Remote Training is a common term these days and this trend of working from home is on the rise as companies around the globe have seen its importance.
Regular work from home has grown 173% since 2005 and it is not going to change any time soon. This also increases the importance of Remote training as employees have to be trained online when they are in different locations.*
If a company struggles to provide remote training to its employees, then it will definitely impact its bottom line.
To overcome this, businesses must understand the need, challenges, benefits, and types of remote training. This blog can help you understand these aspects of remote training and help you successfully implement them.
- What is Remote Training?
- Why Do You Need Remote Training?
- What are the Challenges of Remote Training?
- What are the Benefits of Remote Training?
- What are the Most Popular Remote Training Methods?
- How to make Remote Training Work?
- Why is Digital Adoption Platform the best Remote Training Platform?
Usually, remote training is considered when there is a difference in time and distance between instructor and learner. Although the definition is not wrong, with advancements in technology, solutions like Digital Adoption Platforms have eliminated the need for instructors and made remote training much more accessible.
Nevertheless, both ideas of remote training can co-exist and help employees to learn and upskill.
You can train employees using face-to-face live sessions, online self-paced courses, workshops, webinars, or using Digital Adoption Platforms. The physical presence of employees is not required for these methods and it helps to impart the same knowledge across all branches of an organization which ensures consistency.
Why Do You Need Remote Training?
For remote training to be successful, organizations must invest in different employee training methods that can enable it and these types of training are entirely different from traditional training practices.
71% of large companies are offering full-time telecommuting jobs and over 50% of them are offering ad-hoc telecommuting jobs which indicate that many organizations are taking remote work seriously and the trend will only go upward.
Also, 80% of the employees prefer to work from home as they feel less stressed and 74% of remote employees are less likely to leave the organization when they work from home.
By now, it must be pretty clear that companies in the modern world need remote training and they have no other option but to be prepared.
It is also evident that employers and employees both are on the same page and the organization needs to have a proper remote training strategy and a program in place that not only makes employees efficient but also gets expected business outcomes.
What are the Challenges of Remote Training?
There are several benefits of remote training and onboarding which we will discuss but before that, it is important to know the challenges that come with it. Once you know both challenges and benefits, you will have a clear understanding of how remote training works.
A. Misalignment with Organization’s Culture
Most remote training solutions in the market have built-in solutions for the problem but every organization is different and they would have differences in their functionality, operations, and processes.
Whatever you choose, be it an online course or a virtually simulated course, make sure it addresses problems faced by your organization and imparts knowledge to your employees to benefit the business. Otherwise, it can waste the time of both the employees and the organization.
Ensure that all these courses are labeled with the logo and branding guidelines of your organization and integrate the principles and policies of your company with the courses. This ensures that a consistent experience is provided to your employees.
B. Limited Engagement
The biggest drawback of remote training is that learners cannot get answers to the questions immediately which could hinder the flow of their learning. Usually, remote training is designed in a way where the learners have to complete each module to get a good understanding of a certain application or skill. When they have any questions, they have to wait to get a response.
This may demotivate the learner from continuing their training and could also limit their understanding of what they’re learning.
C. Lack of Human Contact and Engagement
Most Remote training methods do not have live human interaction which could make a learner feel a little lonely. A learner could also face distractions in a remote environment which can hinder the continuous flow of learning and make them disengaged.
All this could lead to an overall poor understanding of the learning material.
D. Technical Missteps
Technology is, for obvious reasons, at the center of any remote training method. If technology is involved in any aspect of the business, there will always be possibilities of technical issues. With people working from homes and using their home network to log into their organizational networks, there is a huge risk factor that comes into play. Sensitive company information can be at the risk of being leaked or lost.
Other issues like network inconsistency and bandwidth problems could also hinder the learning process.
What are the Benefits of Remote Training?
Now that we know about the challenges, it is time to learn about the benefits of remote training, to understand the complete picture.
Traditional training methods cannot be controlled by the learner. They have to adjust their schedules to attend the training.
Face-to-face training is a one-time thing and if employees miss this session, they miss out on crucial information. This reduces the effectiveness of traditional methods. Trainers also cannot afford to waste time teaching them again.
On the other hand, with remote training, employees have the privilege to learn and consume the training content at their convenience. There are no time constraints and they can schedule learning according to their wish. This allows a personalized learning experience for employees as the training channel becomes on-demand.
ii. Knowledge Retention
Since remote training is on-demand, it becomes easy for employees to revisit it as many times as they want and get clarification on niche topics, instantly.
This helps employees overcome the forgetting curve and gives them a better understanding, perspective, and in-depth knowledge. This is not the case with the traditional form of training where once an employee is trained, they’re expected to remember it forever.
iii. Quality Training for All
Remote training has given organizations the privilege to train employees from different geo locations with equally good quality course material. Even though employees are not trained simultaneously, they still have the same content using which they can head towards excellence simultaneously.
Earlier, with traditional learning practices, employees from different geo locations are trained by different instructors, followed different curriculums, and trained at different paces.
This hampers the consistency of an organization and its employees. People with the same role end up with different knowledge and skills causing a significant knowledge gap. This is never the case with remote training, which provides consistent training.
iv. Feedback Loop
With remote training, employees can receive instant feedback about their activity and progress. Once they complete the course material, they are quizzed with questionnaires to ensure the training was successful. They can analyze and rewatch the session to understand where they’re weak and can repeat the process again.
With simulation training, employees are trained while they complete a specific task or process. They have to execute tasks as they learn and if they fail at any step, they start again.
Remote training helps learners know where they stand and can instantly take action to fill gaps and save their valuable time.
v. Availability of Resource and Flexibility
Remote training is more affordable compared to face-to-face training. When you invite the best subject matter expert to train the employees on the application, you have to spend on their personal expenses as well as on the training setup and infrastructure.
All this could cost a lot to an organization but fortunately, the cost for remote training has come down and today employees can be trained by more than one means. This boosts the impact of training and also the retention rate.
The benefits of remote training clearly outweigh its challenges. If we take the right measures, these challenges can be countered and organizations can enjoy their benefits.
Related Read: 4 myths of remote training and onboarding
What are the Most Popular Remote Training Methods?
There are a variety of remote training delivery methods that organizations can use to train employees. It is important to choose methods that have the right criteria to help you achieve business outcomes and fuel employees’ careers.
It is also important to know that different departments and employees have different needs and that it would be ideal to have a combination of different training methods. This will help them complement each other and make up for the gaps.
Some popular remote training methods are:
- Knowledge base: A knowledge base can provide a detailed and in-depth explanation to the learner to assist them in understanding any subject in a detailed manner.
- Live Online Training: Just like any classroom training program, employees get an opportunity to engage with the instructor to get their doubts cleared. The environment provided by live online training reduces the feeling of isolation and helps people connect better.
- Self-Paced Learning: Employees can learn at their convenience and can access training content as and when they want it. This helps them focus on their job and acquire skills during their free hours.
- Simulations: Using VR/AR or games to create a virtual environment where employees can perform tasks without any repercussion for mistakes, could give them a feel of real-world experience. This can also gamify the learning experience.
- Digital Adoption Platform: With a DAP, you can guide within the application to help employees complete tasks step-by-step. It provides on-screen guidance, walkthroughs, tooltips, etc. but more importantly, a good DAP goes beyond these and analyzes user behavior to understand how efficiently employees have been trained.
Eventually, it is up to you to select a Remote training tool that fits your organization's needs. Make sure that you also invest in Remote team software like Project Management tools and Communication software to make your employees more collaborative.
How to make Remote Training Work?
a. Analyze Employees’ Learning Needs
Creating learning content that fits the needs of your employees and selecting the right training method is of paramount importance. Often, decision-makers think that a particular training tool or method will work but unless you analyze and measure its impact, you cannot be certain.
To begin with, you can run a company-wide survey and understand the requirements of your employees. Then, start using a Digital Adoption Platform to analyze how your employees are using the application before and after the training.
Analyze which form of training method is creating the desired impact. It would be ideal if you create a focus group and select 3-4 training methods, use one training method for each group, and then measure which group performed better. Analyze the results to select the right training method for your organization.
b. Strategize and Plan Training
Once the analysis part is over, it is time to decide whether you need a combination of training methods or only one.
If you are going with more than one, it is important to choose which one is the primary training method and which one is the secondary.
Then, decide the stage at which each training method will be deployed and why. Make an early decision as doing so will help you move in the right direction.
However, if any of your training methods stop working after a certain period, address the problem by either replacing the method or fixing faults in the existing method.
c. Set the Right Expectations
Clearly define what you want out of your remote training. Set the KPIs, goals, and milestones for your team. Decide what is the expected outcome out of this training and conduct regular meetings to track the progress.
Setting expectations for training is not a new concept but with remote training, the goals and other KPIs might vary. You should acknowledge this while setting expectations, with all the stakeholders involved.
It is important to document goals and KPIs to avoid any confusion and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
d. Host Resources in One place
Save all the important documents in one location so that learners can access them to get clarity.
Usually, organizations prefer to use cloud storage or LMS to do so. There is no doubt of its efficacy but sometimes when employees are using the application and they have a doubt, they have to exit the platform to search for it.
During this whole process, the employee’s engagement can drop since they are distracted. So, the ideal way would be to house all the relevant reference material within the application itself.
One such solution is a Digital Adoption Platform that has an in-app help-deck to store all important knowledge base links, videos, walkthroughs, PPTs, and PDFs which makes it easier for employees to get assistance within the application.
A solution like this keeps employees engaged by eliminating the need to exit the application for help.
e. Reassess and Improve
After doing all the research and planning, you might think about deploying training tools, methods, and models and be done with it.
Well, this is just the beginning. You have to continuously monitor the effectiveness of the training and improve it over time. If required, eliminate redundant processes or methods that do not deliver results.
You can achieve it by using a Digital Adoption Platform which provides you insights into how efficiently employees use the application post-training. It gives you useful insights like the number of tasks completed, points of disengagement, etc.
This will also help you create relevant content and eventually, your organization can leverage the remote training engine to achieve business outcomes.
Why is Digital Adoption Platform the best Remote Training Platform?
A lot of corporate training is loosely based on education models of schools. In schools, students are in an environment where their peers are of the same age and have the same level of expertise but that is not the case in a professional setup. Employees’ skill levels and expertise are distinct.
This is where Adult Learning theories come into the picture. It revolves around transformation, self-directed and experiential learning.
Digital Adoption Platforms like Apty work on these principles. Using such platforms, you can understand learners and segment them based on their goals and needs. You can create training content that is relevant to a particular category of learners and use methods like walkthroughs which involve them performing actions in real-time.
Such solutions help create engaging content to help learners accomplish their tasks efficiently to generate desired business outcomes.
A good DAP is not limited to walkthroughs or tooltips. They go beyond that to measure and analyze business processes and help you make crucial business decisions.
*Source: Global Workplace Analytics