- More and more people are working remotely, which raises the question: who is responsible for training, and how do you do it remotely?
- Training and upskilling is often seen as a joint venture between employer and remote workers.
- In this article, digital nomad Andy Stofferis explains some of the tools and practices designed to assist remote workers’ training.
If you’re a business owner and you have never worked with digital nomads, your time may be approaching – so you’d better get prepared!
Since the start of the pandemic many people have shifted to remote work. Studies suggest that by 2025 more than half of employees will work in a remote capacity.
Of course as an employer you must have noticed many benefits from this remote work style both for yourself and for your employees. To name just a few: no need to rent an office, better staff productivity and performance, increased job satisfaction, strengthened team spirit among employees and many others.
However, along with the obvious advantages of working from home a number of questions and challenges arise, like how to manage remote teams, how to monitor their performance and how to train remote workers and digital nomads.
It is clear that the first two challenges fall on employers’ shoulders. What about the training though? Whose responsibility is it?
On the one hand, employers believe remote employees should take it into their own hands to proactively upskill themselves. They also feel that workers attending training sessions miss out on work time, which may result in their failure to complete the project on time. Many employees today take responsibility to finance their own courses outside of work or seek opportunities to continually develop their skills and grow within their current positions.
On the other hand, employers understand that the effective training of their employees can help reduce turnover and boost staff productivity. They believe that providing remote teams with learning opportunities is a great way to futureproof their own companies, and recognize that this approach encourages loyalty and better performance.
In most cases, both workers and employers consider training as a joint venture. The upskilling opportunities provided by managers are not meaningful if the individual is not committed enough or does not make enough effort in order to succeed.
Although providing training opportunities remotely seems like a pretty hard task compared to on-site trainings, with the right tools and planning it can in fact be easier.
Let’s take a look at some tools for remote training:
The first thing you need for your effective remote training is a learning management system (LMS). It will enable your remote trainees to connect online as well as manage and track their progress and attendance. The centralized single learning platform makes it so much easier for employees to keep all of their learning materials under one roof, monitor their performance and results. With the help of the right LMS tool you can build an engaging customized training course that will make your remote worker’s training experience enjoyable and efficient.
2. Video-conferencing tools
Whether you are planning a real time webinar or just seeking a face-to-face interaction with your digital nomad, video conferencing is indispensable to workplace collaboration. There is a great variety of such tools available on the market to fit every budget — from Skype and Zoom to GoToMeeting. Just remember that video conferencing tools must be easy to use, flexible and device and environment-agnostic.
Apart from training, video conferencing can also be used on a daily basis to introduce new team members, or hold online meetings.
3. Collaboration tools
You are obviously using a project management tool on a regular basis for collaboration with your digital nomad — monitoring projects or assigning tasks. Why not use it for training, too? With the help of such a tool, you can upload and share your training materials, whether text or video-based. Even such simple tools as Google Drive and Dropbox can come in handy for this purpose.
Now that you have an idea of what tools to use for your remote training, let’s look at the topics you can focus on.
Granted, the main purpose of any training is to improve an employee’s skills in one or more areas of expertise. How about the soft skills that are so important in today’s world or awareness of the company’s culture? Let’s have a closer look at these:
- Soft skills.
Soft skills are the foundation of remote work. Your digital nomad might be good at communication and creativity but lack management and scheduling skills, so you might want to provide a training session on that.
- Role clarity.
It is often hard to understand your tasks and duties even when you work from the office and have a face-to-face interaction with your manager. It is even harder when you need to interact remotely. Digital nomads are often confused as to where they stand in the company and how their job is connected to others. A personalized training explaining their duties as well as the roles of other team members is a great way to make sure the work processes are streamlined and everyone knows exactly who does what.
- Company culture.
You may be thinking: what does a digital nomad have to do with a company culture? Yet, a strong company culture is essential for engaging in-house and digital nomads alike. This is also important for boosting a sense of cohesion and sharing common goals, which affects the company’s overall performance. In order to build this feeling of togetherness, training is highly recommended.
After you’ve decided that your digital nomad needs training and agreed on the tools and topics for that, the next step is planning.
Think about the budget. How much are you ready to spend on your software for training? If this is a remote team, think about how many people need access to the software and features that will be used. This may well eventually affect the training cost.
Next, decide whether you want to allow people to learn at their own pace or according to an established schedule. Of course when it comes to training a digital nomad, try to respect their freedom and flexibility. Why not get on-demand training so that your employees can access it when needed. Or how about a self-guided remote training? This will allow your digital nomad to set their own timelines and follow their own professional development plan.
With careful planning and the right tools, training your remote workforce is not as challenging as it seems. The cost and time spent on learning and development is a worthwhile investment that will benefit both sides. So why not go for it?