Modern business is more mobile than ever. Software continues to lower the barriers associated with hiring from the global workforce. Despite some efforts to slow down this change, an increasing number of jobs can be performed from any location.
While this has many benefits, one you don’t usually hear is better onboarding. Remote and mobile employees often feel less connected than their main branch peers. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Technology is catching up to where, with the proper implementation, there is no difference in the quality of training between remote and traditional employees.
Remote Workforce Training 101
In the past, remote employee training has been a hassle. This often resulted in inferior training, but that’s no longer the case. There are a number of ways to ensure your remote employees are properly onboarded:
- Training consistency – you should treat all employees the same regardless of location
- Have new employees train in the same location – this doesn’t work if you have a truly global workforce, but if you have the budget and employees mostly grouped in the same location, this option can help make everyone feel more connected with your team
- Live training – with video conferencing becoming better and better every year, this is a simple and effective way to give everyone the opportunity to ask questions on your training
- One on one training sessions – giving new employees individual attention can greatly increase their knowledge retention and help spot any issues where they need help or clarification
There are many other ways to make sure your remote workforce training is effective, but those items above are good places to start.
What Technology Should You Use?
Using an LMS is a great way to make sure everyone gets the same training. It allows you to notice any areas that people generally lack knowledge and address any individual knowledge gaps or underperformance. But it is not the only option you have, and it might not be the only software you need.
Other great options are video-conferencing software, HRIS (many have some training capabilities), or just a generic CMS.
When you have employees that are doing work from home or their smartphone, you need to make sure the technology you use is compatible with the method they are using for access.
Making It Easy for Employees
Remember that the motivations of mobile workers might be different than those of traditional workers. Mobile workforces like doing things on their schedule. They need information chunked so that they don’t need to commit two hours to sitting in front of a computer to be trained. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop content that long, just that your employees might not be as happy to take it, so try to only make the most essential training exceed half an hour. It’s also very hard to focus for more than 20 minutes at a time according to neuroscience research.
Training a remote and mobile workforce means having training available in many different formats. Make it as easily accessible as possible. Check out our post on motivating employees for more ideas!
Remote Workforce Benefits
While all of the above takes a lot of work, keep in mind all the benefits of having a mobile workforce:
- You can hire the best candidates no matter where in the world they are located
- Remote employees have higher job satisfaction, so are less likely to leave your company
- Flexibility in schedules leads to higher employee engagement
- Decreases absenteeism
It’s important to note that working from home does not make sense for everyone or all industries. A lot of employees prefer working in an office with their coworkers and feel more productive with other people around.
But if you do have a mobile or remote workforce, just remember that training doesn’t need to suffer because of it.
We’re more that happy to answer any questions you may have on remote workforce training! Contact us here or give us a call!