How to Organize Effective Remote Employee TrainingGuides Future of Work Managing Teams
This article was created in partnership with iSpring Solutions.
Many companies were forced to transfer training online in 2020 and 2021. Most of them remained on distance learning even when it became possible to return to the usual format. What did they like about remote training? How can you organize distance learning from scratch?
Advantages of remote employee training
It’s no longer necessary to prove the effectiveness of distance learning. The remote format allows businesses to solve many problems:
Maintain up-to-date knowledge of products and services. You can familiarize all employees with a new product release or conduct compliance training with learning software.
Reduce the cost of trips to branches and organization of training. For example, there’s no need to pay for the rental of a conference room, the work of visiting teachers, and travel and accommodations for employees to train in the same place.
Make learning continuous. Online learning is not a one-time webinar. Sequential lessons are built into courses, and courses into programs. An employee can start studying a course at any time from any device, and study at their own pace.
Ensure prompt control of knowledge. You can create appraisals of the knowledge that employees have gained and conduct them with the receipt of frequency.
This is not a complete list of the advantages that a business can get from distance learning. You need to develop corporate training considering the specifics of the distance format to get these advantages.
Stages of launching remote learning in a company
So, you’ve decided to start launching remote employee training. Using ready-made programs for offline learning, if you have them, will be much easier than creating everything from scratch. But, in any case, you need to complete the following tasks:
- Determination of learning objectives and choice of format. For example, a good goal is to strengthen your sales team’s skills or increase their conversion rate from an order to a deal. The format of training is selected based on the goals. It can be synchronous, in the form of live webinars and online lessons, or asynchronous, in the form of electronic text materials and recorded video lessons.
- Development of online courses. This stage includes collecting the materials, planning the curriculum, creating and designing the lessons, and developing quizzes for each lesson.
- Understand technical issues and choose employee training software that automates routine processes and makes the learning process more convenient.
Developing the training is half the battle. It’s important to engender the appropriate attitude toward the classes on the part of the employees. Suppose they have no desire or motivation to learn after all the work you’ve done creating online courses. They reluctantly enter the LMS and take lessons only at the request of the management. Something like this happens in most companies. How can you fix this? Education needs marketing stimulus like any other project. It should be advertised to the employees even before they’re instructed to take courses.
Internal PR for distance learning
Internal PR is a set of activities that promote training in the company. We can say that internal PR and implementation of training in the company is successful when every employee has a positive attitude toward training.
Let's talk about how to establish internal PR.
Announcement of the corporate course
When a company launches a new product, it makes a strong presentation of that product to make customers want to buy it. The same goes for in-company training. When a new course is going to come out, you need to ‘sell’ it to employees so they’ll want to take it.
How to create a course announcement
Create an atmosphere of anticipation to stir up employee interest. Share information about the upcoming course two weeks before the training begins. Mark the course release as an event on your corporate editorial calendar.
Prepare a selection of valuable material from the course and share the benefits with employees. Utilize the promotion channel that employees use constantly to do this. For example, make small publications with useful tips from the training, and send them to work chats. Employees will read and start using these tips in their work, get small results, and thus look forward to the full-fledged training.
Create a training section on your corporate website. Publish announcements of upcoming courses, news, and positive feedback from employees after they’ve completed the courses.
Employee motivation for learning
Motivate employees to learn. You’ll increase intrinsic motivation by demonstrating the benefits of courses. This is paramount and helps them to start learning. There is also extrinsic motivation, which works great in combination with internal and encourages the employee to move on to the next lesson and reach the end of the training.
Consider a system of external rewards to increase the external motivation of employees. For example:
Make a rating of "excellent learners" that displays the current progress of employees - the number of lessons completed and points scored on quizzes. Employees will strive to achieve a higher position in the ranking.
Run contests, set up gamification, earn points, and assign various statuses.
Issue certificates. For example, an employee is pleased to receive the certificate "Megamind of the company - scored 100 points on the quiz." The motivation from such a status can exceed even the financial reward.
Use material incentives - bonuses, competitions with a cash prize, or salary increases for high scores in courses.
Promotion through executives
If the heads of departments like the idea of remote corporate training, line employees will also follow their lead. Here’s how to make executives support remote learning:
Invite leaders to take some useful courses and gather feedback from them on the training they’ve completed. When managers themselves have been in the role of a student, learned how to work on an online learning platform, and appreciated the benefits of this format, it will be easier for them to involve the team in this format.
Involve experienced professionals in the development of training materials. Heads of departments are usually in possession of the valuable information that needs to be passed on to employees. For example, the head of the sales department usually knows better than anyone what sales methods and scripts are effective in the company. You can conduct a remote one-hour video interview with them, and then pack what was said into a text course, so the training doesn’t take up the manager’s personal time.
Explain to managers how the remote format saves their valuable time. Usually, it is the heads of departments who are responsible for training their subordinates. They prepare seminars and lectures to share their expertise. The distance education format helps reduce their workload by shifting the process to the learning management system.
Managers are more likely to motivate employees to get trained when the benefits for them are made clear.
Collect feedback on training
Ask employees how they evaluate the quality and usefulness of the lessons, what information they don’t understand, and what materials are missing. Listen to the comments of employees and consider their wishes. Make adjustments to courses and correct errors based on their feedback. Such a reaction will allow employees to feel that you value their opinion and listen to it. Reviews help evaluate the effectiveness of training.
Collect "success stories" of employees who have been trained. For example, a sales manager in the first month after training doubled the number of transactions compared to the previous one. Conduct interviews with such employees - ask what the course provided them with and how it affected the results of their work. Broadcast these results to the entire team and publish the recorded interviews online. This will help build confidence in the team that the training produces actual results.
Benefits of Remote Learning
Employees should form the opinion that remote learning streamlines their work. You can emphasize that all of the information is in one place. An employee can access needed materials from any device at any time.
For example, a manager is at a meeting with a client who asks a question about the specific characteristics of the product. It is very difficult to keep all the information in your head. The manager can explain and show the characteristics and advantages of the product in detail by having its presentation on their phone in the LMS.
The main difficulties of organizing an online corporate university
The employee doesn’t want to study
Employees often perceive distance learning as a "freebie." No one is following it, so they can put this matter “on the back burner” so as not to be distracted from their main work.
What’s the solution?
You need to convey to employees what benefits they get from it in order for them to form the right attitude toward training. Benefits can vary for different employees. When an employee is motivated to learn, they don’t need to be controlled. It’s enough to monitor the training statistics that are displayed on the platform periodically.
Difficulties in working on the platform
An employee will not benefit from even the most interesting and useful course if he or she does not understand how to work in the learning management system, doesn’t know where to click, and in which sequence to perform actions.
What’s the solution?
Choose an intuitive online learning platform for corporate training that doesn’t require special knowledge and skills and visually shows each employee how to work on the platform. Record a video, hold a webinar, or write a detailed text instruction with explanations in the screenshots. Explain who to contact if technical difficulties arise.
New learning formats
Sometimes people are wary of everything new. If earlier training took place offline, it is easier for someone to do it the old-fashioned way than to spend time figuring out how to work in a new program.
What’s the solution?
A person is able to understand anything if they understand why they need it. Explain to the employee what they’ll get by mastering the new training format. What benefits will it give them? Forming the right attitude toward remote corporate training is the main task of your corporate PR.
Difficulties in content creation
To create a course for employees, you need to think over its structure, collect valuable information from internal and external experts, distribute it among the lessons, design the course beautifully and develop practical exercises. This is a very labor-intensive process.
What’s the solution?
Appoint a separate training specialist in the company. These functions can be performed by a methodologist, an HR manager, or an entire corporate university, depending on the size of the company.
In summary, it should be noted that employee management is one of the most significant aspects of an organization’s success. Employee training plays an important role when working with human resources. It is obvious that there are real reasons for remote training of employees. In addition, the high turnover of staff and the inability to attract an outside specialist for many companies make distance learning a priority in all areas.