Learning & Development

How to Train Remote Employees

We’ve all been bombarded with the news that more people than ever began working from home due to the global pandemic. Even now as the pandemic is starting to recede, more and more employees are hoping they can continue working from home, even if only part time.

Editorial credit: Girts Ragelis / Shutterstock.com

This means employers will need to continue offering remote work options to attract and retain employees, which means they will need to take steps to ensure productivity for their remote teams. Let’s look at some tips for training remote employees and ensuring they’re kept up to date on all processes.

Tips for Training Remote Employees

Here are some ideas for training remote employees:

  • Start by training the people who have access to the training plans for the whole organization. Work with those in charge of learning and employee development to ensure all types of employee training are accessible for remote employees or that steps are taken to ensure remote employees are included.
  • Work with the IT department to ensure remote employees have access to all of the information other employees have. They shouldn’t have barriers to accessing training, procedure manuals, the help desk, etc.
  • Ensure remote employees have the technology they need to participate in training. This may mean they need assistance with getting faster Internet to be able to participate in webinars or better software or hardware to be able to access materials efficiently, for example.
  • Test the training access with a variety of devices, and confirm that those accessing it from a virtual private network (VPN)-connected device won’t have issues.
  • Consider utilizing on-demand training (as opposed to live training) when possible without sacrificing quality. This will allow remote workers to take advantage of training opportunities when it suits their schedule rather than requiring them to move things around to attend. Of course, this is true for in-person employees, as well, but remember that remote employees may not work the same hours as those who are coming into the workplace.
  • Consider optimizing training to be viewed on different devices. Remember that employees working remotely may utilize different devices, sometimes switching devices throughout the workday, so making it as easy as possible to access training can make them more likely to complete it.
  • Sometimes, training on new software is required before the training itself, so don’t simply assume that everyone will know how to use it or how to access something new.
  • If you do not already utilize a learning management system (LMS), consider implementing one or some other method of tracking and implementing training programs. This can help ensure (and track) everyone who needs training gets it.
  • Consider adding training that is specific to remote employees or that is accessible for everyone but that’s particularly useful for those working remotely, such as time management skills and communication skills.

What else has your organization done over the past year to ensure remote employees are kept up to date on all training and process changes?