01 - Remote working is the New Normal
You’ve probably heard a lot of mention about the new normal since the aggressive spread of Covid-19 was categorized as a pandemic. The new normal this, the new normal that. However, there is no escaping – remote working is the new normal, for several reasons.
Pandemic – Inability to Meet Face-to-Face
Since the pandemic is transmitted incredibly easily by close contact, the best way of stopping it from spreading is by not meeting face-to-face or maintaining social distance. As a result, many organizations are now implementing more remote work.
Shifts In Habits and Culture
Improvements in Technology
If you’ve invested in this eBook, then it’s likely you either your business is already implementing remote working or is giving it serious consideration. In it, we will look at ways to make working remotely a success and how you can improve the effectiveness of your team working from home.
02 - The Importance of Remote Workforce Training & Development
If you’ve already had a robust remote working team in place or your employees appear to be doing fine, you may wonder why you need to know why it’s important to put effort into training and developing your remote workforce. There are several important reasons.
Increase Employee Morale & Retention
Putting time and effort into training your staff on how to be effective at their job when working from home will go a long way to boost their morale.
Improve Company Performance
Even if you were able to find a way to dismiss the two reasons above, it may be there are legal obligations you need to meet. In certain sectors and industries, companies need to offer their employees suitable training and development, or it can become a legal matter.
Continuity of Operations
03 -The Main Challenges of Remote Workforce Development – And How to Overcome Them
In the next section, we are going to highlight many of the main challenges of working from home your employees are likely to face.
Problem: Remote Training & Development Is Not Effective For My Needs
Perhaps you feel remote training is just not effective or very practical for the type of work your company and its employees are involved in. It’s understandable you may feel this way because doing things a new and different way can lead to a certain amount of uncertainty and you may feel you’re not going to be able to train them effectively enough.
Solution: Remote Training Can Be Adapted to Fit Any Situation
Remote training can be effective in any of the following forms:
- Virtual instructor-led
Technology Can Be Tailored to Your Needs
For example, you can now find training tech that is:
- Available to work with all platforms, whether your staff are working from Apple, Microsoft, or another OS-run computing system
- Consisting of content tailored specifically to your employees, sector, and industry
- Consisting of content off-the-shelf and designed to work generally with any type ofcompany in any sector or industry
High Level of Flexibility
- Learner journey
- Cultural/geographical/linguistic needs
- Individual style
Problem: Remote Training & Development Will Not Be Accepted
How do you get around this problem?
Solution: Allow for a Smooth Transition to Remote Training
- Blended Approach – where you ease your employees into remote training by incorporating some face-to-face and remote training.
- Virtual Instructor Approach – when there is a tangible and visible contact point for their training, your employees may feel more at ease than if the training and development you set up for them was handled completely virtually and without any direct interaction.
- Include communication tools as part of the training solution – further to the point directly above, you could utilize communication tools as part of their remote training and development, such as instant message-style chat, forums, and breakout rooms (on video conferencing programs like Zoom). This will help to avoid your employees feeling disconnected and like they’re going through it all on their own.
Set the Expectation That Changes Will Be Accepted In Time
Another solution to the concern your switch to remote training from more traditional methods will not be accepted is to simply accept even if the changes are not accepted initially, they will in time.
Problem: Lack of Internal Resources to Transfer Materials to Online or to Retrain
You may indeed feel like you are dropping every one in the deep end without the necessary floatation devices to make it possible to swim through the choppy waters of transitioning from traditional training and developing methods to remote training. That’s where a lot of planning and preparation comes into play.
Solution: Review & Prioritize Current Training Needs
Seek The Help of Outside eLearning Agencies
If you are completely new to the concept of online training and learning, it makes sense to pull the resources and advice of eLearning agencies who do this for a living. As well as having existing resources you could adapt and use for your own needs, they’ll also be able to give you remote training tips to help you have greater success.
Focus on Core Business Activities First
Rather than thinking you have to do everything at once, it makes more sense to just focus on the activities at the core of your business. These are what will keep your business active and performing. Once you have an established and structured remote training system in place, it will be easier to bring advanced techniques and activities into it.
Problem: Lack of Communication, Isolation
- Incorporating other forms of internal training into existing remote training strategies that take into consideration mental health, work/life balance planning, and community features
- Incorporating social features into the training platform you use, such as chat instant messaging, chat rooms, forums, and breakout rooms (eg, Zoom and other video conferencing platforms)
- Include content that makes social interaction an integral part of the process, such as prizes/incentives, competitive elements like leaderboards, courses with gamified elements
Problem: Lack of Accountability
Solution: Use a Learning Management System
Tailor Courses and Curriculum Based on Learner Data
You can improve the effectiveness of the course and the participants and your employee’s adherence to the course, by tailoring the courses and educational curriculum to suit your employees. When it’s better geared to your employees and their individual needs, they’re more likely to stick at it and take it seriously. Select a Learning Platform that includes controls, incentives, and social features that ensures accountability is enforced. Think carrot and stick.
Problem: Security Concerns
Security is always going to be an issue
you should take seriously when working remotely, due to the nature of everything being online and through computers and other connected devices. Factoring this into your approach is the best way to deal with this problem.
Solution: Highlight Technical Security features of the LMS
Hierarchical Nature of Platform
You may not want or need all employees to have access to all the content featured on the LMS or any platform related to your remote training strategies. Therefore, choose a platform that you can designate certain levels of access to specific users. Detail the possibilities of a good platform. For example, the visibility of data to administrators.
04 - Future Trends in Remote Workforce Development
As it seems likely many will continue to utilize, even if its only part of their workforce, remote working, some of the future trends we are likely to see in remote workforce development include:
- Continued improvements of technology to increase the accessibility and appeal of remote training – That likely meet the demands of companies who intend on continuing, whether because they need to or because they want to continue having employees working from home and carrying out training remotely, the technology will be developed and evolved to make it even more accessible and appealing.
- Increasingly integrated remote training programs with social media and other supporting platforms and applications – as social media is a big part of life in general, it’s likely remote training programs will continue to integrate with popular platforms. This will help to counter the negative aspects of working from home on employees like isolation and feeling withdrawn.
- Reassessment of face-to-face training benefits and its uses – this is a given, but with the shift to remote training, you may find your company prefers using that as opposed to face- to-face training. Especially if it’s getting the same or better results.
- Increased use of a more blended-learning approach with the growth of localized geographical hubs for face-to-face based sessions – as more restrictions are lifted and things can return to some form of normal, it may suit your company to keep employees working from home and using a more blended approach to training and development with local hubs for important face-to-face sessions where necessary.
- Standardization of the remote learning industry- leading to commoditization, standardization, and full acceptance – in much of the same way the technology will be worked on continuallyto improve it, the fact more companies and organizations will be using remote training will push there to be a standardization of the industry, which will, in turn, make it more accepted.