If you have a remote workforce, you might be tempted to think of them as regular employees who get the perk of doing their tasks from home - but it's a little bit more complicated than that. Remote workers have different needs from in-office workers, particularly in the realm of training. Countless companies have jumped into the remote workforce trend without doing their homework or adapting their employee model to their out-of-office employees.
This is generally a recipe for unhappy employees, which leads to a higher turnover rate, more money spent on recruiting and replacing, and lower overall productivity. Managers need to adapt their training process and the way they manage remote employees to ensure success and skill development.
Adapt your training for online education
If you’re going to be training employees remotely using Team Snap, you should ensure that your training material is suitably adapted for that environment. That means making e-learning materials - training videos, picture tutorials, thoroughly written documents - to help guide them. If your employees use computer programs to do their jobs, try using screen-grabbing technology to guide remote employees on how to use the program, rather than text descriptions that may be unclear or difficult to follow.
Often, training information is condensed to the basics, and managers are expected to communicate any extra information or details, and answer questions as they come up. Without a manager by your employee’s side, they’ll be left to interpret any unclear instructions for themselves. Don’t leave your employees guessing - make sure all information is communicated thoroughly in the training guides.
Be flexible in training methods and options
Remote employees prize flexibility and the ability to do their work on their terms. One of the ways you can foster that, which will make your remote employees more satisfied with their jobs, is offering them flexibility in their training. Your in-office employees will all get more or less the same in-office training during regular business hours, but remote employees want options and flexibility. They want to take on their training on their terms, and they would vastly prefer to skip training that transmits information they already know.
Using e-modules that have videos or text explanation, allow employees to test out of particular skills and allow employees to revisit topics as needed will encourage remote employees to engage thoroughly with their training. Without a person to go over the materials with and discuss training with, employees may struggle to retain training information in one go, which means giving them the ability to revisit training is critical to allowing them to train themselves.
Use social media to bring remote workers together
One of the best reinforcements for training is communicating with co-workers. In an office setting, employees can check up on a particular procedure or dilemma with a co-worker. They can also take a look at what their co-workers are doing, and acquire general company information through casual conversations over lunch or on breaks.
Your remote employees don’t have the privilege of swiveling in their chair to ask a co-worker a question, which means one of your roles as a manager should be to figure out how to put remote workers in contact with one another.
Businesses who handle remote employees should employ social media and apps to put employees in touch. You can use something as simple as creating a group on Facebook for employees to be added to, or you can implement Slack, the workforce communication app. Doing so allows them to form relationships that make them feel more attached to your business, receive reinforcement and support and succeed in your business.
Any training you give to your employees should be reinforced regularly, whether through putting them through another session in-office or asking them to review the guidelines and documents sent to them. Managers with remote employees must consider the unique needs of this particular workforce - adapting your business model and training style is part of that consideration.