By Kevin Eikenberry, co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute. 

Technology has made training virtual employees a breeze. At least that’s the way it seems. You have eLearning, online workshops and seminars, and webinars. In addition to all that, here at the Remote Leadership Institute we also offer Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) where experts offer training live online and you participate as you would in a traditional “classroom” setting.

That’s only the beginning though. Virtual reality is making a big splash in the learning and development world. For example, mega-giant Walmart announced earlier this summer that it has officially started using virtual reality in 31 if its training academies and plans to take the technology to all 200 academies by the end of the year.

Technology certainly makes it possible for you to train your employees, no matter their location, in fun and engaging ways. It can also be a colossal waste of time of money if employees don’t find it meaningful and actually put what they learn to use.

Whether you choose 60-minute webinars or full-on virtual reality simulations to train remote employees, ensure that your training investment is worth the money by following this advice:

  • Pick the right experience. Learn what the learning objectives of the workshop or learning event are – and match the workshop with the needs of the individual. Make sure you are sending people to the right experience for the right reasons at the right time. With employees scattered in various locations, it makes sense to offer more individualized, customized options anyway.
  • Talk to people before they go. Set goals for the training and discuss them with employees. Let them know that you expect them to apply it to their work. Schedule a time after the training to get back together to discuss what they learned.
  • Meet with people after they return. Have people share what they learned and what actions they will take to apply that knowledge to their work. Find out what you can do to support their learning and application, and again, set up expectations for implementation.
  • Follow-up. Hold them accountable for using what they learned. To reinforce the value of the training, ask them to share how the training is benefiting them and helping them overcome challenges. If employees aren’t using the training, talk about issues they have encountered that the training could have prevented or helped them more easily overcome. Continue to follow up until the training becomes routine.

We’d love to hear from you. What strategies have worked for you when it comes to training your remote employees? What tools do you rely on? How do you measure the success of a training program? Please share your feedback in the comments section!

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