The times when remote work was considered a company perk or a privilege for the few are long gone. Today, more and more people have the freedom to work from home while others, under specific circumstances, are encouraged to be part of a remote team. And this is good news.
To put the benefits of working remotely for employees into numbers, let’s check the numbers from our 2019 survey on how remote workers work and train. According to this, 85% of remote workers wanted to work from home, while 90% of remote workers feel more productive when working remotely.
But let’s take a look at the benefits of remote work for employers as well.
The business benefits of having remote teams
In reality, the benefits are much more than we thought, and more research, in the long run, will underline the importance of having remote teams. But let’s stick to the ones we already have:
- Improves employee productivity: By removing distractions and offering plenty of deep-focus time, productivity boost is one of the most positive remote work effects.
- Increases employee retention: With 60% of remote workers saying they’d like their job less if they had to go to the office every day, working from home can definitely improve job satisfaction. Which, in turn, boosts retention.
- Drives employee efficiency: When employees are tied to deliverables instead of hours, they’re able to work during the times that suit them best and make them feel more productive.
But don’t you feel that everything sounds too idyllic?
Sure, remote work seems to be offering both employees and employers several benefits, so what’s the catch? Well, it’s no other than remote training. You see, employee training still relies heavily on in-office participation, and businesses don’t seem to be able to manage remote training the right way.
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A list of the remote team training mistakes to avoid
Remote training hasn’t been around for long compared to traditional, on-site training. However, a few common pitfalls have already emerged. From making open communication and feedback difficult, to ignoring the need for continuous training and modern learning tools, these mistakes can make or break your training efforts.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can avoid them.
1. Making team communication a chore
Unfortunately, a remote team doesn’t come with the interaction classroom teams do. In a virtual class, the physical distance among the remote staff can make communication a challenge during training.
To avoid misunderstandings, remote teams need to establish open communication through channels that are simple and easy to use. Because if they are complex and inconsistent, your remote employees won’t be motivated to address their questions and concerns.
During remote training, discussion forums and direct messaging can make communication smooth and effortless. But to make training even more interactive, there are two words you need to remember: video conferencing. Leverage the power of webinars and video demonstrations to create a real sense of team spirit and collaboration. This way, your team will be more attentive, and your training will turn into a more productive process.
2. Not keeping your company culture alive
Remote employees (just like all employees) become more engaged when they feel emotionally and socially connected to their company and team. And this is precisely why organizational culture is key to uniting employees under a common set of behaviors, values, and goals.
So, use your training as an opportunity to integrate your remote team into your culture. One way to do it would be to include teamwork opportunities in your eLearning courses in the form of group assignments or problem-solving activities. Give your team a common cause, encourage them to work together, and build a culture of collaboration.
This simple tip will make your remote employees feel like part of the bigger team, the brand, and the organization as well as motivated and productive.
3. Viewing training as a one-and-done affair
With the fourth industrial revolution upon us, almost every industry today is in desperate need of additional skills to keep up. Continuous, ongoing training can address this challenge for your in-house, but, mostly, your remote employees.
You see, apart from formal training, in-office employees benefit from social learning, such as learning through informal interactions with coworkers. By not being in the office, remote teams tend to miss out on a fair amount of this casual, on-the-job education. And the only way to prevent remote teams from losing out on social learning is to apply ongoing training systems.
Create and maintain a bank of job aids and learning materials like short videos or infographics. Offer regular “meet-ups” in the form of webinars or video conferences. This way, remote employees will feel like part of your team and able to discuss new concepts and ideas. Don’t forget that collaboration and working toward shared goals, keep the team spirit alive.
4. Neglecting the importance of feedback
If you want your remote team to feel valued, you need to give them the opportunity to share their opinions and experience.
Make feedback a core part of your training strategy. As a matter of fact, employee feedback can help a team improve on so many levels:
- It sheds light on the learners’ needs
- It highlights processes and systems in the organization that could be improved
- It offers valuable insight on possible improvements
Create a post-training evaluation survey and get your remote employees to complete it after their training has finished. This little step will both have your remote team feel like they’re being heard and help you become a better trainer.
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5. Having unclear training goals and expectations
History shows that, as a species, we are goal-oriented. Point someone in the right direction, and they’ll start working their way toward this direction. This what you need to do to make your employees more engaged in their training, work, and self-development.
Managing a remote workforce should come with clear and well-documented expectations, mostly because remote workers don’t get those friendly reminders or clarifications in-office employees do.
Arrange regular one-on-one goal-setting sessions with each team member to set personal development goals. In such meetings, you can also discuss KPIs, long-term goals, benchmarks, and short-term milestones.
But do it regularly. Zoom in on a quick catch-up call about goals, and discuss progress on a weekly or biweekly basis so that they stay on track.
6. Underestimating the power of remote team training tools
Trying to replace face-to-face training with simple video calls, won’t help you when you’re training remote employees.
Luckily, there’s a variety of online training software tools that meet both the employer’s and the employees’ needs. The most important tool to invest in is a high-quality LMS that comes with rich features that suit various learning and communication styles. From mobile training and microlearning to interactive training, an LMS can make or break your remote team training initiative.
Keep up with the latest advancements in online training, and go with the best.
Being remote should never make your remote employees feel unsupported or poorly equipped to do their jobs. Follow these tips above to avoid the biggest, most common remote training mistakes, and harvest the benefits from your remote training program fast.
| Tags: Remote Employees