To build an effective remote workforce, you need a robust onboarding process and training regime that molds new recruits into model employees.
But what does it take to create a training program that helps raise company productivity and support high-performing remote workers? How can remote tracking help?
In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of remote workforce training and cover the best practices so you can develop a regime that works for your company.
Identify Key Knowledge Areas
Before you go about creating compelling modules, drawing up job-specific resources, or anything else, spend some time identifying the key knowledge areas associated with the role in question.
Ask yourself the following:
- What does this candidate need to know about their responsibilities to perform their duties effectively from day one?
- What information, if not known, could lead to confusion?
- What do the day-to-day processes and workflows look like for this role?
To make it easier to organize and digest this information, you can have the HR team create a folder for each role to make it easily accessible.
With this information, the next step is to create internal knowledge bases, process documents, and tutorial videos that will comprise the foundational blocks of your training regime. From there, you’ll be able to set up a custom performance tracking system based on the expectations you outline.
In any company, there’ll be a general way of carrying out work-related activities and specific processes for individual roles.
With process documents, your goal is to clearly and succinctly lay out both.
Here are some examples of what to include in your process documentation:
- Standard operating procedures
- Templates for core tasks
- Underline key role-specific processes and outline them in detail
When detailing processes, leave nothing down to guesswork. Make every stage of the process explicit, and where possible, use screenshots or multimedia assets to clarify tasks.
Once upon a time, we would look to books and other written resources to learn how to write a company memo, draw up a report, or learn how to use a new tool.
These days, multimedia is king.
We now live in a time in which often our first instinct, when we don’t know how to do something, is to pull up YouTube and find an instructional video.
If you want to hire in 2023, then it’s wise to leverage this information and use it to make your training regime as effective as possible. If communicating information is most engaging and instructional through video, then you should make the effort to create as many video tutorials as necessary.
Here are some examples of how video can help onboard new employees:
- A comprehensive video walkthrough of the software tools they’ll use
- A brief video explanation of company values and expectations
- A series of short videos navigating internal systems to help familiarize employees with their new working setup
A knowledge base should be the culmination of everything you’ve drawn up based on the information you’ve identified for the role in question.
As such, it should contain everything from process documents and tutorial videos to reference information regarding different departments and teams.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown for creating and maintaining a highly informative knowledge base:
- Outline all the key areas of information you’ll target with the knowledge base and which job roles it will cover.
- Decide whether you’ll create one centralized knowledge base which every employee can reference or if there’s highly-specific information each team needs to access, in which case you can create several to accommodate every department.
- Determine the structure of the knowledge base. You can create one based on a role, a type of activity, a user experience, or a type of product.
- Choose a tool to build your knowledge base from the ground up.
- Populate your knowledge base with all your onboarding documentation and assign someone to keep the information up to date.
Keep it Engaging
For remote or hybrid working roles, there’s a unique challenge to consider when creating your training materials - attention spans.
It’s hard to keep someone engaged in your training courses and materials when they’re sitting in the comfort of their home. Distractions can be rife, and if your materials come across as too dry or dense, then you’ll have a hard time holding applicants’ attention.
Just as in the workplace, disengagement during training is a big issue, and it will almost certainly lead to lower levels of information retention.
To make training engaging, there are several things you can do:
Cater to Short Attention Spans
In the digital age, the average attention span is short.
While this may be a generalization, it’s not outrageous to suggest that technology has infiltrated our lives to the point at which our ability to focus for long periods of time is not what it used to be.
When faced with a torrent of emails and a deluge of mobile notifications every day, it’s no surprise that we have a hard time navigating long and monotonous tutorials or dense, neverending walls of text.
To create excellent training materials, focus on:
What does that look like in practice?
When possible, make your documents easy to scan by breaking them up into readable bullet point lists and short paragraphs. For videos, keep them short and focused on specific topics.
Use a variety of multimedia materials throughout your training resources to hold interest and attention. You can even implement gamification so that candidates feel another level of interaction with the materials as they go through them.
Implement Hands-on Learning
There’s nothing quite like practical, hands-on learning to raise the rate of information retention and create an outstanding workforce.
This is especially true if you have software for remote workers that you want new hires to become familiar with from day one.
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to onboarding new hires is to assume a level of digital literacy. Even if candidates have come across tools you use in previous roles, always lay out the basics and provide foundational knowledge for using each.
The way your company and teams use certain tools may be different from others, so it’s important to guide new hires through your processes.
The best way to do that is to have them get familiar with the tools as you guide them through how to use them.
Take productivity monitoring as an example.
Employee productivity monitoring software Insightful is a tool that has been recognized for its dedication to user privacy and, as such, is an excellent two-way productivity tracker.
That means that both your team leader and new hire have access to the latter’s productivity data through monitoring internet activity, improving overall accountability, and making performance reviews much easier.
If you use a computer use monitoring software tool like this, your training could include a 20-minute walkthrough of the pc surveillance software. Guide the candidates through the key workstation monitoring software features, how they can view their time data, and the main ways they can use it to grow into their new role.