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4 Tips to Provide Effective Training for Remote Workers

Michael McPherson
by 
Michael McPherson
on November 08, 2018

While training for remote workers is a must in certain industries, it’s also a way of meeting the rising popularity of mobile learning. Here are a few ways to ensure your organization provides great learning experiences for this growing group.

Construction worker in the field

Remote work has been one of the most notable workforce trends in recent years. For employees such as field workers or salespeople, the ability to work and learn remotely is often one of the integral facets of their job.

The landscape is also changing for employee cohorts who traditionally spend all of their time in one company office. In a recent survey, 70% of professionals in the US were found to spend at least one day a week working remotely, with more than half doing so for at least half of the week.

In today’s digitally-advanced world, the concept of ‘office anywhere’ means more people are embracing non-traditional working habits. The appetite for remote working is growing, with 37% of employees saying they would change jobs in order to have the ability to work where they want at least part of the time.

Online and offline access to learning materials on almost any device is a critical part of training remote workers.
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According to a Gallop report, a balance of remote and face-to-face time still produces the best outcomes in terms of productivity and learning. Researchers Towards Maturity echo this, suggesting that a blended learning approach is an ideal way for learning teams to “bridge the gap” between face-to-face training and other forms of learning.

So how can organizations provide training for remote workers more easily? Let’s explore a few fundamental ways to reach remote workers and ensure their learning is effective.

1. Use Single Sign-On Access Training for Remote Workers

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a key way to reduce the barriers to accessing learning and make life simpler for learners to get to what they need.

More than two-thirds of high-achieving organizations use it to make their learning administration more automated, compared to less than half of other businesses. However, there has been a steady and significant rise in the number of organizations using SSO in recent years, with a 51% increase in the three years to 2016.

SSO has become an everyday part of online navigation and management, with sites such as Google using it to give people access to all of their cloud-based applications with one log-in.

From a learning point of view, when it’s combined with mobile systems, SSO gives remote workers the flexibility to access learning wherever they are.

A good example of this is CERN, the world’s largest physics lab, which implemented SSO when it replaced an internally-developed LMS with NetDimensions LMS. This move provided a large and dispersed learning audience with straightforward access to multiple systems while maintaining stringent security protocols.

2. Make Sure You Can Track Training for Remote Workers

While fully-remote workers are 31% more likely than non-remote employees to feel that they have the opportunity to perform at their best every day, proper measurement of learner progress is vital for any organization.

In sectors where remote working is part of the job—like in the energy industry—supporting employees and carrying out assessments can seem like a major challenge.

Many of PeopleFluent Learning’s clients manage sites that are in remote areas or offshore, creating little or no online access or cellular coverage.

In these scenarios, online and offline access to learning materials on almost any device becomes a critical part of training for remote workers. An LMS should be able to support learning regardless of internet connectivity and synchronize reports back to create a single system of record. This means that full audit reports can be compiled, and organizations can remain fully inspection-ready at any time.

3. Use Video Learning to Enhance Training for Remote Workers

Technology makes it easy for teams to collaborate wherever they are, but impactful video learning can be particularly important for learners working outside of a traditional face-to-face environment.

Four out of five organizations now use video learning to capture and share internal practices and improve their learning programs. It’s a highly effective way of creating a permanent resource that team members working anywhere can access whenever they need to.

Enabling employees to quickly access short video resources prior to a sales pitch sets them up to lead a successful product demonstration.
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User-generated content is also proving an increasingly popular way for employees to share knowledge and receive feedback from their colleagues. By using a webcam or recording device, learners working remotely can communicate their experiences and swap ideas instantly.

One situation in which this can be highly useful is in an external sales meeting. For example, employees who are able to quickly access short video resources prior to a sales pitch are more likely to make a successful product demonstration.

Employee watching a video resource

4. Provide Training for Remote Workers that Can Be Consumed on Any Device

As we’ve touched on, the ability to learn anytime, anywhere is very important to remote worker engagement and performance.

We know that mobile devices break down barriers to learning and give employees more freedom as learners. However, this creates the challenge of deploying mobile learning effectively to a variety of devices beyond company laptops.

In our work with Finnair Flight Academy, for example, the learning audience was a community of pilots. They connected through whichever device they personally owned and were most comfortable with.

One of the main reasons the academy chose to use NetDimensions LMS was for its ability to create robust training for remote workers that could be delivered and managed on almost any device and screen size.

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