29 Sep Corporate Training in a Post-Lockdown World
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have disrupted routine lives in more ways than one around the world, including in the UK. As offices and educational institutions sent most everyone home in the fight against COVID-19, many of us have started working and studying from home. Remote work has become the new normal. This also means that training new employees and providing continuing training to existing employees must be conducted through remote technologies.
Many businesses have had to start completely from scratch when it comes to developing and implementing remote corporate training procedures. Remote work, remote learning, and remote training are still new and evolving concepts with their own sets of opportunities and challenges.
To help you navigate this new remote work and remote training landscape, let’s take a closer look at what the remote workplace looks like as affected by COVID-19, the challenges of remote training, and how to help employees who may be underperforming in this new environment.
The Remote Workplace Under COVID-19
It seems like nearly everyone is working from home these days, but what are the actual numbers? According to a study conducted by Opinium and commissioned by the networking systems, services and software company Ciena, more than two-thirds of UK adults currently work remotely and plan to keep working from home for the foreseeable future.
Working remotely has directly affected how individuals make use of technology at home. According to the same study, 62% of adults in the UK reported making more video calls with coworkers and that 26% of those surveyed have taken action to improve their home internet speed and connection since the beginning of the lockdown. These findings suggest that employees are willing to adapt to the growing tech needs of remote work — findings supported by the fact that only 27% of survey takers self-reporting that the transition to remote work has been difficult.
With most employees adapting well to remote work, how can remote training be implemented with the same ease? And, how can employers and companies make the remote transition easier for employees who need extra guidance?
Challenges of Remote Training
Maintaining the health and safety of your employees through remote work and remote training is the best way to keep your business operational during these times, but there are still challenges to overcome when it comes to implementing remote training programs, policies and technologies.
Consider these challenges and how to overcome them for managing remote workers and remote training programs:
- Supervision — When employees are remotely working and going through training courses, it can be difficult to know just how well they are performing. Trusting your employees is important, but it’s also important to provide clear pathways and channels of communication for employees to report their productivity and progress to the appropriate teams or management positions. For corporate training, a learning management system like eZnet LMS can easily help you track employee progress.
- Micromanaging — Similarly, compensating for working remotely instead of in the office by micromanaging employees can also have negative effects when it comes to employee productivity, effective training and the overall company culture. Make sure your management finds the right balance between keeping track of employee productivity and giving employees room to do what they need in order to be successful. For remote training, this could mean giving more autonomy when it comes to course pacing and completion.
- Employee Integration — Working from home can easily make employees feel isolated from their colleagues, especially new hires. Be sure to make your employees feel integrated into your company culture and processes through your training programs, and remember to give your remote employees enough time to build connections with each other that they would otherwise organically form in the office.
- Choosing the Right Skills — Most of your employees are likely working from home, whether they volunteered for it or not. Under these circumstances, it’s understandable that some individuals may experience more challenges adapting to remote work environments than others. For newly hired employees, however, your company may want to place a high priority on hiring employees with the right technical and self-management skills. Your training courses will have to be navigated virtually, after all.
- Tech Support — Finally, remote work and remote corporate training will require additional tech support to keep employees and your business productive. This means your company may need to hire additional IT and support staff to keep operations smooth, even while working from home.
Helping Underperforming Remote Employees
As previously discussed, some employees may have more challenges adapting to a remote work environment than others. For employees who may have already been underperforming pre-lockdown, you may worry about how you can continue to help them remotely from a management perspective. You may want to institute new and ongoing training programs to ensure that all employees are able to adapt and feel well-supported in the remote work lifestyle.
Additionally, here are three ways you can help underperforming employees succeed, even while remote:
- Revise your expectations — As a remote manager, it’s your responsibility to help employees learn how they can improve their performance. Make sure your directives are clear and actually achievable, especially when it comes to learning new skills or programs. You can start the revision process by asking your underperforming employees to reflect on their own needs and tell you what could be changed to help them succeed. For training courses, you might want to provide ample opportunities to provide feedback and check in with management on their progress.
- Establish communication — To piggyback off the first point, it’s important that your underperforming employees have clear opportunities and channels to provide feedback to management. This feedback should not only include directives and training material, but also about who they are as individuals. This will create a more personal connection that can lead to a more encouraging working and learning environment, despite the distance. Be sure to also keep this communication consistent, possibly by scheduling regular progress meetings.
- Be clear when giving your feedback — Now, it’s time to respond. Corporate communication is a two-way street, and employees need to know exactly how they are performing. Give specific actions or skills that could be improved and clear actions as to make the necessary changes or growth happen. Remote work gives management an opportunity to directly connect with employees and address these concerns.
Make Corporate Training Easy for Post-Lockdown and Beyond
While the success of your remote work employees and your corporate training programs do depend on your management practices, they also largely depend on the technology your business uses to make it all happen. Effective training courses can only be supported by a secure and reliable learning management system, or LMS. eZnet LMS is a modern cloud-based LMS from Virtual Stacks Systems UK. eZnet LMS offers dependable service, 24/7 technical support, scalable and customizable options, modern security protections and full data backups. From remote training and beyond, your business will be set with a flexible and reliable learning management platform. Contact us today to learn more about eZnet LMS and our other cloud-based business solutions!