A New Perspective for Remote Training
It has been a year since the lockdown began. It does not feel that long ago. How did we get here? Why are we still here? Will it ever end? The answer is… eventually yes. The bottom line is it has been a while since you have been in the office, and if you have, it has been nothing like it was before. So how has this impacted employee training?
Now we cannot go for an entire year with zero training unless, of course, we did, and in that case, you are falling behind. Change is accelerating, and it is time to get on board with remote work in some capacity. More people are acquiring critical skills informally on the job – or even in their basements. Here are some steps we can take to improve the virtual learning experience, boost productivity and be ready for tomorrow's challenges.
Promote a beginner's mindset
None of us are perfect at what we do, nor should we be. A terrific way to learn new skills is by approaching them with a beginner's mindset. It is when we think we know everything that we overlook new perspectives. Start with a clean slate. "This is new to me, and it is okay to learn from the start."
When we question our tasks and assume we know nothing, we notice things we would have otherwise ignored.
Recognize the new learning environment
Workers may not have unrestricted access from their homes to training that they had at their offices. They do not have a designated training room or an instructor who can answer their questions in person. Try to make it easier to complete training, not harder. Shorten the modules to be completed, provide extended deadlines, and space them out. Not only will this make it easier on your trainees, but it will also help make the material easier to recall and prolong its impact on team members.
Have a dedicated Trainer readily available
Training in a remote setting provides the advantage of working through the material on the individual's own time and will not always coincide with other team members. This means you must have someone available during all training hours to help. This individual should be checking in often with the trainees via email or conference calls if there are any immediate questions. Encourage members to question the training material and delivery (i.e., through feedback surveys) so that you can improve it in future iterations.
Make it interactive
Provide videos, simulations, and real-time case studies to work through together and make the learning more enjoyable. It may not be productive and enjoyable to read a hundred pages of a PDF file's ten-point font. Delivering the material, so it is visually appealing and broken out into digestible chunks will increase the odds of retention and enjoyment of the content.
Gamify the Training
Try incorporating quizzes, games, or exciting video sessions to liven up the training. Offer small rewards for completing the training, providing feedback, or going the extra mile. Instead of making the training another item to check off the to-do list, make it a time to look forward to.
The bottom line is this is not traditional training, so do not treat it so. People can be anxious at home. They do not want to worry about another monotonous training they have to sit through to stress them beyond their current responsibilities. So, make it easier, simpler, and more fun for everyone to learn, even if that learning takes place many miles apart.