Discover how to perfect your training plans for remote employees, deliver engaging learning and development programs, and work with your managers to communicate a learning culture.
For many businesses, remote and hybrid working demands new skills and the reevaluation of existing processes.
Seamless communication and collaboration are necessities, and as research conducted by EY shows, flexibility has become the norm for employees traditionally based in an office, and 33% want to work entirely remotely. In addition, 52% of employers consider developing remote worker skills and providing them with the necessary tools a priority.
A remote training plan addresses individual needs and creates a people-first experience, making it easy for your employees to enjoy impactful learning, no matter their location.
12 Ways to Leverage a Learning Platform for Remote Training Programs
Think of a learning platform like a toolkit. Within it is everything you need to fine-tune your existing training programs and bring your data together into one place to facilitate seamless content creation, deliver virtual training, and track the impact of employee learning.
1) Set Realistic Expectations Through Performance Goals
Realistic goals and expectations set your people up for success and nurture continuous learning habits. Training and development objectives should be clearly outlined from the outset, shared with your people, and reinforced regularly through performance conversations and goal tracking.
You should also help your people fulfill these expectations by placing milestones and deadlines at the end of activities within learning and development pathways. This way, you break down tasks and training into small, manageable steps and set attainable targets.
2) Invest in Manager Training
According to findings from the Bridge sponsored Future of Performance Management report, managers in high-performing organizations are nearly twice as likely to have received training to help employees set goals and engage in performance management practices.
Equip managers with soft skills training and give them the chance to practice and refine communication on the job. Investing in training your managers will help them meet the needs of their people and strengthen personal connections.
3) Let People Learn at Their Own Pace
In a remote working environment, some learners might be busy and may need to switch between different apps and tools throughout the day, making it challenging to devote long blocks of time to eLearning.
Giving your people the choice to learn at times suited to their schedules and preferences offers greater flexibility to engage in self-directed learning. When training is broken down into manageable and engaging microlearning formats with clearly set deadlines, it's easier for your people to regularly make time between tasks or during downtime.
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4) Build Touchpoints With Employees
The data from Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report shows that remote employees are more likely to agree that they have the tools and resources needed to thrive at work than their on-site counterparts. However, they're also more likely to report lower levels of engagement in the workplace.
Insight into how work gets done and when people are at their peak productivity isn't always readily available when you don't share a workspace. Getting to know your people and uncovering what motivates and drives them can give managers the insight needed to connect employees with training and career development opportunities that are meaningful and engaging.
Managers should promote conversations and informal check-ins and gather information about how people like to learn, communicate, and receive feedback. Creating these connection points with a remote workforce is about sharing a vision and purpose, and managers need to communicate why learning is important, how it applies to employees' jobs, and how it will make people successful.
When people know what's expected of them, how their efforts contribute toward success, and what training opportunities will help them develop their skills, they can align their performance goals with training opportunities available to them.
5) Track Employee Training and Development With Shared Agendas
Managers and employees should use an agenda to record skills feedback, learning progress, and on-the-job performance. It's also a good idea to document any accomplishments, discuss learning and development, and for managers to get into the habit of calling out good work.
When both managers and employees record talking points from weekly conversations, information can feed into formal performance reviews and talent reviews, providing a well-rounded view of each employee's strengths and areas for improvement. This is useful to overcome recency bias, especially in remote teams with less visibility into daily work.
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6) Make Learning Resources and Like-Minded Peers Easy to Find
When your content is available on-demand to learners through your LMS and appropriately tagged with the relevant skills, learners can easily find programs that match their career aspirations. Making learning resources easy to find also helps your people minimize disruption to their workflow, as they can access the information they're looking for when they need it and apply it directly to their role.
You can extend this practice to support collaborative learning through remote mentoring and skills communities. By creating opportunities for employees to reach out to peers and mentors based on current and desired skills, you create communities of learners and enable them to share knowledge and support each other in their development—no matter where they’re based.
7) Keep Learners In the Loop With a Mobile App
An app for mobile learning is a handy feature that bridges the gap between you and your remote workers, and makes delivering and tracking learning seamless for employees that aren't always in front of a computer. Remember—the goal is to meet learners where they are, wherever they are!
If content isn't optimized across your devices, chances are it won't be useful or accessible to learners. A mobile app that works seamlessly with your learning platform gives any employee with a smartphone the same access as office-based employees to timely updates, multimodal courses, and community building via course recommendations and the ability to contribute to group agendas.
Employees working away from a desk, in the field, or on the go can still access online training resources, search the learning library, and keep ahead of deadlines with push notifications. It's also a great way for managers and admins to check on progress, share course and program links, and review checkpoints.
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8) Create Interactive Learning Experiences
A Deloitte survey of global workers shows that although 41% of employees believe remote work improves productivity, they also feel it's harder to build connections with coworkers. As a result, they're more likely to feel isolated.
To reach remote learners, you need to create touchpoints and make online training collaborative. Synchronous learning environments are a useful way to bring small cohorts of learners together, giving them a chance to practice role-based scenarios and give and receive feedback. This makes learning more interactive and dynamic for your people, creating an environment for group sharing, real-time participation, and live Q&A formats.
By incorporating live training sessions, virtual classrooms, and webinars, you foster an environment in which your employees can interact with one another, work together, and ask instructors questions.
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9) Use Quizzes and Checkpoints to Assess Knowledge
When building learning and development pathways for remote employees, consider the best ways to check that your people are progressing and that they can apply their training—no matter where they work. Knowledge checks in the form of assessments and quizzes can help boost recall rates and provide a snapshot of how people learn via your learning analytics platform.
Intentionally place checkpoints at key moments during learning and development programs. This keeps people progressing toward training goals and creates opportunities for managers and peers to review and provide feedback on their development based on how they retain and use the knowledge and skills they learn.
Requiring learners to submit evidence, such as scenario-based assessments or certificates, means managers can keep up with learner achievements without fear of micromanagement. Managers can also assess the evidence before learners progress along the training program and schedule check-ins to provide feedback.
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10) Integrate Recognition and Skills Feedback Into Learning and Development Programs
In an environment where your people work remotely, it's important to ensure that hard work is always recognized, and feedback is timely and unbiased. Integrating practical exercises and experiential training into your learners’ daily workflows can increase transparency and visibility into their development. For a more comprehensive assessment of how well they apply new skills, consider leveraging feedback from multiple sources across your organization.
Gathering input from peers, managers, and mentors who work closely with employees and delivering continuous feedback gives learners an in-depth view of how they’re developing a particular skill. Skills assessments can provide personalized feedback and reveal previously unseen training needs.
11) Turn Your Subject Matter Experts Into Content Creators
Subject matter experts are a valuable learning resource with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. By tapping into this up-to-date expertise and insight and putting SME-created content in front of your people, you break down silos and encourage knowledge sharing.
An easy-to-use eLearning authoring tool turns your SMEs into expert content creators, putting the power to seamlessly design, edit, and publish engaging and interactive content in their hands. Tapping into their collective knowledge means that your experts can be called on to simplify complex topics and add a splash of personality to training resources while freeing up valuable time for instructional designers.
It's not just about the time-saving benefits or about leveraging your subject matter experts and content champions to enrich your strategy. Encouraging familiar faces to step in front of the camera and create interactive and engaging resources can also build communities by encouraging discussion and sharing among remote learners.
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12) Engage in Regular Career Conversations
Goal alignment and expectation setting help people to take ownership of their own learning and development objectives, and a central part of this is manager-employee discussions.
Managers should touch on skills development as part of their regular check-ins with employees and ask people what they learned and how they apply it in their jobs. These conversations could be scheduled ahead of time for key events like when an employee has completed a course or assignment or following a round of skills feedback. This way, lines of communication are always open for remote workers, leading to closer alignment of goals and helping to overcome any feelings of isolation.
By conducting regular career conversations, your managers and employees can work together to define what skills they want to develop and create personalized and actionable development plans that connect them with relevant training opportunities.
Create Remote Employee Training and Development Programs That Resonate With Bridge
Effortlessly create and deliver training to develop and connect your remote workers, and track their progress with Bridge. Bridge's LMS (Bridge Learn) and Performance Management system (Bridge Perform) are available as standalone products or a combined offering, giving you all the tools you need to build employee skills and drive results. Request a demo to find out more.