Remote employees are not a new concept, and in fact have been an increasing part of the workforce with the remote workforce growing 159% between 2005 and 2017. The challenge of COVID-19, however, has forced companies with no prior experience in remote training to make the choice between rapidly adapting or halting onboarding altogether.
Read on for best practices for remote training amidst COVID-19.
1. Utilize screenshare and videoconferencing
Full-time remote employees often train through a dedicated Learning Management System, but for companies with traditional in person hiring and training, implementing a Learning Management System simply for the short term would be costly, time consuming, and inefficient. Instead, utilize no cost softwares such as Zoom Video or Google Hangouts, which are equipped with the ability to share a screen during a video call, so you can be as hands on as possible.
2. Loop in as many team members as possible
Whether it’s a 1 hour screen share with a different team member everyday, call shadowing, or even a brief get to know you call, allow new employees to work with as many people as possible. Alongside structured training, this will give different insights into how to do the job, help your trainee get to know team members at a more personal level, and shake up the routine of a training day.
3. Don’t shirk culture
While fairly obvious, bringing an employee into the culture of the office can be easily overlooked during remote training. An event as simple as a team virtual happy hour or a company wide video chat can be enough to help assuage the alienation of training with a team they’ve only few times (or never) met face to face. The more a new employee has the opportunity to meet team members and be a part of a larger interaction, the easier the assimilation back into the office will be.
4. Be consistent and accessible
As with everything surrounding COVID-19, there’s no prescribed formula, and everyone is navigating new waters together. Trainees rely heavily on managerial support while training, which is a much greater obstacle while remote. Maintain an open line of communication, stay honest about progress and goals, and don’t forget that we’re all working through this together.