Remember the good ol’ days when you would walk into work, look a person in the eyes, and shake their hand? Well, times have changed, and it’s 2022 where we now click a Zoom link, turn on our cameras, and unmute our microphones. A lot has changed in the past few years, and it’s important to be able to adapt and move forward.
Starting a new training can be both exciting and scary: for the trainer and the trainee. With remote jobs on the rise, in-person trainings are much less frequent than they used to be. So how can you manage a successful virtual training program while working remotely?
Let’s take a look at four tips to stay on track and be productive during remote training, both for the trainer and the new employee.
Remote Work Training Tips For the Trainer
Taking on the responsibility of training a new employee is no small feat, especially when you are doing it online. There can be awkward encounters with virtual conversations, like when you go to speak at the same time as someone else and you both insist the other goes first. Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Nonetheless, we’ve come up with four simple tips for a trainer to lead a successful remote training.
1. Open the Floor for Communication
The first step in creating a successful virtual training session is to establish a strong communication foundation with the trainee. Since online meetings flatten body language and other personal features into 2D, it is crucial to rely heavily on verbal communication.
To do this, make sure you’re readily available to help via phone or a messaging platform. The new hire will likely have questions or need clarification, and making sure you’re available is the first step in closing the virtual communication gap.
2. Schedule Regular Breaks
Training can not only be long, but let’s face it, a little boring sometimes. Scheduling frequent breaks, even for 5 minutes, allows your trainee to grab a sip of water, use the restroom, or eat a snack before getting back into the nitty gritty. Not only will this give them a breather, but these short breaks can keep them focused and on task during the training.
3. Build Comfort
Of course, it’s important to get to know new team members and build rapport. Whether this is a personal or group training, it’s up to you to facilitate a team-building exercise and break the ice.
Did you hear icebreakers and immediately roll your eyes? We get it; we all dread the cliche, “if you were an animal what would you be” type of questions. But in reality, thoughtful icebreakers can allow you to get to know your trainees on a more personal level and help in structuring your remote training methods.
4. Establish a Support System
After you know a little more about each other, set up some introductions with other employees in the area to help build a support system. It’s easy to feel alone while working remotely, and introducing nearby employees can give them someone to lean on and use as a resource moving forward.
To help them build virtual relationships, encourage training or input from other professionals at the company. Your trainee is probably getting a lot of facetime with you, and introducing new people can give them a more well-rounded view of the job and company atmosphere. This is a great way to diversify the training “curriculum,” encourage further engagement, and show the new hire a few more friendly faces.
Remote Work Training Tips For the Trainee
Let’s say the roles are reversed, and you are the one embarking on this new adventure. If that’s the case, congratulations on this next step in your professional career! Similar to the trainer, there are four simple ways to make the most out of this remote training experience as a new employee.
1. Ask Questions
Communication is key when starting a new position, so make sure to talk to your trainer if you need any clarification during this process. You are not expected to know all the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your trainer is there as a resource; lean on them for help.
Speaking of communication, make sure to speak up if something isn’t working for you. Training is not a one-size-fits-all template, and it’s important to make sure you understand the material. Not only will your trainer thank you for saying something, but it will make the particulars a lot more pleasant once you understand them.
2. Take Notes
This may be a no-brainer for some of you, but jotting a few quick notes to refer back to can really make a difference. Anything from thoughts, questions, or important dates can help put your mind at ease while going through training. If you prefer a more structured planner format, look into notebooks with designated time and task pages to optimize your schedule and keep you organized.
3. Be Mindful of Your Body
We spend so much time on screens in this digital age that we sometimes forget when it’s time for a break. Online training can be tough in more ways than one, and a major downside can be the toll it takes on your eyes.
Equipping yourself with glasses that filter out blue light can prevent your eyes from drying out and help to keep you on top of your game. Not only are they functional, but they can act as a new professional accessory in your new job!
Besides thinking about things like eyesight, you also should be mindful of your posture and amount of time spent sitting. If you can, build out a standing desk area where you can still be on Zoom, but are able to stand and stretch your legs for a bit.
4. Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
At the end of it all, this new job is an opportunity to start fresh and try something new. Take the opportunity to put yourself out there, meet new people, and create a support system in the workplace.
There are others in the same boat as you, new to the role and looking for allies. Go outside of your comfort zone, try new things, and enjoy this new adventure!
Ready, Set, Go!
Remember, it’s always important to start off by conducting a training needs analysis to evaluate the process before you begin. In the same way you wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map, make sure you have a clear and decisive direction for your training program. It will make it easier for everyone involved!
Now you have the tools to set you up for effective remote training from both sides of the screen. As a trainer, it’s your job to get your new hires up and running for their new role. Create an open and comfortable space, be on call to answer questions, and set them up for success. Your training is their first taste of the professional growth that is yet to come!