how to create an online training program for your remote team

4 Steps to Creating an Effective Online Training Program for Your Remote Team

The problem of implementing the right employee training system extends beyond improving competencies and skill sets — a poor strategy can affect your team’s morale, especially in a remote work environment. In this guest post, Gaurav Sharma, CEO of Attrock, introduces four simple steps for developing an online training program for your remote team.

Are you wondering how to create an online training program for your remote team? Well, you’re not alone. Remote work is becoming the new normal for enterprises. In January 2022, 61% of employees who had the option for remote work chose to work remotely even though workplaces have become available. This is a steep rise from 36% in October 2020. And employers have to adjust to these changing preferences.

But for whatever reason your employees are working remotely, you cannot compromise on delivering an effective training program to equip them with the latest skills. Similar to on-site training, an effective online training program leads to:

  • Improved employee performance
  • Better employee productivity
  • Lower employee turnover
  • Stronger company culture

So, how do you create an online training program for a remote team? Here are four steps you can follow.

How to Develop an Online Training Program for a Remote Team

1. Identify Your Training Objectives

To create an effective online training program for your remote team, you should identify your training objectives. The skills gap in your remote team is what you need to find as that will guide the objectives of your online training program. Identify the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) your employees will need to succeed in their roles and help your business reach its goals.

Rate these KSAs by their level of importance. You may want to give your employees a test to evaluate the KSAs you’ve listed and assess the skills gap. Use this data to identify areas where training is needed and create strategic training objectives.

2. Choose the Right Delivery Method

There are plenty of methods you can use to deliver the training program to your remote team. Here are a few options:

  • Synchronous learning: The remote team members attend the online classes simultaneously — for instance, instructor-led live classes.
  • Asynchronous learning model: The remote team members access the learning material and assessments and participate in online class activities on their own time. 
  • Blended learning model: Combines elements of both synchronous and asynchronous methods to create a custom online training model.

One of the main benefits of a blended learning model in your training program is that you can cater to the different learning styles of your remote team. The most common types of learners you’ll have in your remote team are:

  • Visual Learners – Learn best through visual content like videos and images
  • Auditory Learners – Thrive in learning through listening, such as instructor-led sessions
  • Reading or Writing Learners – Prefer to read the learning material, such as handout notes
  • Kinesthetic Learners – Prefer to be bodily involved in the training to absorb it, such as dialogue simulations

For instance, if you’re training your sales and marketing team on how to write a reminder email, having an instructor talk about it for one hour may appeal to auditory learners. But visual learners will quickly lose interest. They’ll need to see images or videos of reminder emails to grasp the lesson. Here are some elements you can include in your delivery method to appeal to all types of learners and boost knowledge retention:

  • Videos with subtitles
  • Virtual classroom sessions
  • Audio
  • Group discussions
  • Slide decks
  • Breakout sessions
  • Handouts
  • Post-class recordings
  • Downloadable worksheets
  • Practical exercises and projects

3. Engage Your Remote Learners

Learner engagement is the level of attention, interest, and curiosity the trainee shows during the training. High engagement increases the effectiveness of your training. For an online training program, you have to work extra hard to create high engagement.

This is because trainees in a remote setting may feel isolated from their peers or instructor. Or worse, they may be distracted by an ineffective remote workspace, so make sure you create an effective one. Here are some tactics you can use to boost engagement.

Incorporate Gamification in Your Online Training Program

Gamification involves adding game-like elements in a training context, such as:

  • Leaderboards
  • Goal-oriented challenges
  • Badges
  • Levels
  • Points
  • Progress bars

In gamified training, your remote team is acknowledged and rewarded for making progress, participating in activities, and winning challenges. You can use tools to implement such gamification for your remote training program. Gamification also promotes social learning and encourages healthy competition among your remote team members while driving motivation and engagement.

Add Interactive Elements  

Cut through distractions and keep the interest of your remote team up through interactive elements. Create learning gaming videos, quizzes, role-play scenarios, and simulations to make the entire learning experience more interesting and engaging. Instead of lecturing for long periods, interact with the trainees every three to five minutes. Invite them to speak up and assign collaborative tasks using collaboration tools like Slack. This can help them feel involved too.

Use Microlearning

Most people lose focus in long lessons. Microlearning involves breaking your training into bite-sized lessons that are less overwhelming for your employees and easier to digest. It also involves utilizing practices like spaced repetition that boost retention. Spaced repetition is a learning technique where you get your remote team to review the training material at regular intervals to drill the knowledge in.

4. Continually Improve Your Online Training Program

Work on improving the effectiveness of your online training program. Find areas that need expounding, more resources, better clarity, and more. You can identify these weaknesses by encouraging feedback from your remote team and tracking the learning results. You can hand out a survey or questionnaire at the end of the online training to capture their opinions and feelings about the training delivery, how it has impacted them, and areas they’d like to see improved.

Take note of repeating comments and questions throughout the online training program. They could be indicators of weaknesses in your program that need improvement. Continually improving your online training program will help you achieve your training objectives more efficiently and boost the ROI of your training.

Are You Ready to Adopt Effective Remote Training in Your Organization?

Whether you already have a remote team or plan on incorporating remote work in your company, you need to apply the right tactics in training your team. Start on the right foot by identifying your training objectives and using the right delivery methods to achieve these objectives. Keep your learners engaged with gamification, interactive elements, and microlearning. And most importantly, track the effectiveness of the training and continuously improve it. Following this process will help you reap the rewards of training your team and upskilling them.

Gaurav Sharma

Author Bio

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. He grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more. Check out his LinkedIn profile.

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