Best Practices For Training Remote Employees: Tips, Tricks & Tools

In 2020, companies have had to embrace the option of remote work policies more than ever. Yet despite the acceleration, the work-from-home movement isn’t new. A 2019 survey of 2,500 workers by Buffer shows that 99% of respondents would adopt remote working at least for some periods during their career. 

As this type of working becomes more of a reality, companies must consider best practices for training employees in remote settings. For great results, managers should opt for live, online training sessions. Whatever solution your company opts for, ensure it has screen recording abilities to allow managers to share the session later.

Best practices for training remote employees

What is staff training and development?

Staff training and development refers to a set of programs provided by a company. The aim is to improve employees’ performance and results. Enterprises following the best practices for training remote employees use a wide range of educational programs and methods. Investing in employee training serves as a motivation tactic and helps the company create a highly-skilled workforce.

Although ‘training’ and ‘development’ are terms used interchangeably, the two concepts are different. A development program focuses on attaining and improving broader skills, which can apply to different situations—including communication, leadership and decision-making. Staff training programs involve specific and measurable goals—such as how to carry out a procedure with increased accuracy or how to use a software tool.

Capterra researched the digital transformation moves made by Australian SMEs (small or medium-sized enterprises) during the pandemic. 41% of the 500 SME workers said their company bought or installed new software to enable them to work remotely. Concerningly, however, a third of the employees said they hadn’t been given any training on them yet.

To get the best return on investment (ROI), employers should always provide training on how to use new tools. 

Why is staff training and development important?

Staff training and development expands the employees’ knowledge base and delivers increased ROI to organisations. Training programs help instil the required skills in employees and bridge weak links or gaps within the company. Employees attain a greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities and perform better in their job.

Investment in staff training also shows employees that the company values them by creating a supportive workplace. Robust training and development programs offer a consistent experience to employees. Also, companies enjoy increased adherence to top-quality standards and a boost in their workforce’s productivity rates. Ongoing upskilling and training of staff encourages creativity and innovation and reduces employee turnover.

Best employee training software

Companies can set up and run remote training in different ways, depending on their goals and needs. Types of training delivery models include synchronous learning, asynchronous learning or blended learning.

Although you can run remote training sessions on standard online communication platforms, there are a few other types of tools that may offer a better learning environment for your employees. Below, we’ve outlined the tools needed for each stage of organising and running an online training session with employees.

1. Scheduling the training session

Scheduling software allows managers to automate some of the organisation and logistics involved with the planning. The software normally includes a shared calendar view feature which helps managers find a common time slot for everyone to attend the online training. This is particularly useful for remote teams, who may also be operating over several different time zones.

2. Holding the Session

For organisations with a distributed remote workforce, screen sharing programs are a good option for holding a training session online. As the name suggests, screen sharing applications allow trainers and trainees to share their screens with other participants. Additionally, the software allows remote employees to share documents, presentations and communicate through live chat. 

Many video conferencing software solutions offer screen sharing abilities within their business offering, allowing users to host online training sessions and effectively communicate with participants. Similarly, webinar software solutions allow enterprises to host and share interactive recorded or live educational video presentations with their remote staff. 

With virtual classroom software solutions, trainers can engage with remote employees in an online environment. Course authoring software and LMS (Learning Management System) solutions allow you to create interactive and engaging courses, share documents, and track training results.  

3. Recording the training session

Online modules and screen recording software allow you to deliver synchronous and asynchronous courses, which employees can study and retain more effectively. The tool allows you to capture video and audio streams of the training sessions from your screen. Depending on the platform, users can then edit, annotate, and convert the files into different formats.

4. Analysing success & obtaining feedback

Send feedback questions for the training session to identify how effective the program is in developing your employees’ skills. Use survey software to design and manage electronic surveys to measure your staff’s satisfaction. Survey programs typically include different feedback formats, including checkboxes, radio buttons, free-form text fields or drop-down menus. With top-quality and efficient survey software you can assess any improvements needed to achieve the best impact.

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