The office of the present and future is hybrid. Technology has evolved sufficiently that many of today's employees can perform their job duties anywhere they have an internet connection. They no longer need to be in the office during regular business hours.
While letting employees work remotely has benefits, such as increased productivity for companies and better work-life balance for team members, it can create challenges. You need a way to train employees in a remote work environment.
Learning management systems are the most effective solution for onboarding remote and hybrid employees. Learn how to work remotely with an LMS.
A hybrid workforce is a working model that combines on-site, in-office work with remote work. How a hybrid office model works can vary by company. Your organization might require employees to be on-site a certain number of days per week and give them the option of working from home the rest of the time.
You might also let employees choose whether to work on-site or remotely. Some companies have specific teams or departments that show up in person, while everyone else works remotely. Some employees might choose to work remotely 100% of the time, while others might prefer to be in-office 100% of the time.
A hybrid workforce recognizes that there's been a shift in how people do their jobs. Thanks to technology, it no longer matters as much where employees complete their work — what matters most is how and when it gets done. If employees are more productive working from home, that's the option they should embrace.
Many aspects of the workday employees once performed in person can adapt to the hybrid model. You can onboard, train and manage employees remotely using various software platforms and technologies.
Whether they work from home some or all the time, your remote team needs to be as well-trained as your on-site team. The following tips reduce discrepancies in training and ensure your entire team understands what they need to do.
An internet-based LMS is a fully online training course. Employees access the LMS from anywhere with an internet connection. They can log in to the system from their work laptop at home or on a mobile device when they're on the go.
Internet-based LMS can operate on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. SaaS gives your company access to the platform for as long as you pay the subscription fee. You don't have to pay for the newest versions or purchase new equipment to keep up to date. Importantly, your employees don't have to download anything to their devices.
One significant benefit of an internet-based training assignment is that it's location-agnostic. A new hire can log onto the system and complete an assigned course from the comfort of their home. If they prefer to be in the office, they can log on from a company computer and complete the training assignment there.
Beyond allowing your team to access the LMS from anywhere, there are other benefits of using an internet-based platform.
It automates training: An internet-based LMS keeps employees current on their training requirements as it automates the process. Once you onboard an employee, you can set up a training schedule for them. Depending on the schedule, the employee will get notifications that it's time to complete a new course. The platform also ensures that employees always have access to the appropriate courses.
It scales: As your organization hires new team members, you need an LMS that grows with you. An internet-based platform scales easily. You don't have to install the platform on individual devices. Instead, you only need to grant users permission or access to the system. As you need to add more employees, you pay for more subscribed users.
It's affordable: An internet-based LMS is often more cost-effective than an on-premises system. You pay monthly rather than upfront, which makes budgeting for the software easier.
It's secure: Security is critical for any organization. An internet-based LMS can be considerably more secure than an on-premises system, as features such as encryption and secure socket layer provide protection. The system also backs up automatically, protecting your data.
It's collaborative: Employees can interact and collaborate on an internet-based LMS. Once an employee completes a training, their supervisor can review it and provide feedback.
It increases flexibility: Today's employees need flexibility more than ever. An internet-based LMS lets them complete tasks and training programs on their own schedule. If an employee needs to work through a course late at night or on the weekend, they can. They can also complete trainings while on the road or away from home.
When some people work remotely mostly or always and others are in the office, a hierarchy can develop. One way to level the playing field for all employees is to focus on equality in training. Instead of offering two forms of training — one remote and one in person — eliminate the in-person options.
Requiring everyone to complete the training online, even if they exclusively work in the office, makes your company more inclusive. Employees have the same training experience, no matter their preferred work format.
Sticking to an online-only training program has additional benefits. It allows you to introduce courses more frequently. Instead of finding an instructor to lead multiple training programs, have them record and upload the classes. Employees can then access training from wherever, whenever they have time in their schedules.
Online training programs allow employees to work through the course on their time and at their preferred pace. They can pause the training if they have questions and ask their supervisor for clarification. They can also pick up the training during slower periods, allowing them to improve their skills while still being productive.
There is a drawback to getting rid of in-person training. When employees complete training programs online, they can feel isolated. They don't get the interaction provided by face-to-face programs.
One way to work around that is to encourage employees to talk to each other about what they learned. An employee can discuss their training with a supervisor during a feedback session. They can also talk to their co-workers while going through the training or afterward.
Everyone learns differently, and what works for some employees might not be effective for others. Some of your team members might enjoy taking a break for a training session in the middle of the day. Others might prefer to complete a course during their downtime, such as at night or on the weekend.
Allow your employees to access on-demand training to streamline the process and ensure they complete the modules they need. Along with allowing team members to access training on their schedules, there are other benefits to creating an on-demand program.
Breaks information down: Employees tend to digest information more readily when they receive it in smaller chunks. You can break down a course into short, easily digestible articles or videos with on-demand learning. Bite-sized information pieces tend to be more relevant to employees' needs. Someone can read a 500-word blog post or watch a two-minute explainer video to get the answer to a question right away.
Works anywhere: The on-demand concept means employees can access training whenever and wherever they need. An employee might decide to spend part of their weekend improving their skills or learning something new. Using an on-demand model gives them the freedom to improve themselves, which can then increase productivity and make them even more valuable for your organization.
Saves time and money: On-demand trainings are more cost-effective than hiring an instructor to provide scheduled programs. The instructor can record training, which your organization can upload and use repeatedly. Going on-demand also saves the instructor time, as they can lead the training module once rather than again and again.
Can be incorporated into the workflow: Employees can reference on-demand courses when they need to, like when they're working on a project and have questions about how to complete a task. They can easily reference the program as often as necessary until they've mastered the skills.
Employees won't get much from training that consist of 40-minute video lectures. They need to engage and interact with the training material to get anything out of it. You can try several things to make training fun and interactive.
Ask questions: Break up the training and give employees a chance to test their knowledge by asking quiz questions every so often. You can have a multiple-choice question pop up several minutes into a training video, asking an employee for a recently provided answer. If the employee provides the right answer, they can go on. If they don't, encourage them to go back and review the video.
Give rewards: Gamification keeps people engaged and creates friendly competition. As employees, complete modules, give them badges that mark their progress and motivate them to keep working. You can also set up a virtual leaderboard to encourage people to compete against each other. Another option is to give physical rewards, such as gift cards or bonuses, to employees as they work through training or complete additional courses.
Keep it short: The shorter, the better when it comes to employees' attention spans and online training assignments. Think of a page-turning novel. It might be 300 pages long, but each chapter is only a few pages. A person can devour it in a few hours because they keep saying, “I'll just read one more chapter.” A 300-page novel with 20-page chapters usually takes longer to get through, since people lose motivation when faced with longer passages. The same is true for lessons. Someone will move quickly through eight five-minute videos but will hesitate to start a single 40-minute lesson.
Add images: Imagery grabs people's attention and illustrates challenging concepts. Instead of listing stats and figures in a course, include charts and graphs that show why those numbers are relevant. Infographics, illustrations and photos also help break up information, making it easier to scan.
Use storytelling: People love stories and will remember information more readily when presented in story form. Use illustrative language, metaphors and other literary techniques when creating course content so learners are more likely to be interested and engaged when they work through a training assignment.
Ask for feedback: Allow employees to share their thoughts and advice after each lesson. There might be room for improvement with each of your courses. Your team can provide valuable insight into what worked and what didn't. If you make changes based on their comments, they'll see the improvements and will be more likely to continue to engage and interact with your training program.
When employees complete training programs remotely, you can't take attendance as you would in an in-person training session. But you can see the results of the program and test for participation.
A reporting system shows you which employees have completed a specific program. It also gives you insight into how many times employees have attempted a particular course, how often people failed to complete the course and how many people passed it.
Monitoring your LMS lets you identify pain points and make changes or upgrades as needed. You might notice a significant percentage of employees don't complete a particular course or need to repeat it. You can then adjust to allow more people to finish it.
The training content could be too challenging for your team, in which case breaking down concepts even further can help. Perhaps one specific course is dry and unengaging. Adding images, stories or interactive features like quizzes can help keep employees' attention and encourage them to complete that part of the training.
Employee feedback should also be part of your monitoring system. Give employees a chance to comment on system accessibility and course content. If a significant number of employees note that they had trouble opening specific files or streaming specific videos, you can use that feedback to investigate further.
Similarly, you can make purchasing decisions going forward or create a bring-your-own-device policy based on employees' comments. People might note the course worked better on a specific operating system or browser. You can then recommend other employees use those same tools when accessing the LMS.
Think about what you want to gain from an LMS for remote employees. Your organization might have multiple training goals.
Initial training: Your LMS can provide employees with the training they need when starting with your company. Your goals here might be to introduce new team members to the company, provide background on the organization's history and mission and provide detailed information on regulatory requirements. It can also show employees the basics of working for you, such as how to sign up for a retirement plan, how to get insurance, and how to set up direct deposit.
Leadership training: If your company wants to promote from within, a leadership training program identifies and develops the managers and executives of tomorrow. Your leadership training program might have two goals. It might first identify the employees who have management potential. It can then teach them how to be effective leaders.
Keep skills current: Technology always changes, and your team needs to stay current. In regulated industries, standards and requirements change frequently. As your software needs evolve or as new regulations take effect, you can set up training modules to address those changes in your LMS.
New task training: Your employees' roles might evolve over time, whether they get promoted or not. You can create online training modules that teach employees how to complete new tasks or that show them how to use new software platforms to perform the tasks they already have.
Interpersonal skills training: Every employee needs competency with interpersonal skills. While some people naturally have high emotional intelligence, others need to work on building it. Your training program can provide valuable modules to employees that help them develop interpersonal and communication skills. These modules can also protect your company by providing any required harassment training.
Force retrain: If you notice one of your employees has yet to master a course's content, the force retrain feature can help. Essentially, this feature allows supervisors or managers to require an employee to repeat a course, ensuring they can successfully complete the assignment with a full understanding of the material.
Organizations in regulated industries have used ISOtrain for decades to maintain compliance with training requirements. ISOtrain is a dynamic product that keeps up with ever-changing management and regulatory agency environments.
Whether some or all your team is remote, you can take control of your training program with ISOtrain. You can manage the full life cycle of a course:
Assign courses to employees
Monitor employee progress
Assess employees' qualification status
Your employees get notifications whenever a new course is available. They also get alerts about new requirements and what they need to do to maintain certification or compliance.
ISOtrain is internet-based and fully remote. You access it through a personalized dashboard. Employees attend virtual classes or complete informal learning programs. The platform also integrates your human resources, document management system and third-party products.