The enduring shift towards remote working continues to provide opportunities and challenges alike for organisations seeking to optimise their working environment and business conduct.
One challenge is providing effective training opportunities for remote workers for whom traditional face-to-face learning formats may not be practical.
Having worked with hundreds of organisations during the pandemic and more recently, to create optimised learning environments, our coaching team share five of their key findings for effectively supporting the development of remote workers.
Make the practicalities slick
Making sure that joining instructions, course documentation and technical requirements are spot on is particularly important when students are likely to have to self-serve for any support issues.
There’s nothing more frustrating for students and trainers than struggling with connectivity or not having easy access to materials.
Mastery of communications platforms such as Zoom or Teams is a key underpinning skill for remote learners, as is having the right kit to engage effectively.
Small is beautiful
Attention spans tend to be shorter online, and the same is true for learning activities. The full-day seminar format that underpins plenty of face-to-face learning won’t work for online delivery.
Bitesize learning delivery with activities of under an hour strike the best balance to maximise concentration and impact, and for minimising distractions.
Technology can support the learning mix with students equipped with video or self-paced online activities for students to familiarise themselves with key topics ahead of group sessions.
Everyone learns differently
Remote learning activities need to be carefully calibrated to make sure they correctly cater for the learning styles of each participant, it’s much easier to withdraw from participation online than in class.
Taking the time to understand learning styles and preferences when creating programmes of learning can make the difference between successful engagement and failure.
Remote workers may find it harder to socialise their learning in order to fill gaps in their knowledge. Creating an effective learning and support network is an important component of supporting remote workers to consolidate their learning.
It also supports effective communication and team working between colleagues that can also prove more difficult for dispersed teams.
Reinforcement over time maximises impact
Formal learning activities can’t work in isolation, so support remote workers to embed their new learning through check-ins, collaboration opportunities and coaching.
The 70/20/10 blend of practical and social learning to compliment formal learning activities remains a useful guide to ensuring that employees are fully supported to deploy new skills effectively at work.
This reinforcement over time supports mastery of these new skills and ensures return on the time and financial investment of your learning activities.
Making it happen
Mastering these approaches can ensure that remote colleagues, especially those new to the organisation, can be fully supported to learn effectively.
Getting this right provides one part of a more productive and engaged way of working for businesses going through significant periods of change.