Remote training is important for equipping your company’s remote employees with the skills and knowledge they need to work effectively. We explain what remote training is and highlight 7 best practices you can implement.
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Remote training enables your business to effectively train employees no matter where they’re located. It can work well for both office employees who work from home and frontline employees who rarely come into the office.
Whereas traditional in-person training sessions require everyone to be in the same place at the same time, employees can receive remote training from anywhere and often on their own schedule.
- Remote training is any type of distance learning for employees. It can include live webinars, online courses, training videos, and more.
- Remote learning is useful for companies with employees who work from home or frontline employees who are frequently out of the office. It’s also useful for companies that have multiple work sites.
- To get the most out of remote training, companies should make their online materials available from anywhere. They should also use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous training sessions.
- Companies should use quizzes to ensure that employees understand training materials. They should also create and share surveys to get feedback for planning future training sessions.
Remote training has distinct requirements from in-person training. It needs to be done properly so that all your employees can be trained to the same standards.
In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about remote training and highlight 7 best practices for remote training.
What is Remote Training?
Remote training is any type of employee training that takes place outside of in-person sessions.
Almost all digital communications that provide skills and knowledge to employees can be classified as remote training. It can be as simple as emailing an employee with tips on how to carry out a business process. It can also be as complex as designing a multi-part video training course.
Some common examples of remote training include:
- Live webinars
- Pre-recorded videos
- Online training courses
- Chat groups
- Written training materials
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Why is Remote Training Important?
Traditionally, training employees means gathering them in the same place at the same time. It can be an expensive and complex process, especially for larger teams. Businesses want to get the most value out of their time and money, and so many hold hours-long in-person training sessions covering multiple topics. Because of the time and cost associated with in-person training, it typically happens only periodically.
Remote training changes all that. Employees no longer need to be in the same place to complete training. They also don’t need to complete lengthy training courses that might leave them feeling overwhelmed.
With remote training, you can hold a live session via audio or video conference and employees can participate from anywhere.
But employees don’t need to be present at the same time to receive remote training. You can pre-record videos and make other training materials available online. Then, employees can go through the training whenever it’s most convenient for them.
Plus, remote training makes it easy to deliver ongoing training so your workers’ skills and knowledge are always sharp. It can encompass onboarding training, training on the latest safety protocols, and even 5-minute video training on how to use certain workplace equipment properly.
Overall, remote training is important because it’s cost-effective, convenient for you and your employees, and helps keep workers well-informed.
Does Your Company Need Remote Training?
Remote training is beneficial for all businesses but especially ones with remote workers. That includes not only office employees who work from home but also employees who spend most of their time in the field.
Businesses with multiple office locations can benefit from remote training as well. Otherwise, they may need to hold the same in-person training at each office, which is time-consuming and expensive.
Even businesses that have fully in-person teams can benefit from remote training. These businesses can offer pre-recorded training videos or self-paced online courses so employees can receive training whenever it fits their schedule. This is more productive than requiring workers to show up for in-person training at inconvenient times.
Advantages of Remote Training
Remote training offers a number of advantages over traditional face-to-face training sessions.
It enables asynchronous learning
Firstly, remote learning can be asynchronous. This means that employees can complete the same training sessions at different times. Pre-recorded videos and webinars, online training documents, and worksheets can all be part of asynchronous training courses.
Asynchronous learning is convenient for employees because they can match their training schedule to their work schedule. It’s convenient for managers, too. You won’t need to coordinate multiple employees’ schedules to host a training session.
It reduces training costs
In-person training requires you to gather all of your employees in one location. For businesses with employees in other cities or even other countries, this can cost a lot of money.
In addition, businesses normally have to hold individual onboarding training sessions for each new employee so they can get the training they need. Holding the same in-person training multiple times adds to your overall training costs.
With remote training, employees can undergo training from anywhere. You can also record training sessions and make the videos available online for new hires to review. This reduces how often you need to host live training sessions.
You can cater to different learning styles
This type of training also enables you to cater to employees with different learning styles. Some employees may learn best in the classroom environment, while others may learn best from watching videos or reviewing downloadable checklists.
With remote training, you can offer training in multiple formats and allow employees to choose the approach that works best for them.
It encourages continuous learning
Another benefit of remote learning is that you can use the training materials you create for other training sessions. Employees can review materials in your training library whenever they need a refresher or a recertification.
Having training materials online also makes it easier for employees to do quick training refreshes. For example, a worker can watch a short safety video before a shift to ensure they’re following proper protocols and procedures.
Disadvantages of Remote Training
While this type of training works well in many situations, it does have some potential drawbacks.
Employees may be distracted
When employees are going through training materials remotely, it’s difficult to know whether they’re paying attention. As a result, employees may not get all of the benefits that you intend from an online training session.
Remote training can be isolating
Remote work can leave employees feeling isolated, and remote training can have a similar effect. Employees may not feel empowered to ask questions in the same way they would in a group training environment. They may also feel like they are learning on their own instead of alongside their colleagues.
When training is delivered remotely, there’s a risk of technical issues. These can temporarily prevent employees from getting the training they need. Employees may be less productive if they don’t receive required training.
7 Best Practices for Remote Training
There are many ways you can avoid the potential challenges of training employees remotely and ensure your workers get the learning experience they need.
Below, we cover 7 best practices for training remotely.
Make your training accessible from anywhere
All of your company’s training materials should be accessible from anywhere. To do this, you can set up an online training portal or digital document management system. These provide central locations where your employees can access training courses, videos, worksheets, and more.
In addition, your learning materials should be mobile-friendly. Ensure that the training portal or digital document management system you use is available as a mobile app. This way, employees can undergo training using their smartphones or tablets. They can also learn at their own pace.
Use multiple training formats
Offering multiple training formats is important to cater to employees with different learning styles. Some employees may learn best by reading a PDF. Others may retain information better if it’s presented in annotated photos or videos. Include training materials in written, visual, audio, and video formats. These can include text documents, slideshow presentations, images, audio files or podcasts, and videos.
It’s also important to offer a mix of synchronous and asynchronous training opportunities.
Synchronous training opportunities, such as livestreamed webinars, require employees to join at the same time. They enable employees to interact with one another during training and ask the instructor questions in real time.
Asynchronous training opportunities, such as online courses and pre-recorded videos, allow employees to go through training materials at their own pace. While asynchronous training is less interactive, employees can review the materials as many times as they want.
Create an online discussion
Creating online discussion groups around your business’s training courses is a great way to keep employees engaged and bring your remote workforce together.
You can set up a channel within your company’s messaging platform where employees can ask questions about training materials. Managers can also host live question-and-answer sessions after employees complete asynchronous training sessions.
Break training up into shorter sessions
Employees are likely to find an 8-hour training session daunting. They’re also likely to have trouble retaining important information if you present too much at once.
Thus, it’s a good idea to break up long training sessions into smaller ones. The same 8-hour training could be broken into 8 blocks, each 1 hour long. You can then give employees a month to go through the entire training at their own pace.
It’s hard to split up live training sessions since employees have to get their schedules aligned multiple times. However, it’s much easier to get your entire team together remotely for an hour at a time than it is to assemble everyone for multiple hours.
Use online quizzes to test employees’ knowledge and gain insight into training effectiveness
One of the most important remote training best practices is to assess whether employees understood the materials you presented. Online quizzes are a great tool for this.
You can create and deploy quizzes using dedicated software, such as a quiz-making platform or employee management app. Or, you can create quizzes in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and share them with your team via email or chat.
The results of these quizzes provide you with insight about what areas of training employees might need to revisit. From there, you can assign additional training on topics that your team members didn’t understand.
Quizzes also make it easy to spot issues with your remote training program. Multiple employees getting questions wrong could indicate that the topic wasn’t covered well enough. You can use this data to refine your training in the future.
Use learning management software
Learning management systems, such as Connecteam, can simplify the process of creating, maintaining, and administering a remote training program.
These platforms offer tools for assembling training materials into online courses and dividing your courses into modules. They also support online quizzes.
Another benefit of training management software is that it keeps track of which training courses each employee has taken. This is critical to ensuring that each employee has undergone all necessary training to do their job effectively.
Gather feedback from employees
At the end of a remote training session or online course, you should gather feedback from employees.
This feedback shouldn’t be focused on assessing what employees learned, however. You’ll evaluate this with quizzes during the training. Instead, use this feedback to determine how you can improve the remote learning experience at your company.
A post-training employee survey can include questions about:
- What training material formats they prefer (such as pre-recorded videos, live webinars, slideshow presentations, or downloadable documents).
- Whether they prefer synchronous or asynchronous training sessions.
- Whether they used your company’s online discussion group.
- How they felt about the length of each training session or module.
- What topics they would like future training sessions to focus on.
Training employees remotely can help your business save time and money while ensuring workers are well-prepared for their jobs. This approach isn’t just for fully remote teams. It’s also useful for businesses that have employees who work from home, frontline workers, or staff that work in-office.
It’s important to follow best practices for training remotely. Use the 7 remote training best practices we highlighted in this article to ensure your training sessions are engaging and effective.