As much as orientation is important in the process of getting employees onboard, training is equivalently one of the key factors in ensuring the success behind it. However, now that many organizations have moved to an arrangement of working from home more widely, it also means the numbers of remote employees would expand. Therefore, with the status quo of the current practise being exposed more and more to virtual trainings, let us go through the top 11 tips in running a Virtual Training for your remote employees.
1) Send training plan to all participants early
Having everybody prepared from the beginning is crucial in ensuring all parties all prepared mentally and physically. The reason behind this is so that employees can prepare themselves beforehand and to plan ahead with their tasks for the days they would be involved in it. They could also prepare themselves with materials that could be of beneficial to be used in the training.
2) Send a reminder of the training schedule
Once the participants have been informed on the training plan, it is always best to remind as the event is nearing. The reason behind this is so that participants would not miss out on the arranged schedule and not be panicked or shocked as the time arrives. Countdowns are a good option, as it often instils excitement onto those involved as it is something all could look forward to. Microsoft Teams is good for this as you can schedule a Teams meeting with your attendees’ calendars which will send them reminders for you.
3) Create presentation slides. Don’t use too much text on slides
Notice how some presenters could grab the attention of the participants throughout the whole presentation, while some unfortunate ones would last only a few minutes before the rest fades away into thin air despite being present in the session? As it is, remote employees would have to go through their training virtually. Therefore, to catch the eyes of the remote employees throughout the whole sitting, it’s a good idea to create slides that aren’t too wordy, to avoid presenters reading solely from it and losing the focus of those supposedly present just within minutes.
4) Take advantage of interactive virtual tools (Use the right technology)
It is always best to have a 2-way communication as compared to just having a sole person talking while the rest are on mute. During the presentation, or even before you start, prepare the training to be equipped with the right tools to be in such way that it would encourage participants to be interactive not only when they must, but also allow them to feel free in speaking-up with their queries and comments as and when they feel like it. A top video conferencing system is key for this. We recommend 3CX for this for many reasons including the fact that video conferencing comes as standard with the phone system as well as the fact it can be integrated with Microsoft 365 and Teams. Among the ways you could break the ice would be to have tools that could enable participants in being involved in charts, quizzes, polls and many more!
5) Start your training on time
Notice how awkward it can be when everybody’s in and you’re the last one to arrive? This is amplified when the session is done virtually, where most parties are on time, or even early! It’s always best to make sure the session starts on time to avoid issues such as participants thinking something is wrong with their connection, they joined the right link, or even feeling disrespected as they were punctual however the organizer isn’t taking it seriously.
6) Encourage active participation and interact with your participants
Notice how tones play a huge part in communication? As an organiser, it is always best to maintain a calm yet charismatic tone throughout the training to instil a positive vibe onto the participants. Encourage participants to ask questions as well as share their experiences. Open up the floor and make them feel rewarded and celebrated when they participate as it would further motivate those who took the initiative in being actively involved. For those who have yet to volunteer in answering any questions, call on their names so that they know you acknowledge them and most importantly, their opinion matters. Last but definitely not the least, it is always best to begin with you enabling your webcam while inviting the rest in doing the same. Tone can be hard to pick up on via email and even video conferencing at times. Again, it’s important to have a high-quality video conferencing system. With a crisp and clear video stream tone can much more easily be picked up on via voice and facial expressions.
7) Set clear goals, ground rules and expectation
When goals, visions and missions are known to all parties, things a lot clearer for all? When going through the training, inform accordingly to the remote employees of the goals as well as expectations to be expected from them as part of the team, from the other team members, as well as from the management.
8) Create fun in-between sessions and breaks
It is always best to have a break between sessions. Imagine having to compress and process so much in that short period of time. The overwhelming feeling would leave your colleagues with headaches and losing focus altogether. So have fun sessions in between.
A break will allow your colleagues to take a breather and absorb the inputs that have been given to them. These short breaks could involve watching videos, fun-fact sessions, a small non-work-related chat, or even just popping to make a cup of tea. This may sound small, but it will go a long way.
9) Utilize the chat window. Push for participation in chat and Q&A
Not everybody likes to speak out as they would feel swamped with the feeling of shyness, scared of making mistakes and not sounding smart, and many more. You can encourage your colleagues that it is okay to send in their comments, questions, and answers through chats, and that it is not looked less upon. From time to time, it is highly encouraged for the trainers to look into the chats so that the remote staffs know they are also being heard, even through chats.
Hopefully you find the tips helpful. Wishing you all the best for your next virtual training session. If you’re interested in getting a hold of the best tools for virtual training and meeting, get in touch with us. We can provide Office 365 migration to help you schedule your meetings and set reminders. We also offer the best telephone system on the market, 3CX, which has video conferencing capabilities as standard. Give us a call on 0330 205 0205 or visit out contact page.