examples and more for this purpose.
Step 7: Track Learning Results
The final step is to ask for feedback, measure the results of remote training and make continuous improvements. Assessments, polls, surveys, feedback sessions, etc., can help you in this regard. Pay close attention to metrics like course completions, engagement rate, and time taken to finish the course.
Supercharge Remote Employee Training with Microlearning
With declining attention emerging as one of the biggest challenges to learning, microlearning can provide the best antidote to help your employees grow and evolve. It can also help in closing any skill gaps and increasing the overall productivity of your workforce. The result: higher retention and engagement.
Do you use microlearning apps or have a full-fledged remote training programme? How meaningful and enriching are your training methodologies? Do share your comments to let us know what you are doing to train your remote employees.