After the pandemic, having a virtual team seems like the norm. With flexible or hybrid work on the rise, employees worldwide are now connected through a device.
There is little doubt that organizations require new approaches to impart the necessary skills to their dispersed workforce.
But managing virtual teams training can be a challenging task. You’ve to deal with diverse personalities, cultures, and languages. How can you ensure that your team is effective and well-versed in your organizational culture?
We’ve discussed how you can implement these strategies in your organization and how they can benefit you.
Importance of training in a virtual environment — how effective can it be?
Virtual training is proving to be a fantastic alternative to traditional methods. According to LinkedIn, 90 percent of companies offer their employees some form of digital learning. Companies now organize more virtual workshops than ever because of the ongoing advancement of virtual training solutions and their increased usability.
Why are organizations investing more in training in a virtual environment?
Cost-effective & reusable
Switching to e-learning methods means saving millions of dollars on training. Think that’s an exaggeration? IBM saved itself about $200 million by using technology-based distance learning for computer training, management development and new-product information for its sales force.
Moreover, once you make a video or virtual learning material, you can use it as many times as you want. As long as you follow the same techniques and workflows in the organization, you can just circulate the material as it’s still relevant.
A study from Brandon-Hall Group has shown that eLearning programs take around 40-60% less time to finish than comparable, classroom-based instructional courses. That means they have more time to invest in other work responsibilities.
Giving people the freedom to choose their training materials promotes trust-based learning culture. This lays the groundwork for higher employee engagement, motivation, and overall job satisfaction.
Accessible from anywhere
Employees can easily access their training modules anytime and from any location. This means they can start training whenever they want. The LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning report states 58 percent of employees prefer to learn or train at their own speed. They can also repeat sections of the material they’re struggling with.
Learning in a virtual environment allows participants to interact more. However, there’s not only one method you can go with. There are multiple virtual training modules to implement in your organization. Each can be tailored to your company and employee needs.
Types of virtual training: 4 Ways to engage your employees
A McKinsey survey found that 90 percent of organizations will follow hybrid work norms, which will necessitate virtual training. Other organizations are switching to a permanent, fully remote work model for 100 percent of employees.
So we can see that every organization has its ways of operating. Not every method of training might be effective. Whether you’re onboarding employees online or integrating new learning & development programs, you must pick wisely.
#1. Video modules
Pre-recorded tutorial videos can be animated or done with a human instructor. These are usually available on a platform that’s accessible to employees. This is also a flexible form of e-learning, as users can watch videos anytime.
You also have the option to play the video as long as you like. Video often works better than text because people prefer more interactive formats when understanding concepts.
Creating a training video isn’t too time-consuming either, all you need is the proper tools and materials. You can even add quizzes in the videos to test whether an employee is grasping the concepts properly.
#2. Web & mobile e-learning
A dedicated webpage with training materials can also help employees control the time, place and pace.
The page compiles all media formats, such as audio, video, text, etc. It can be quite useful to generate knowledge base materials with Scribe so you can embed them on your website.
The same can be said for mobile e-learning, as the learning management system can also be accessed on the phone. This puts an employee’s training in their palms.
#3. Instructor-led training
Although this might seem similar to video modules, there are differences. First, these sessions are not pre-recorded, so they happen in real-time. Thus, making it easier for employees to get their burning questions answered immediately.
This enables more collaboration and interactions with the other employees and the instructor. Moreover, it helps the instructors understand whether they need more comprehensive training materials or how to improve their training sessions better.
#4. Rapid learning
Nowadays, longer videos aren’t as engaging, as retaining employees' attention spans can be hard. What can be useful is breaking down training modules into smaller, more easily digestible parts.
Each module should typically last no more than 10 minutes and cover one learning objective comprehensively.
This allows users and readers to retain information more efficiently as each module focuses on one topic only. This way, organizations can reach new levels of efficiency and build strong personal connections with employees.
It can also be a good way to get out any news or announcements to employees quickly. Online learning makes it possible to adapt according to everyone's needs.
According to The State of Skills 2021 report, the pandemic accelerated the need for employees across functions to develop new skills. However, it’s not always possible to properly integrate these sessions without facing obstacles.
Tips & best Practices for effective remote training
Remote virtual team leaders and members collaborate using a variety of technologies. To properly transfer knowledge among employees, you’ve got to level up.
Here are some tips and tricks you can use to do that:
- Define KPIs ahead of time: Before mapping out your training plan, see what goals you want to achieve out of your program. It can be identified by seeing behavioral changes from time to time. Other examples can be seeing the frequency of training materials accessed by employees or even tracking the engagement rate. Without measuring these KPIs, it can be difficult to understand how well your programs may be faring.
- Create engaging sessions: Having the same video format play repeatedly can get monotonous. A trick we’ve already mentioned is breaking down sessions into smaller parts so that you can garner employee attention. Consider integrating fun trivia or Q&A sessions to break away from the regularly scheduled training.
- Keep employees accountable: Your employees may forget what they learned in their training sessions. How do you keep them immersed in the material? Once the training is over, you can hold one-on-one or group sessions with the participants later on. You can even give them assignments to see how they implement the strategies they’ve learned.
- Adapt training according to learning styles: Not everyone processes information similarly. When creating online training, your course design should allow all types of learners to understand your material. For example, having a person speak for 45 minutes of her without a presentation may work for some, but visual learners can suffer. In that case, try to have an approach that appeals to auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and literate learners.
- Generate knowledge-based training materials: Having training sessions here and there doesn’t pass on the necessary information to employees. Organizations must keep documentation at hand that explains their processes and workflows.
Tools like Scribe can help employees navigate the best ways to perform a certain task.
Here’s a Scribe of using Google sheets to analyze data:
Done right, your organization and team members will reap the benefits of working in a virtual environment.
Providing educational opportunities to employees can be rewarded them with more motivation and higher perceived value of the organization.
It can even help employees weather the various organizational changes your company might undergo.
Create effective virtual training materials with Scribe
Now that you have an overview of virtual team training, it's time to set up your own training.
Remember that the nuances of running a virtual team, such as dealing with different time zones, dealing with a lack of face-to-face interaction, and facilitating employee communication, carry over to virtual team training.
But don't be afraid!
You can use Scribe to generate a step-by-step guide for any process, along with screenshots, clicks, and text. That covers all the learning styles for any employee. Moreover, you can add your own company branding and edit the guidelines if they change over time. We even have some trusted reviews that say the same thing: