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Dmytro Spilka



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How To Establish Efficient WFH Training Strategies


Training programs for work-from-home (WFH) employees has become a prominent topic among business leaders in the post-Covid-19 age. Many companies of wildly different sizes have been tasked with adapting quickly to a brand new training model with little time to prepare. As we look to retain WFH roles within businesses in the future, it’s worth considering optimizing our onboarding and employee learning systems to ensure that no staff members are left behind. 

With more workers expecting to continue operating outside of their respective offices in 2022 and beyond, the need for adapting to a sustainable training model has become essential for businesses on a global scale.

(Image: Harvard Business Review)

As the table above shows, over 31% of employees in the US have indicated that they would like to spend all of their time working from home. This not only challenges businesses to adapt to their workforce’s new desires, but it could significantly aid the recruitment process for new talent in catering to such preferences. 

However, transitioning to a WFH training model and successfully implementing these new processes can be two different things entirely and many challenges stand in the way:

Confronting the Challenges of Remote Training

There are a number of challenges that businesses are tasked with in implementing remote training for WFH employees that aren’t as pertinent within in-house locations. 

Primarily, the lack of face-to-face supervision can be an issue for businesses. This is because employers have fewer ways of knowing just how engaged their employees are in the program - or, in some cases, whether they’re engaging in their training at all. 

Furthermore, a lack of access to information can be another major sticking point in training programs. Key information like gaining access to training programs, understanding what’s required of them, and navigating sources of information can all contribute to making WFH training a time-consuming and unfulfilling process. 

Employees who work from home are also largely isolated from colleagues, which can be extremely difficult when training can be a great means of team building and teaching new recruits about collaboration. However, just because employees are more isolated from their colleagues, it doesn’t mean that they’re free from distractions, and this can be another pain point for businesses who require their employees to focus on training materials in a busy home environment. 

Finally, there’s the issue of technical challenges, which can be brought on by a lack of compatible technology or slower home internet connections. 

All in all, WFH training can be difficult to implement for businesses shifting to more remote models. However, there are a number of measures that can be taken to ensure that employees are as engaged, collaborative, and content as possible with their training programs. 

Building Towards Accessibility

It’s important to make sure that your online training programs are as accessible as possible for employees. This means that you should actively seek to refrain from allowing them to lose themselves in a sea of passwords and navigational breadcrumb trails. 

If your LMS is difficult to navigate, or hidden among a string of passwords, it could be worth launching your own elearning via a secure web link, or alternatively, setting up individual logins for remote employees with Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication - which can enable them to access the content they need without the distraction of having to navigate a maze of secure pages. 

Encourage Teamwork

Another challenge to overcome is the isolating effect of remote work through training programs. The term remote worker refers to an employee who operates in a location that’s devoid of face-to-face interaction with colleagues and customers alike. 

In fact, according to Cigna’s 2020 Loneliness Index, WFH employees were more likely than their in-house counterparts to always or sometimes feel alone. This can lead to lower productivity, a higher likelihood of missing work through illness, and remote workers are five-times more likely to miss a day due to higher stress. 

It’s for this reason that it’s essential that employers use training programs to ensure that their employees always feel as though they’re part of a team, and that their colleagues are accessible whenever they’re required. 

One of the best ways of ensuring that this happens is through group training sessions via video conferencing platforms like Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. Encourage employees to collaborate in teams and solve puzzles by presenting them with scenarios to overcome. 

This peer-to-peer learning practice replicates that all important ‘human touch’, and improves communication among distributed teams. 

Leverage the Right Tools

We’ve already touched on video conferencing software, but there’s a wide range of tools available to ensure that businesses can cater to their WFH employees and their training needs with ease. 

Video conferencing can be great for ensuring that workers can collaborate in real-time whilst employers can ensure that they’re fully engaged in their tasks, but there’s a wide range of comprehensive LMS platforms that businesses can turn to for a more comprehensive training setup.

From utilizing a new Slack channel for new or existing employees to work together on solving challenges, to purpose-built programs like Articulate Online, and 360 Learning, which can enable businesses to construct their own courses and monitor employee learning paths along the way. 

Alternatively, online tools can also be used to create quick and easy visually-engaging presentations, where companies are capable of downloading both free and paid-for educational templates that are both visually engaging and informative for audiences. 

Prioritize Adaptability

Although there’s plenty of tools and considerations that can be taken on board when establishing a winning WFH training program, it’s essential that employers uphold their office culture within their training strategy. 

At this stage, it’s important to remember that employers should be helping their staff to adapt to their company culture at every opportunity to maintain a higher level of job satisfaction. 

Although it may be impossible for workers to physically meet, their training can be great ways of encouraging more light hearted team games that can help them to learn and enjoy communicating within their team. 

By helping them to adapt better to their company culture, employees will be less hesitant when it comes to reaching out for help in the future. 

Although face-to-face communication is difficult to beat when it comes to employee training, there’s nothing stopping employers from creating an engaging educational environment online for new recruits and existing employees alike. By utilizing the right tools and encouraging more collaboration, it’s possible to create a winning formula for employee growth in the age of WFH.

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Dmytro Spilka


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