How To Train New Staff Members Remotely

“The working world has changed following the pandemic and with remote working now more commonplace than ever before, it’s likely that you’ll have to think about how to train new employees virtually. Online training and courses have been around for years, but you may never have used them to train your staff. Here are our top tips for how to train staff online.

Create a community environment
Positive community culture is vital in the workplace, and there is no reason why you can’t extend this to your training. Where possible, train multiple new staff members at the same time so that they can learn together. When running internal sessions, trainers and learners can introduce themselves to the group to create a more comfortable environment and ice breakers can help to build relationships. Encouraging everyone to keep their cameras and audio turned on will also help to create that classroom community feel (of course, learners can be muted to reduce any background or disruptive noise).
You could also consider creating a WhatsApp group for those involved so that they can reach out to each other for support and collaborate during those initial learning stages when joining your business. If your trainers are internal, they should also join the group so that they can share links to relevant resources and inspiration as and when suitable.

Shorter sessions limit fatigue
Whilst it may be tempting to run long sessions that last most of the day in order to get through everything quickly, this will not be the most beneficial way to train staff online – attention spans will wane and fatigue will set in quickly.  Break your training down into short sessions to create a series and include the opportunity to refocus.
Factoring in coffee breaks and lunch should be standard, but you may also like to include a 5-minute desk stretch in the morning or other activities to refresh your new team members and get their attention back between sessions.

Measure progress
Once you have created a series of training sessions, you can also create a progress tracker. This will help your new staff members to see what topics they will be covering and how much they have learnt so far. Whilst there is software you can use for this, you could simply create something using a spreadsheet – depending on how much detail you want to include.

Make lessons engaging
Online training shouldn’t consist of endless presentation slides being read to learners. Your new members of staff are likely to become bored quickly and lose attention. When planning your online training, think about how you can make the lessons interactive and engaging. Some ideas include:

The use of videos

A challenge based on something you have just taught

Mix up your trainers, think about other members of staff on your team that could share knowledge

Create polls

Sometimes presentation slides simply cannot be avoided, where possible keep them light on words and include colour, images and infographics.

Minimise the risk of technical challenges
When running online training, you need to be sure that everyone involved has the right equipment and is set up correctly to reduce disruptions and work effectively. Any programmes that will be used during the training sessions should be downloaded in advance where required, so it is important that you prepare your new members of staff for this. Provide links in advance for anything your new employees will require access to.
Of course, an internet failure or other technical issue cannot be prevented, but by controlling the things you can influence you are reducing the risk of technical disruptions.

With the shift in the role of the office and remote working seemingly here to stay, getting your online training right for new employees is a necessity. Not only will it make your onboarding process smooth but most crucially, it will ensure that your new team members are fully equipped with the skills they need to do their jobs effectively and confidently. “