We live in a big world with a global economy. As technologies develop, companies no longer need to hire employees based on their location. Many companies choose to hire talented and experienced professionals who work remotely and make their contribution out of the office. Gallup reports that as much as 43% of employees work remotely at least occasionally. According to statistics, the number of remote employees has increased by 140% since 2005. Moreover, this data doesn’t reflect numbers of contract and freelance workers. Remote work becomes a trend appreciated by both employees and employers.
Remote teams are, nevertheless, associated with certain challenges as well. For example, it gets harder for members of a team to get to know each other when they are working at different places. However, this problem is not as important as the issue of effective training. Not only does training expand your employees’ knowledge and helps them develop new skills, but it also helps build a strong corporate culture. Fortunately, the internet allows companies to hire remote workers and provides countless opportunities for remote learning. eLearning also offers many advantages compared to the traditional methods, making your employees more engaged in the learning process and increasing their motivation.
Why is eLearning so Important for Remote Teams?
When managers deal with onsite employees, they can easily create equal professional development and learning opportunities for all members of the team. In this context, remote teams are more tricky. Managers have to put a lot of effort into training and team building, starting from the onboarding period. Sometimes, managers have a chance to provide onboarding and training onsite, involving remote employees. In this case, the whole process is standardized and the environment is more personal.
However, onsite training is often not an option. Therefore, managers have to rely on video conferences and screen-sharing tools. Video conferences can help when some educational activities take place in the office. You can also share any necessary documents with remote employees using Google Drive, Dropbox, or other similar applications.
Melissa Davis, a talent sourcer at College Writers, notes: “eLearning exercises and homework help remote employees improve their skills and knowledge while working at their own pace, with no need to change their schedule. At the same time, they stay more engaged with the whole team, working on the same exercises, communicating, and sharing opinions. It’s like a virtual water cooler.”
How to Initiate eLearning with Your Remote Team?
1. Have a plan
You have to plan your employees’ development in advance. It’s easier to plan your strategy before you even hire an employee than to figure out how to train them after that. You also need a reliable system of communication so that remote workers won’t feel isolated from you and the rest of the team. In addition, it’s important to provide the same training for everyone and to check in with each employee about the progress.
2. Use short training modules
Of course, companies want their employees to learn the necessary material as fast as possible. However, don’t forget that one of the main advantages of eLearning is that employees can learn at their own pace. Don’t choose courses with long training modules because this format will require a high level of dedication and a lot of time to process the new information. In contrast, short modules are easy to understand and keep employees more engaged.
3. Ask for feedback
Your remote workers should understand that they are a valuable part of the group and their opinion is important. Encourage them to ask questions and to express any concerns whenever they need it. Let them share their opinions on a project-oriented online platform, such as Slack or Flock. In addition, they should be able to talk to you directly via Skype or email if they are not ready to share their thoughts with other members of the team.
4. Gamify their experience
Gamification is so popular for a reason. It makes the whole learning process more efficient and completely changes the way trainings work. The more fun is the learning process, the more information people retain. In addition, gamification is a nice way to add the element of competition so that employees will be more motivated to learn more.
5. Understand that remote workers see working hours differently
Those who work in the office would rather learn while they are at work than at home. As for the remote employees, they stay at home all the time and may prefer working at night while taking care of their families during the day. Make sure they won’t feel overloaded with your training program and can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How to Choose the Right eLearning Program?
More and more companies hire remote employees. Modern technologies allow businesses to expand their talent pool, hiring the best experts regardless of their location. On the other hand, remote teams imply certain challenges when it comes to training. In addition, it’s hard to evaluate the engagement level of remote employees. eLearning enables companies to not only train remote employees but also to encourage collaboration among members of the team. It’s a great opportunity to provide additional motivation and to build a strong team where all employees feel equally valuable.
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