Written by: Daniel Goodson // Jun 21, 2022
Last updated: Jan 17, 2023
With employee retention and hiring in crisis across virtually all sectors, keeping your team happy has never been more important – particularly now that so many employees work from home. Fortunately, professional training for your remote workforce can help you both attract and retain those skilled employees who keep your company humming.
Providing corporate training for your team shows them that you value their development and want to help forge a path for their advancement, preventing costly staff turnover. Although the remote workplace has complicated training efforts, you can still boost morale and skills with some targeted educational offerings. If you’re wondering how to train and upskill your remote workforce, use our tips to get started.
Identify the Greatest Needs of Your Remote Workforce
Before committing to the training you’ll offer your remote workforce, start by identifying your company’s needs. Have you spotted recurring skill gaps or process issues that are holding you back? In today’s online environment, there are several common areas where you may have noticed a need for upskilling:
- Emerging technologies and platforms
- Remote workforce management tools
- Customer service support
- Change management training
With that knowledge in hand, you can begin planning the type of training that will make the greatest impact on your company. This includes identifying exactly which employees will participate.
Provide Training Your Employees Can Use
Ensure any employee training you offer has clear value in the workplace. Your team won’t feel motivated to attend trainings or engage if they can’t see how it directly applies to their role. Before delivering workforce development training, provide context of why it’s important, why it’s being offered, and what you expect attendees to learn. Setting these expectations up front will help motivate and inform your team as they learn.
When you do start offering training, make sure it’s a tailored program without any extra fluff. Again, your team may tune out for the entire training session if they find any particular pieces irrelevant. Despite their smaller budgets, corporate training programs at smaller companies are often more productive because these businesses are better equipped to deliver specific skills training, identify the right employees to teach, and rapidly adjust to the changing needs of their remote workforce.
Prioritize Accessible Instruction
During your training sessions, it’s important to remember that you’re not trying to test your team’s knowledge at this point. You should provide clear, easy-to-understand instruction that directly addresses the skills gap you’re targeting. The more complex the topic, the simpler the delivery format and language should be. The key here is to remove any barriers that could hamper learning.
Besides ensuring content is easy to understand, it’s important to make it easy to access as well. You’re asking your team members to challenge themselves, confront their limitations, and master new skills. The easier you can make it to locate, view, and engage with the content, the greater the results you can expect. Videos, online modules, and live online instruction tend to work better than reading assignments without the opportunity for interaction. Again, you want to eliminate any barriers to learning that you can control, and that includes accounting for how your remote team will best absorb the concepts.
Make it a Team Experience
Even if your workforce is scattered across the country or globe, you can make the trainings team events designed to help build workplace relationships and reinforce concepts. Just emailing a link to webinars or training modules and asking employees to go off and learn the material on their own is unlikely to get results. Instead, treat your training as an opportunity to build team cohesion.
Considering ways to bring together team members will help foster engagement and accountability. Employees will be far more likely to consider material at a deeper level, ask questions, and begin incorporating it into their job responsibilities if they’re held accountable by the group setting. Even if your team completes an online module or watches a webinar independently, carve out time to bring all the participants together to discuss the concepts and clear up any confusion. For more interactive professional development courses, encourage questions, feedback, and post-lesson discussion.
Test Knowledge Retention to Determine Your Next Steps
Whether it’s a remote or onsite workforce, your upskilling effort shouldn’t be a “one and done” event. Once the professional development session has taken place, take the time to evaluate the training effectiveness. If you invested time and effort into supporting your remote workforce, it’s important that you make sure they gained the desired knowledge and skills through one or more assessment techniques:
- Quizzes to test concepts
- Exercises that allow employees to apply lessons
- Other interactive assessments measuring knowledge
- Anonymous surveys to identify additional needs
You can then use the results to determine the appropriate follow-up. Does your team need a refresher on one particular topic? Did any of the information not connect with your team because they didn’t see how it applied to their role? Are they struggling to implement lessons due to a current workplace process? With those answers, you can form a plan for how to move forward, whether it’s a review of any of the material, a new course, or a company process overhaul to fix a recurring issue.
Consider Hiring a Professional Development Provider
Not sure where to focus your employee training efforts? Struggling to identify your greatest company needs? It may be time to outsource your employee development efforts. An experienced corporate training team can identify and solve those skills gaps that are hurting your company while delivering the training today’s employees will connect with and value.
At USF, we have a long track record of delivering powerful corporate training for major corporations, such as Amazon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CAE USA, Centene (WellCare) Corporation, and Citibank. This includes both live online and onsite training options. Plus, training from USF is backed by in-depth follow-up sessions to ensure your team is applying the lessons learned, provide clarity on difficult concepts, and answer any remaining questions. If you’re ready to invest in training for your remote workforce, see what our team can offer.