What people thought was a temporary situation caused by the pandemic looks to become a more permanent setup.
Yes, I’m talking about remote work. Also known as work from home (WFH).
While some companies had adopted a work WFH policy before the pandemic, most organizations were caught by surprise when the pandemic forced businesses to shift to remote work. This brought about many challenges. But one of the biggest was how to conduct interactive remote employee training sessions.
The Challenges of Remote Employee Training
As can be imagined, there are many challenges associate with remote employee training. Examples include:
- Lack of face-to-face supervision
- Social isolation
- Technical issues
Because of these challenges, you must be strategic about the way you conduct your remote employee training sessions.
5 Tips for Conducting an Interactive Remote Employee Training Session
So how do you conduct a remote training session that your employees will happily engage and participate in? Here are five tips to help you do that:
1. Choose the Right Tools
Picking the right tools to host and run your virtual training sessions is crucial. You have an option between two different platforms when it comes to how you deliver your training sessions. These are:
- Video conferencing/webinar platforms. Webinar software has been one of the most popular methods of conducting interactive remote training sessions.
- Learning management systems (LMS). A learning management system (LMS) is designed specifically for developing, deploying, and tracking your training efforts. It offers more flexibility and options for how you conduct your training sessions.
- Email list management. Make sure always to update your email list to avoid inviting ex-employees to your training sessions.
Whatever training platform you choose, make sure to triple-check if everything is working before starting your session.
2. Set Expectations
The key to encouraging employee engagement in your training sessions is to set expectations. You must set expectations of what they’ll benefit from the training and what you expect from them (in terms of participation and behavior).
Setting expectations is a great way to ensure that participants focus on the trainer and the topic you’re delivering.
3. Take Time to Break the Ice
Another way of ensuring a successful interactive virtual session is to have an ice-breaking exercise before you start. A few ideas for this include:
Ask participants to introduce themselves using the chat feature. You can also ask your participants to practice virtual applauding using words, exclamation marks, or emojis every time someone introduces themselves. This helps charge the atmosphere and helps your employees to be excited about the session.
Often, people’s names are set to default in the video tile, usually as full name or an email address. Ask your participants to rename themselves using their first names. Including location and branch could also be helpful to you.
Ice-breakers are also crucial in virtual training sessions as they help combat social isolation. It helps your employees know that despite being alone in the room, they’re part of a team that has one goal and agenda at that moment.
4. Get a Skilled Facilitator
The facilitator is the star of the show. They can make or break the training.
That’s why you must ensure you have a vibrant and energetic facilitator who can capture and hold people’s attention. You can either use an in-house facilitator or, if you have the budget, outsource to a subject matter expert who’s also skilled in virtual presentations.
In the same vein, you must also get a good co-facilitator. Not only will they offer moral support, but a good co-facilitator can also help:
- Monitor the chat
- Keep track of questions posed by participants
- Provide feedback
- Offer technical support
With a good facilitator and co-facilitator to head the training, you’re bound to have an engaged audience. This is important if your employees are to get the most out of the virtual training session.
5. Involve Your Employees
The worst thing you can do when conducting a remote employee training session is to bring your employees into a techy environment and talk to them. They’ll soon lose interest, and engagement levels will drop.
Instead, make your training sessions interactive by:
- Using interactive learning activities. These could include games and topic-related scenarios.
- Use interactive presentations. Bland still slides are outdated — ditch them. Use versatile and interactive eLearning presentation software that feature’s animations and special effects.
- Use relevant content. To encourage employee participation, leverage content they can relate to. Prompt them to think about how the topic relates to them and encourage them to comment.
- Ask for feedback. At the end of the session, ask participants to give you feedback about the event. A simple way to gather this feedback is to create a survey they can fill. Use form builder software to create surveys and forms tailored to each training session.
For your remote training sessions to be effective, they must be as interactive as possible. To achieve this, you must design your training sessions in such a way that they encourage employee involvement.
Remote Employee Training — Key to a Productive Remote Team
Conducting remote employee training sessions is crucial to ensuring that your team performs at its best. Regular training sessions will help your team be productive despite working from home as your training sessions will equip them with best practices and tips to succeed while working from home.