Learning how to train new employees virtually seems like new territory, and it is for many companies. However, the economy has included remote workers for several decades. Sure, the technology is different now, and more people are "virtually commuting" than ever before. Still, training remote workers is nothing new.
As with any training or onboarding plan, the company must focus on a universal method. Every new employee should receive the tools for success right out of the gate. Discover five tips for training virtual employees and avoiding the common pitfalls.
1. Choose an Effective Delivery Mode
As you create your training materials for onboarding remote workers, you must decide on a delivery mode for the materials. The delivery method can be videos, PDFs, virtual meetings, training modules, or a combination.
The primary objective is to develop something understandable, accessible, and easy to navigate. You don't want to create highly technical manuals without offering walkthroughs or discussions on the material.
One helpful method is to take a cue from virtual schools. You can provide required reading and video lessons followed by a short quiz, ensuring everyone understands the material.
2. Prepare the Necessary Tools
When thinking of creative ways to onboard new employees virtually, employers can get bogged down on the creative and fun aspects, losing focus on the education objective. Yes, employees respond well when training material is innovative, but you cannot make fun the main focus of training.
The primary focus of onboarding is learning a specific role and how it fits within the company. Therefore, before thinking about creative exercises, get the bare bones together first. If you use PDFs, create, edit, and ready them for distribution. If you use an educational platform, work out all the kinks before training sessions begin and ensure all employees have the necessary criteria to access the system.
3. Deliver Training
How are you delivering the training materials to your new hires? Are you creating PDFs or Videos that you send directly to their corporate email accounts? Are you sending them invites to a training system?
Your delivery method should be simple and easy to understand. If the new hires need to access an educational portal, send them all essential links and log-in details. Also, include an email address or phone number so they can reach you if something doesn't work as intended.
4. Track the Learning Results
Tracking results is essential to an onboarding process. You must know that new hires understand the training materials. Knowing that trainees know the material is the only way to gauge when they are ready to move past training.
Educational and training modules are excellent tools for onboarding virtual employees. The tools allow managers to track individual progress and review test scores to know if and when new hires are ready to move on. Also, tracking will enable supervisors to assess who needs more help during training.
5. Know the Tips and Challenges of Remote Work Training
Having fun ways to welcome new employees virtually is an excellent method for ingratiating them to the company culture. Still, the fun does not equate to skilled performance. Employees must understand their role in a company and show competency before becoming productive team members. Fun can help break down barriers or quell nerves, but training is also essential; understanding this principle is the key to successful remote training.
Training new hires virtually presents challenges, but not necessarily unique ones. Remote work is an established employment route. Still, for companies unfamiliar with the process, it can seem daunting. Contact a remote work and training specialist to learn more about effective virtual onboarding practices.