From onboarding new hires to upskilling employees, your organization’s remote employee training program can make all the difference in supporting your workforce’s learning journey.
In this comprehensive blog, we’ll explore the value of remote employee education and why it’s a necessity for modern learners. Additionally, we'll dive into the different types of remote workforce training along with the must-have skills, online courses, and digital tools recommended for work-from-home employees.
If you're ready to optimize your remote education efforts and empower your team to excel in their roles, our team of learning experts is delivering knowledge to support your organization.
The value of adaptive remote employee training
Adaptive remote employee training is flexible online learning that focuses on individual needs and preferences while helping new employees learn quickly when joining your organization. Similarly, for existing employees, it ensures consistent knowledge across your company, boosting employee engagement and productivity. Although in-person training has its benefits, online learning has been shown to increase knowledge retention rates—as much as 25% to 60% when completed online as opposed to 8% to 10% when done in person.1
Why is virtual training a necessity for modern learners?
Virtual training is a necessity for modern learners, especially for geographically distributed teams. This type of learning offers convenience and flexibility, enabling remote employees to access resources anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, virtual training allows users to learn at their own speed and revisit materials as needed, empowering employees to learn in a way that works best for them.
Unlike traditional in-person classes, virtual training is available in various formats such as webinars, interactive modules, and even virtual reality simulations. These future-focused features enhance engagement and provide a collaborative learning experience for team members including those learning from a distance. When delivered through a learning management system (LMS), your organization can also track progress, provide targeted support, and update courses to meet department-specific needs.
4 different types of remote workforce training with an LMS
From streamlined remote employee onboarding that quickly gets new hires up and running to comprehensive skills programs that elevate the capabilities of your workforce—leveraging an LMS to roll out training can unlock a world of potential for your remote teams. Here are four of the primary types of training organizations with remote workers often implement:
1. Onboarding for new employees
Onboarding is an essential step in remote workforce training, especially for new employees and hires. To facilitate onboarding, a learning management system provides access to benefits materials, company videos, and interactive modules. Your onboarding process should introduce new employees to your company culture, policies, procedures, and job-specific training. Depending on your company’s resources, you can design onboarding as a self-paced process or a live virtual session with HR representatives.
2. Skills training for remote workers
Skills training equips remote workers with the necessary abilities to thrive in a work-from-home environment. Practical skills like time management and virtual meeting etiquette are examples of items to include in your program. Additionally, providing opportunities for professional development through virtual webinars and workshops can enhance the role-specific skills of your employees. To ensure engaging LMS content that’s relevant to your users, your organization must tailor the material to meet individual needs by designing adaptive remote employee training.
3. Partner training sessions
Partner training sessions involve collaborating with external organizations or individuals to deliver industry or company information to remote employees. These sessions are often conducted through live video conferences and on-demand webinars. Some examples of session topics include market insights, sales techniques, or technical skills. The goal for these is to enhance the skills and knowledge of employees by sharing expertise from external partners.
4. Extended enterprise training
Extended enterprise training encompasses programs designed for external individuals like customers or suppliers. Initiatives like this help foster product knowledge, enhance customer satisfaction, and establish stronger relationships with external stakeholders. With the support of an LMS, your organization can virtually deliver extended enterprise training, expanding reach beyond in-person sessions.
Essential skills and online courses to thrive in the digital era
In remote work, employee know-how and online courses play a crucial role in empowering workforce success. Regardless of job function, nearly all roles require education on a range of topics from technical training to company values. Below are some of the necessary courses to consider for your remote workforce:
Educating employees on cybersecurity gives remote workers the knowledge to safeguard sensitive corporate and personal information. For example, many online courses offer cybersecurity training on identifying phishing attempts, creating strong passwords, and securing Wi-Fi networks. Regular updates and reminders are necessary to keep employees vigilant against emerging threats. Employers should consider implementing cybersecurity certifications or assessments to verify employees' understanding of remote work security protocols.
To set your employees up for success, it’s important to educate them about your company's culture, especially for those working from a distance. One easy way to do this is through online courses and training programs. These initiatives offer a valuable opportunity for employees to learn about their company's mission and values. Additionally, virtual team-building activities such as cross-department games or online forums foster connection among employees.
To excel and grow professionally, employees must continue to acquire and improve hard skills. Depending on your employees’ role, this can include items like proficiency in software programs, data analysis, and project management. No matter what the skills are, it’s crucial to make these actionable and measurable to effectively gauge the impact of your learning programs. Moreover, regularly updating and expanding these skills is important to support your organization’s performance—and ultimately, industry success.
Prioritizing soft skill development promotes a healthy virtual environment. For example, effective communication and time management are important skills for employees in any role. Team-focused interactions and workshops play a significant role in enhancing soft skills in a remote work setting. Additionally, regular feedback and coaching sessions provide employees with guidance and opportunities for continuous improvement.
How to train a new employee remotely
Now that we’re familiar with the types of online training and skills to prioritize for employees, let’s learn how to train a new employee remotely.
To ensure productive corporate learning, a well-thought-out approach is a must. Here are some key steps to consider when implementing your remote employee onboarding plan:
- Plan and design your training program: Clearly define the learning objectives and outcomes you want to achieve. Determine the content, resources, and tools needed to deliver the training effectively. It's important to choose the right learning management system to organize and track your learners’ progress.
- Create engaging content: Your remote employee onboarding program should be interactive and engaging to maintain participants' interest. We recommend incorporating a mix of formats such as videos, slides, quizzes, and discussions to keep your learning program exciting.
- Break down training into modules: Beyond developing great content, structuring it in a logical format is equally important. Divide employees’ training into manageable modules or sessions to avoid overwhelming participants and provide them with ample time to digest the information.
- Set up a schedule and stick to it: Clearly communicate the training schedule to employees and adhere to it. Many LMS will automatically assign lessons to learners based on your training requirements. Consistency is essential for remote training success.
- Encourage an active learning culture: Lastly, foster a collaborative environment where employees can ask questions, provide feedback, and participate in discussions. Encourage peer learning and knowledge-building activities beyond onboarding.
Overcoming challenges for learners in remote employee training
To effectively address the challenges that come with remote employee training, your organization can lean into digital learning tools for support. Plus, we’re here to help your organization combat these common issues. Below are some of the common difficulties that businesses face when virtually training workers:
- Tackling scheduling difficulties across time zones: When it comes to remote employee training, scheduling sessions is a challenge, especially for participants across time zones. To overcome this obstacle, scheduling tools are available that allow participants to select their preferred time slots based on their preferences. Cloud-based LMS technology also facilitates flexible learning no matter where your learners are tuning in from.
- Resolving technical issues: Technical issues often pose a significant challenge during remote employee training. Reliable internet connection and access to proper technology are crucial to support learning across your workforce. To empower your learners to address common tech issues independently, clear instructions with troubleshooting guidance are valuable resources to create. Additionally, having dedicated IT support helps resolve problems quickly.
- Minimizing distractions: To keep your learners focused, encourage employees to create a dedicated workspace, free from distractions. One way to support this is by providing guidance on work-from-home best practices like turning off notifications and closing unnecessary tabs. Regular check-ins also help address any specific distractions employees may encounter and offer solutions or additional support as needed.
Empowering remote teams: The transformative benefits of online learning
Although remote learning comes with its own set of challenges, it offers significant benefits for teams providing flexibility in terms of when and where employees can access materials. Furthermore, it fosters continuous learning and professional growth while promoting collaboration among team members.
If you're ready to take your remote employee education to the next level, schedule a demo with our eLearning experts at Absorb today.