In the time since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, several companies that can work remotely have participated in the shift to remote work for safety reasons. While some companies have long since provided remote work opportunities for their employees and already had the framework in place, some that are new to it have found that their infrastructure could use some improvement. To Twenty Twenty Partners, training stands out as a common issue for companies new to remote work, as the difficulties associated with training and onboarding new employees can be easily exacerbated by what we consider benefits of working from home. Here, Twenty Twenty Partners discusses a few tips these companies can utilize to improve their ability to train remotely.
Ensure Employees Are Set Up
While setting employees up with what they need is one of the simplest steps in effective remote training, Twenty Twenty Partners recognizes that it is perhaps the most integral for ensuring their success in the future. A new employee should have a suitable computer for work, logins for essential systems, and access to the technology and software they will need for both training and working independently. It is also a great idea to test out what you are providing for your new employee, as large technical difficulties during early phases of the training process could set them back while simultaneously eating up valuable administrative time to rectify the issue.
Optimize Training for Remote Application
Training that is not properly optimized for those being trained can be a detriment to the learning process. Twenty Twenty Partners recommends optimizing training for remote application to lessen the chances that difficulties come up. One simple way that companies can start is by utilizing the Single Sign-On (SSO) method. The simple action of allowing remote employees to access materials and programs with one unified login lowers the risk of login issues later down the road. Twenty Twenty Partners also recognizes the value of making learning material accessible on laptops, smartphones, and tablets, as it can make training more flexible and aid in the learning process.
Regularly Communicate with Trainees
Joining a team as a remote employee can be isolating if coworkers or administration do not reach out to ensure that everything is copacetic. Employees just starting training are also more susceptible to distractions during periods of decreased motivation. For this reason, Twenty Twenty Partners recommends ensuring that trainees are engaged and kept up to speed during training by utilizing the tools at your disposal to foster connection. Video or voice conferencing and live message systems can be immensely helpful for communicating with a new remote worker and can give them the floor to ask questions if the need arises. The time spent being accessible during the early phases of training ultimately set the foundation for a remote employee to feel empowered to work independently after learning the ropes.
Establish Clear Expectations
Twenty Twenty Partners acknowledges that one of the benefits of correctly facilitated remote work is that administration does not need to micromanage employees to ensure work is completed. To set the framework for the productivity that expected of a new employee, however, those involved in the training process need to establish their expectations very clearly for how the work should be done. Many issues that arise with remote work begin with ambiguity and being straightforward in one’s approach to explaining duties and expectations is a very simple way to avoid tougher discussions down the road. Remember that the discussion does not need to be authoritarian to be effective, and the person responsible for training can discuss goals, work/life balance, and what the new hire needs for support to contribute to the conversation.