How to conduct an interactive remote employee training.
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Remote employee training presents many opportunities and challenges, but you can be strategic about your virtual training.
What was thought to be a temporary situation caused by the pandemic seems to be becoming a permanent fixture. One educated guess is that as much as 40% of the digitisation efforts that took place during the coronary crisis will persist after the crisis is over.
Yes, I'm talking about telecommuting. Also known as work from home (WFH).
While some companies had adopted WFH policies before the pandemic, most organisations were caught off guard by the pandemic, which forced companies to switch to telecommuting.
The Corona crisis put many companies in the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. The business environment was changing, and companies had to respond quickly to ever-changing and highly unpredictable circumstances. This presented many challenges. However, one of the biggest was delivering interactive remote training to employees. Continuous learning and development are important tools to overcome a challenge like the Corona crisis. Therefore, distance learning is an essential part of meeting the challenge of an ever-changing and evolving world.
The challenges of remote workforce training
As one can imagine, there are many challenges associated with remote workforce training. Examples include:
Missing human interaction and engagement
Transfer of analog methods into the digital space
Because of these challenges, you need to be strategic when delivering your remote employee training.
5 tips for delivering a captivating remote employee training course
So how can you deliver a remote training session that your employees will love to attend? Here are five tips to help you do just that:
1. Choose the right tools
Choosing the right tools to deliver your virtual training is critical. You have a choice of two different platforms when it comes to how you conduct your training sessions. These are:
Video Conferencing/Webinar Platforms. Webinar software is one of the most popular methods for conducting interactive remote training.
Learning Management Systems (LMS). A learning management system (LMS) is specifically designed for developing, delivering and tracking your training. It provides more flexibility and options for delivering your training.
Email list management. Be sure to keep your email list updated to avoid inviting former employees to your training sessions.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What equipment and tools did you use in the real training room?
Do you need a whiteboard?
Did you use pictures and photos?
Did you use presentation cards?
2. What are your preferred training methods?
Do you ask participants to write down their ideas on the whiteboard?
Do you ask participants to position themselves on a scale?
Do you have your participants work in small groups?
Do you take over entire sessions or parts of sessions?
As you figure out what you like to do, you can find appropriate digital tools such as whiteboards, pools, breakout rooms, screen sharing, screen recording, etc. Whatever training platform you choose, make sure you triple check that everything works before you start your session.
2. Set expectations
The key to driving employee engagement in your training sessions is to set expectations. You need to establish what benefits they will get from the training and what you expect from them (in terms of participation and behaviour).
By setting expectations, you can ensure that participants are focused on the trainer and the topic you are teaching.
3. Take time to break the ice.
Another way to ensure a successful interactive virtual session is to break the ice before you begin. Some ideas for this are:
Introductions. Ask participants to introduce themselves using the chat feature. You can also ask your participants to virtually applaud each time someone introduces themselves using words, exclamation points, or emojis. This helps lighten the atmosphere and helps your employees look forward to the session.
Rename. Often participants' names are preset in the video tile, usually as their full name or email address. Ask your participants to rename themselves by their first name. You might also find it helpful to include the location and industry.
Icebreakers are also important in virtual training because they counteract social isolation. They help your employees know that even though they are alone in the room, they are part of a team that has a goal and agenda at that moment.
4. Give yourself the space to do what you do best. Get support when you need it!
A good trainer is simultaneously a host, a facilitator, and a humorous intervention manager.
Invite participants to post their input, ideas, and questions in the chat.
Get assistance for chat monitoring or technical support
Let participants know if they can ask their questions during the session or if there is a separate room for answering questions
Allow sufficient time and space for discussion and questions
Conduct regular refreshers and breaks without supervision
Provide a separate chat channel in case someone wants your special attention
Don't forget to smile directly at the camera from time to time instead of just looking at the pictures.
The facilitator is the star of the event. He may or may not make the training a success.
With this in mind, you should also look for a good co-facilitator. He not only provides moral support, but can also be a help:
Monitor the chat
Keep track of the participants' questions
Provide technical support
With a good moderator and a co-moderator leading the training, you are sure to have an engaged audience. This is important if you want your employees to get the most out of the virtual training.
5. Allow your participants to think and learn for themselves.
The worst thing you can do when conducting remote training is to put your employees in a technical environment and talk to them. They will soon lose interest, and engagement will drop.
Instead, make your training interactive by:
Use interactive learning activities. These can include games and topic-based scenarios.
Use interactive presentations. Boring, deadpan slides are outdated - ditch them. Use versatile and interactive eLearning presentation software that offers animation and special effects.
Use relevant content. To encourage employee engagement, use content they can relate to. Ask them to think about how the topic affects them and encourage comments.
Ask for feedback. At the end of the session, ask participants to give you feedback on the event. An easy way to solicit this feedback is to create a survey for them to fill out. Use form creation software to create surveys and forms that are tailored to each training session.
For your remote training sessions to be effective, they need to be as interactive as possible. To achieve this, you need to design your training sessions to encourage employee participation. A trainer should speak about 30% of the time. The rest of the time should be filled with the thoughts and content of the participants. This is based on constructivist learning theory, which states that each person must translate information into their own thought and feeling system.
Remote employee training - the key to a productive remote team
Conducting remote employee training is critical to ensuring that your team members are working to their full potential within the scope of their job. This increases both their effectiveness at work and your employees' personal happiness. Regular training helps your team be productive despite working from home by providing them with best practices and tips for working from home successfully.