How to Provide Career Training & Professional Development for Remote Employees

 

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Employee onboarding and career development has traditionally involved holding meetings in physical conference spaces and classrooms. But when employees don’t report to an office, organizations have to think creatively and use technology strategically to make sure remote employees receive adequate training as well as career development opportunities.

All motivated employees want to enhance their skillset and further their careers. Remote employees are no exception. Therefore, organizations who hire remotely will not be able to avoid the responsibility of mapping out a course of career advancement and providing professional development.

In an earlier blog post, we discussed some of the challenges organizations face when hiring remote employees. One thing organizations with remote hires will have to do is adapt their current training and learning and development programs for the remote employee. Passively bombarding employees with push notifications or emails is not a smart way to do it. In order for a learning and development program to be effective, it must be immersive and engaging.

Organizations will need to translate in-person training into formats that work online such as videos, web conferencing, articles, PDFs, audio recordings, and more formal, ‘classroom-like’ e-learning modules. Make sure your internal experts create the learning and development content with remote employees in mind, so that the material will be easy to consume from anywhere. Chat features and message boards can help employees get questions answered and communicate with fellow employees about the material.

While it goes without saying that the content itself must be good quality, strategies must also be in place to make sure employees retain the information and have it reinforced through exercises or practice. The content as well as the actual training regimen must provide employees with everything they will need to do their jobs well, such as sales strategies, customer service training, engineering skills, or product training. Organizations will also have to figure out how to adapt leadership and management training for remote employees.

And remember, it’s not enough to simply provide information. Organizations must also relay the company culture and do everything they can to ensure remote employees feel part of the team rather than apart from it.