Tips for training remote team members

Ways to keep learning and development a priority when your team is working from home.

According to a study by Linkedin, 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning and 68% of employees say that training and development is the company’s most important policy.

When a team goes remote, training — along with everything else — becomes more of a logistical challenge. So, here are some tips to help your team get the training and development they need, wherever they are in the world. 

Create a checklist

There are certain things that everyone in your team needs to know (e.g. how to access the server) and others that are specific to certain roles. 

Either way, you shouldn’t have to start from scratch with every new-hire or role-change. This is where a checklist comes in — a template of tasks that can be repeated time and time again so everyone’s on the same page. 

With a checklist, a team member can hit the ground running on their first week with things to do and there is a clear path for them to follow. This will make them feel more confident and comfortable in their role. 

Never assume knowledge

Even with a repeatable checklist, training is not one-size-fits-all and everyone has their own experience and knowledge. The best way to find out is to simply have a conversation.

Ask them what they already know and what they think they could build on. There’s no point in asking your new team member to learn about Slack when they used it for 2 years in their last job. A conversation will help you to fully understand where they are and what needs to be done. 

Build for different learning styles

According to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, there are 8 different learning styles, ranging from auditory to social and more. 

For training, this means taking a multi-media approach. With some time investment upfront, you can create a suite of training assets across articles (for those who learn by reading) to videos (for those who prefer visual learning) and workshops (for those who retain information through conversations). 

By providing options to suit different learning styles, your entire team will choose what best suits them and they’ll be more likely to engage with training and development. 

Assign a mentor

Sometimes you just need someone to turn to when you have a question. For each member of the team, there should be a designated person who helps them along their training and development journey. 

Usually, this will be their line manager, or even a designated Learning and Development Officer, but if you don’t have someone in place, you could always bring a virtual development team on board (we can help you there). 

Set clear deadlines

How to make training a priority? Set clear, actionable deadlines. There will be some tasks that need to be approached straight away (e.g. setting up emails, joining the team Slack etc) and others that can be tackled later on.

This doesn’t just go for new-starts — setting deadlines will help your team to actually make time for their training. 

Have regular check-ins

When a full team works remotely, it can be difficult to gage how everyone’s getting on. Block some time in the calendar at least every month to have a check-in specifically  about training. 

Use this time as an opportunity to help them set goals and track where they are on reaching them. They can also use this time to talk about any skills they’d like to learn or role changes they’d be keen to make. 

Set a learning and development budget

Recently, more and more businesses have been setting an annual learning and development budget for employees and handing the reins over to them. 

By giving your team control of their own budget, they can go to workshops in their area and take things at their own pace. Whatever their learning style, wherever they are, whatever they’re interested in — they’ll choose something that genuinely engages them (and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?).

Use technology to your advantage 

From Slack applications to video-training platforms like Tech Warriors, there are thousands of ways you can use technology to automate training and development in your company. 

The benefits of this? You save time. You save money. Plus, if you have teams in different parts of the world, they can get cracking on learning and development while you sleep. That’s time-zone hacking at its finest. 

Here at ibLE, we have an entire blackbook of virtual experts who can help you with all of the above. From developing L&D checklists, to upping your tech stack and checking in on your  people — they can help to keep training and development a priority, for every member of your team, all year round. 

Want to get started? Register to meet your ibLE expert now