Training Programs

Training Employees Remotely: Tips for Moving Your Program Online

As more organizations send employees home to work virtually, many organizations are scrambling to establish routines, processes, and strategy to make the most of these strange and uncertain times.

Among these changes is a need for training to move from the physical classroom and into the virtual classroom, and for organizations who aren’t used to providing online training, that process can seem daunting.

Even with these challenges, now is an important time for your organization to provide strategic support. Managers need new skill sets to manage and engage a remote workforce, and employees need guidance through training so they can remain productive while they transition to working from home.

We’re here with some tips and advice for organizations moving their training online for the first time!

Customize Your Content, but Don’t Be Your Own Worst Critic

We’ve worked with L&D and HR professionals long enough to realize a lot of you are serious perfectionists. That trait typically serves you well – but push those urges away when it comes to migrating your training online!

Your organization needs you right now, and it can’t wait for perfection.

In this case, where training is needed, and the need is urgent, good enough is good enough! Here are some guidelines to follow as you create your online training modules:

  • Keep content short – attention spans are short, and learners won’t benefit from hour-long videos. Shorter bursts of learning, also called microlearning, is consistently more retainable, engaging, and effective. Read more about microlearning in this article!
  • Long, in-depth introductions aren’t necessary. Jump right in with meaningful content! This will keep learners engaged, and will help you trim down the length of your content.
  • For longer, more in-depth topics, turn your content into multiple videos, that can be watched in succession, or across multiple days. Worried about retention over multiple days? You’ll love the next tip!
  • TEST. Online software like SurveyMonkey or Microsoft Forms for Office subscribers give you more options than ever for creating tests. Why test? Studies show us time and time again that post-training tests increase learning retention exponentially!

Follow these tips, go easy on yourself, and get content out quickly – adherence to these guidelines will help your organization navigate change and uncertainty in the face of a global pandemic.

Focus Your Training Through an Accurate, Reliable Needs Assessment

Because you want to get your training out quickly, it’s important that you get your needs assessment right. Work with managers, listen to leaders, and identify what needs your organization has.

The needs assessment is one of the first components of your training process, and the more work you do upfront, the more likely you’ll have an easier time solving business challenges later, through training.

Use this time to figure out exactly what it is your organization needs – from managing a virtual workforce to staying connected while working from home, there is some urgent need in your organization for training. Identify what that unique need is through conversation and make a plan!

For more info on making a needs assessment plan, be sure to view our free ebook, the Training Program Manager’s Playbook. You’ll get access to exercises and strategies to ensure that your needs assessment plan is on point!

For Your Own Mental Health, Go Off-the-Shelf

While the rhyme is awful, the sentiment is not – as a program manager of a newly remote workforce, you are going to be very busy strategically supporting your organization.   

Any time you spend creating content that could and should be made for you is time taken away from the custom, organization-specific content that only you can create.

In short, you’re going to be very busy moving your program online. Partnering with a trusted provider so you can focus your energy on your important tasks will make your transition much easier.

You can access some of our free, off-the-shelf content that’s specifically designed to help you manage your remote workforce and keep your employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This video series covers topics like staying productive while working form home, or where to find reliable information during a pandemic.

Another important topic during this time is cybersecurity – since your IT team can’t be at everyone’s home office, helping your employees protect sensitive data from bad actors is a crucial step for your training program.

Here are five free, off-the-shelf videos to help your employees secure their home computers from cyberattacks!

This pandemic is transforming the workplace rapidly, and your training program must be a part of that transition. Follow these guidelines to ensure you transition your training program online smoothly and effectively, without losing participation from learners, or results from your program.

If you would like to browse our library of more than 9,000 microlearning videos, and see how our learning solutions and strategic support team can help you navigate through this time, be sure to request a demo.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more help with effectively using off-the-shelf online content, check out our free ebook:

Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.