A recent study confirmed that approximately 4.7 million people were already working remotely from home before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.
It is no news that the pandemic has overhauled all workplace dynamics and we are today witnessing the “new normal” of remote operations. Call it anything from hybrid to remote to flexible, most organizations are still stumbling to find the right balance between productivity, employee satisfaction, and most importantly, achieving the business goals. Hence, it indicates the need to switch to remote learning or introduce the practice, with a large part of the workforce on a remote work mode.
Why Remote Learning?
With strict social distancing and lockdown measures in place, for months now, employees around the world have been forced to work from home, and naturally, this has had an impact on the way that training is delivered. Moving on to become an integral component of the workplace in the future, remote learning and development (L&D) is easier said than done, effectively. But with digital transformation efforts in overdrive, businesses can undoubtedly seize the opportunity to enhance their training initiatives.
Though it is going to be a huge challenge to recreate the high impact trainer-led classroom sessions in a scenario where the entire workforce is on remote working mode. And there are several impediments like the need to streamline the whole remote learning on digital platforms to creating customized training content.
However, by adopting the right tips and strategies that engage the remote learners, this goal can be met successfully, or to be practical, if not fully, but significantly, and then improved over time.
Top Remote Learning Strategies at Work
So here are a few proven pragmatic strategies for business leaders to consider to give a much-needed boost to remote learning (remote L&D).
- Remote Learning Amalgamation: Switching to remote learning will require organizations to invariably sort and store all the L&D resources into a unified portal or platform to enable employees to find the materials they need easily and efficiently. This can also ensure that inductions of new employees can be done seamlessly since they can easily and quickly access the training and eLearning materials.
- Digital Adoption Platform Implementation: With newly remote employees having to adapt to using a lot of new technology, expediting the training processes by implementing a digital adoption platform (DAP) is a key strategy. Integrating DAPs with existing LMS and offering walkthroughs and videos to guide users through the new technology can help supplement their remote learning.
- Content Formats: Experimenting with a mix of content formats can help employees get the most out of their remote learning experiences. A combination of articles, videos, slideshows, and interactive content, such as webinars can ensure a variety of learning styles which could turn out to be something for everyone.
- Lunch & Learn Sessions: Lunch-and-learn sessions are a trending and amazing internal remote learning strategy involving employees who gather via video conference, and the eLearning provider presents the training session.
These can help provide structured opportunities for professional development and make sure that your employees are honing their skills in important areas for your industry. Lunch-and-learns with multiple team members also offer employees the chance to ask each other questions about tools and about the content they’re learning. It is also a great way for formal colleagues to meet.
- Designing Manageable Milestones: Creating shorter and manageable chunks, with a series of sessions that do not exceed 60-75 mins each.
Including live sessions, break-out sessions and activities, re-grouping, and interactions with colleagues or facilitators.
- Encourage Engagement: With a manifold increase on remote learning and training, the focus shifts towards the approaches to increase remote learner engagement.You could use strategies like:
Reward learners: Rewarding remote learners with a certification is a motivator to complete a program and to look forward for more.
Immersive strategies: Investing in approaches like VR, Games, Scenario-Based Learning, Interactive Story-Based Learning, Interactive Video-Based Learning, etc. can guarantee an engaging learning experience for your remote learners.
- Buddy System: It is not uncommon for team leaders to not have the opportunity to discuss remote learning courses with each of their team members and answer their questions individually. How about giving them a ‘buddy’ each? From peer feedbacks to collaborating, a buddy system can make life easy for leaders, especially with regard to new employees.
- Track Employee Progress: The key to any successful remote learning strategy is to track the progress of the employees who underwent the training and make updates to courses and materials when necessary. Monitor your employees’ progress and completion rates as they go through courses, and follow up with people who seem to be struggling.
Having said these, it is also important for organizations to focus on creating training materials and devising remote learning (L&D) strategies intended at the individual, and not the masses. This is because customized materials will take into account differences in learning styles, members of staff might struggle to focus and understand how they can implement training materials into their day-to-day roles.