Steps to Better Engage Your Remote Learners

Remote employees—while not physically working at your office— still need training. In fact, despite some limitations of learning remote, the success of remote employees and distributed workforces often depends, as much or more than their in-office counterparts, on structured training. Several factors have historically prevented remote learners from a full learning experience, but there are steps to mitigate this. With a little bit of planning and a software like Lessonly, remote learners can feel right at home.

Remote learning engagement is hard

Thanks to technology, employees can often do jobs miles or continents away from their home office. Companies can spend lots of money gathering all their remote employees together for on-site training, or can significantly reduce those expenses by opting for an online learning program. Still, feedback from the Lessonly PeerView group, a select group of Lessonly customers, is consistent: keeping remote employees engaged during learning and training is difficult.

PeerView often discusses different tactics for remote training, ranging from a streaming laptop for in-person meetings, to making all team members, including in-house employees, take training remotely and doing a group video chat. The solution is often difficult and inelegant, and the PeerView group isn’t alone in this struggle.

For example, Statuspage.io wrote a blog about their experience trying to set up a remote team, and their eventual decision against it. “One of the biggest drawbacks to remote teams is the negative effect [it has] on an organization’s ability to communicate and work together. This impacts us pretty significantly.” Communication came up again—as the most frequent response—in this informal poll asking remote workers to identify their biggest challenge when working from home. Two screens sit between the main office and remote employees, and getting them to the screen is easy. But how do you keep their attention?

How to keep remote learners tuned in

Regardless of the number and distance of your remote employees, the first step in increasing interest and attention in your training is to evaluate your company’s learning process. If a majority of current learning consists of a manager reading information from a PowerPoint, their attention will plummet quickly. This style of “learning” bores people in the room, let alone people calling in. Instead, if you have group meetings like this in your training, try spending more time on discussion of the information. A study into effective virtual teams alluded to the R.A.M.P. Model, where R stands for “relationships.” Job training as a group event facilitates these relationships even further.

To create this time for discussion, without lengthening your training program, use Lessonly to build Lessons presenting pertinent information, and assign them to the team—before the group meeting.

Then the group can spend more time focused on active discussion and understanding rather than passively listening. Our brains are wired to retain information better when we think critically, get learners’ perspectives, and encourage their involvement in the conversation.

Take breaks! If your team has a few minutes to stretch their legs, grab coffee, and get some fresh air, you can reset their attention spans and ready them for more learning. Employees in the office will appreciate this as well, but breaks really benefit remote employees. And they’re less likely to drift into other activities on their computer during your training.

In addition to pre-meeting Lessons, Lessonly also comes in handy for making information stick after your session wraps up. Use Lessons to recap the information covered in the meeting and track responses and retention through Lessonly’s Gradebook. Avoid the dreaded pop quiz, though. Learners will feel more prepared to tackle your quiz if you inform them ahead of time. Springing it on them is a good way to induce anxiety and lower end results.

Engaging employees who aren’t in on-site largely boils down to making them feel like part of the team. They don’t necessarily want different or better treatment, just the same as everyone else. And software like Lessonly can help bridge the distance gap.

Start engaging your remote employees with Lessonly. Tour how you can use our product to build Lessons full of information your team needs to know. Sign up today.

In Employee Learning, Adult Learning Styles Matter
Adapting Existing Training Materials for Online Learning

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