Approximately from the past two years, the majority of the corporate companies are operating remotely because of the pandemic. Although some companies are one and off in remote working, there has been a major shift to remote working and training. This made many organizations difficult to cope with the change as this is a very new phenomenon. Although remote working is cost-effective, there are many challenges like employee engagement and productivity.
More than remote working, remote training has been more challenging. But organizations cannot put an end to training as it is very important for the growth of both employees and the organization. With more than 61 percent (1) of the remote employees saying training is essential for better performance, organizations had no choice but to offer training remotely themselves. With tools and the digital revolution, anyone can offer remote training but what’s important is its impact on online learners. So, in this article, we will discuss various tips through which you can engage your remote online learners and improve the ROI of training.
1) Choose the training model that your employees prefer:
There are different training models like synchronous training, asynchronous training, and blended learning.
- Synchronous learning: This type of learning requires everyone to be present at the same time and attend the live lectures online. Your online learners need to spare a designated time to attend lectures every day. It helps to get the doubts solved in life but the downside to it is a lack of flexibility as everyone needs to be present at the same time.
- Asynchronous learning: This type of learning is more self-paced. The record videos, online training materials, and other online training resources will be available to the online learners all the time. This allows the learners to learn whenever and wherever they want. The positives and negatives of this type of learning are exactly the opposite of that of synchronous learning.
- Blended learning: This is a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous learning. In a way, you can say that this might be the ideal option as it caters to everyone. This is a combination of virtual training, recorded videos, Q&A discussions and webinar sessions, etc.
To know what your employees prefer, conduct a survey and find out what the majority of your online learners prefer, and make a decision accordingly.
2) Leverage technology:
With a plethora of tools, it can be difficult to finalize one. However, it all depends on your budget and training methods. There are tools like learning management systems which can help you conduct online training effectively. Even if you hire someone remotely, you can offer training seamlessly with employee onboarding LMS. If for any reason you don’t prefer LMS, you can use Google Hangouts or Zooms for live lectures and use Slack or Microsoft Teams for formal communication. Most of these tools initially offer free trials and their subscription prices are also very minimal.
3) Try mobile learning:
Working and training both on a PC or a laptop might not be an ideal option as it gets difficult for your online learners to sit for long hours. If you can offer a mobile learning option also, then it would be more flexible. Your online learners can attend the classes or access the eLearning content whenever and wherever they want. Also along with this, you can even try microlearning which is an effective training method to engage the younger generation.
Microlearning is nothing but short bite-sized learning modules or videos that can be consumed within three to five minutes. With the attention span of the Millenials and Gen Z are decreasing day by day, microlearning can be an effective option. Your online learners can learn even if they are stuck in traffic while traveling and doing any other stuff.
4) Create an online learning community:
Because it’s remote learning, it’s hard to discuss doubts and share solutions. In such cases, create social media groups where you add all your online learners so that they can post their queries and get answers for them. In this way, you can foster a learning culture even remotely. Your employees can always feel attached and they can turn into a group of enthusiastic online learners when they feel stuck somewhere.
5) Measure the progress:
This applies to any form of training. But since you tried a new method called remote training maybe for the first time, you might not be aware of the parameters to measure progress. Engagement levels in 1:1 discussions, surveys, examinations, and assessments determine the progress. There should be certain key performance indicators like these that need to be considered so that tracking the progress becomes easy. You can have your own KPIs that help you to track the progress.
6) Try gamification:
One of the most significant complaints of remote training is employee engagement. Because there is no in-person interaction, some online learners get bored and distracted easily. This applies when they are learning too. Gamification helps to make learning more engaging with its interactive elements. For instance, elements like points, rewards and leaderboards create healthy competition among the learners. Everyone wants to rank higher on the leaderboards which make way for healthy competition.
7) Use real-life examples:
When delivering lectures, online instructors should try to correlate some of the concepts with real-life examples which helps the online learners to connect at a deeper level. By doing this, you can grab the attention of your online learners. This works in offline training too. But since online learning is considered to be less engaging, online instructors can try these types of innovative ways to engage the online learners. You can even try to engage your online learners by asking questions and keeping the session more interactive
To wrap up, remote learning is the ‘new normal’ and one has to find ways to cope with it. The online training strategies can be endless to engage the remote learners but you need to find the ones that work for you. We hope this article helps you in identifying the best remote training practices.