How to Maximise the Remote Workforce Development

Illustration of Workers Discussing Custom eLearning Course Development

How to Maximise the Remote Workforce Development

Illustration of Workers Discussing Custom eLearning Course Development

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

The fact many businesses have moved their operations from the office to the homes of their employees has meant there has been a significant shift in work culture and habits. Zoom and videoconferencing meetings are now a more commonplace thing than physical board room meetings.

Cost Savings

While the pandemic may have been the catalyst for many companies switching from having all of their employees in the office and business premises, the cost savings of working from home are hard to ignore. There is no need, for instance, to pay out for expensive utilities on offices and workspaces, if each individual is working from home. Even if some staff still need to attend your workplace, if there are reduced numbers, you are still bound to see some savings.
eWyse Cost Savings Illustration

Effectiveness

While many in the past would have suggested the challenges hindering remote work effectiveness were enough to stop companies from implementing it, many had no choice but to move forward with it. The interesting thing is most companies are finding any issues that get in the way or reduce remote working effectiveness, can be handled, and overcome.

Improvements in Technology

Interestingly, even before the pandemic and the necessary changes in our work and daily life, improvements and advancements in technology were already in place that made remote working possible. It just took the pandemic for many to realize this.

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

First and foremost, the reason why you should invest in training and development is to boost employee morale. If you’ve ever heard the expression “a happy workforce is a productive one”, then you’ll understand why improving staff morale is important. When membersof your team do not feel valued or are a part of the team, they’re more likely to vote with their feet and look elsewhere for work where they’re appreciated.

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

Following on nicely from the above point, when your employees are happy, they’re more productive. Whether you are a fledgling business or a long established one, in rude health despite the pandemic or suffering because of everything happening in the world and its effects on the economy, likely, you’ll still want to see your company grow or at least maintain its profit margins. That is why it’s important to put the time and effort into training your staff to be effective when working from home and to constantly evaluate their progress and develop their skills.

Legal Obligation

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

When transitioning from having staff work exclusively from your office or business premises to most of them working from home, there are bound to be bumps along the way. These bumps can be reduced and even avoided if you implement effective training and a development process for your staff. When you do, the continuity of your operations is unlikely to be affected much by the changes.

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.

eWyse Remote Workforce Illustration

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

While it’s a legitimate concern, the fact is there are remote training methods to suit virtually any situation. There is no one way or even one right way. This means the training and development method you choose for your company, the one right for you and your employees, is the one you need to use, not the one you feel you have to use.

Remote training can be effective in any of the following forms:

  • Self-paced
  • Blended
  • Virtual instructor-led
  • Webinars
  • Presenter-led

Technology Can Be Tailored to Your Needs

The technology utilized in the remote training and development of your employees can be fully tailored to best meet the needs of all involved.

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

The methods you can use to train and develop your at-home workers offers a high level of flexibility. This makes it possible to meet the specific needs of the learner or trainer, such as:

  • Learner journey
  • Cultural/geographical/linguistic needs
  • Individual style

Problem: Remote Training & Development Will Not Be Accepted

Another concern you may have is remote training and development will not be accepted. Again, this is a very legitimate concern, because the last thing you want is your employees to be unwilling to take part in the process. This can not only affect morale across the organization but will obviously hinder their progress.

How do you get around this problem?

Solution: Allow for a Smooth Transition to Remote Training

One thing that may worry your employees is they’re going to be dropped right into this new form of training. You can eliminate these worries by outlining a smooth transition to remote training, by considering the following:

  • 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

First, you need to establish what you have and what you need. This will better enable you to prioritize the resources you need to invest in to make remote training possible and effective.

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

This is actually a very serious problem. Although we all know during the pandemic, social distancing is one of the things keeping us all safe, or at the very least, safer than we would be if we were all working the way we did pre-Covid-19, it can lead to new problems.

Solution

There are several ways you can combat the lack of communication and isolation from working from home and carrying out training remotely. Some solutions include:

  • 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

When you are training your employees under normal circumstances, they’re more directly accountable to you. Perhaps you are worried when you are using remote training because you can’t be there to monitor their progress in person it loses accountability. This can be a challenge but is not one without solutions.

Solution: Use a Learning Management System

A learning management system is an application designed to make it easy to handle not just the administration and documentation of educational courses and training, learning, and development programs, but also the tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of them too. That way you have an integrated way to track your employee’s progress and assess where improvements need to be made.

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

Your employees must understand the different security features of the Learning Management System and why it’s vital they follow good and safe working practices when using it to protect themselves from security breaches and the company.

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

If remote working has become the new normal for your company in light of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on daily life, then there is no way we can really know just yet how long you may need to keep working from home measures in place.
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.

05 - Conclusion

If you have any concerns about engaging your employees in remote training and development, we hope this eBook has been able to alleviate those worries somewhat and show you how it can be done successfully. Remember, the remote training and development method you use should suit the needs and challenges of your team. The only real wrong way of doing remote training and development in our opinion is to not do any at all.
Top