Remote work is trending up, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. Hiring managers predict that there will be more companies having completely dispersed teams in the next five years. This model clearly works, and the success can be attributed to the right way these companies bridge their geographical gaps.
Remote employees are excellent independent workers, but they need to be pointed in the right direction to start strong and sustain their performance.
At Bolton Remote, we help companies build offshore remote teams, and we make sure each candidate from us has the self-motivation to do their job well. The most successful of them were given enough training and made to feel part of the team from day one.
Here are some ways to train remote employees:
Create comprehensive modules.
The more detailed your training manuals are, the smoother the process will go for your remote employee. Anticipate most of the questions they may have, just in case you or other team members won’t be available to answer questions.
There are plenty of tools you can use to create modules and knowledge bases not only for remote staff in training, but current employees as well.
- Twiki – a flexible and easy to use wiki platform that you and your team can update to make sure all processes and relevant documents are in their latest version.
- Confluence – a tool that allows you and your team to centralize all information. It offers a fast search system to make sure your employees have the information they need quickly.
- Cornerstone – a learning management system that allows companies to create media-rich modules that new hires can learn at their own pace.
Try to provide modules that are interactive or in the form of video. Hubstaff swears by visual modules, “can be even better than in person training because it lasts forever and can be given to multiple people.” says Dave Nevogt.
Communicate in real-time through video.
Try to make one-on-one coaching part of your onboarding module. This is crucial, especially if you don’t require synchronous communication with your remote staff. “So much of communication is non-verbal,” says Kristen Harcourt from The MacQuaig Institute. “without body language or tone; your employees are missing nearly 90 percent of what you’re conveying.”
If you allow at least one part of the training to be through video, you will help build a more personal rapport between you and your remote staff, or your remote staff among each other even if there won’t be a lot of opportunity for face-to-face communication.
Give and get feedback, and lots of it.
Remote teams benefit from over-communication. It’s helpful that you are tuned in to your remote staff’s work as much as possible, just to make sure you’re on the same page. Start this practice during onboarding. Frequent feedback allow you to give helpful notes and catch errors that can be corrected as early as their first few days of remote work.
“Establish a “virtual open door” policy” suggests Ann Ruckstuhl of LiveOps. As you give feedback, you should also encourage questions, and be open to suggestions in case they see how your current processes can be improved upon or sped up.
Consider The Buddy System.
Your remote employee will need a point of contact. It may be beneficial if they are also assigned another team member to talk to, in case you’re not available. “By creating a 'buddy' or mentor system, remote workers can have a go-to person who is not based in the office to talk to” says Janice Clark for The Guardian.
Their mentor can show them the ropes effectively, especially when it comes to the company culture. It also helps reinforce relationships between remote employees that will be extremely valuable to collaboration. It can even contribute to remote employee retention.
Train them for likely scenarios.
Include training your remote staff for other skillsets. For example, your digital marketer may need basic coding training to address emergency situations efficiently. Offshore remote staffing likely mean they’re located in different time zones, and training them for skills they could need will save everybody time and allow for quick decision-making.
“Don’t underestimate a comprehensive employee handbook.” says Kim Sykes of Edoc Service. Comprehensive training would include answers to questions your new remote employee will need to know but might not think to ask.
Remember, training is crucial to remote team success, especially when it comes to using new tools and platforms. “The effective use of technology is critical, as technology platforms, channels and tools serve as the underpinning for enabling connections.” says Kaplan’s Lorin Thomas-Tavel. Proper training will also speed up the adjustment period. When trained properly, they’ll be able to make high impact contributions to your company a lot sooner.
Not all candidates are cut out for remote work. Make sure you’re choosing from a pool of talent with a high success rating. Visit our website at www.BoltonRemote.com and we’ll help you build offshore remote teams you can depend on.
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