Currently, about 2.4 million Canadians who previously went into an office are now working from home full-time. This means a majority of people who started new jobs recently went through another huge learning curve—remote job training. If not carefully executed, remote training can lead to screen fatigue, distracted workers and unmet goals. Aside from the basics, such as showing webcams, not reading directly off slides and keeping presentations short and to the point, there are other remote training ideas to turn ordinary and bland into fun and engaging.
Start remote trainings with an icebreaker
Icebreakers help build a human connection, which is especially important since virtual training lacks a personal touch. Icebreakers can also help get the conversation started and settle people’s nerves about speaking and asking questions throughout training. If your icebreaker is competitive, like trivia or best virtual background, offer fun training giveaways as prizes. A logoed mug or pom toque are great options.
Use energetic facilitators
A facilitator can make or break your training. After all, presenters are the main point of reference throughout the session. Remote training offers a unique challenge. Not only must facilitators be experts, they must also have technology know-how to be able to successfully present virtually to a live audience.
If possible, schedule three facilitators for your remote training. One facilitator should be deemed the expert and know the ins and outs of the information being taught. Designate another to manage the virtual platform and technology. And finally, have a third facilitator focus on excitement, entertainment and engagement. For an added bonus of professionalism, ensure your facilitators are equipped with company apparel, like a fleece pullover or polo, to wear during the remote training, just as they would in the office.
Create fun with breaks
Scheduling breaks helps attendees focus on the session at hand. Knowing they will have a few minutes in the near future to grab water, use the restroom or return a call can help minimize distractions. As attendees come back from breaks, try an engaging activity rather than hopping straight into the material. A quiz, poll or quick discussion ensures attendees are re-engaged and ready to start learning again.
In addition to breaks, make sure there are discussion breaks within sessions. After all, no one wants to just sit, listen and stare at a computer screen for an hour straight.
Aside from encouraging trainees to ask questions and share their experiences throughout the remote training session, breakout groups are a valuable way to allow attendees to apply what they are learning. Depending on the number of trainees, try grouping 4 to 10 participants to maximize engagement. Assign each group specific discussion questions and then come back together to report the findings.
Make sure attendees know you feel lucky to have them—especially if this remote training is for new employees. People like to feel welcome, and the first day of a new job can be extremely nerve-racking, especially in this virtual world. Before training, send a personalized welcome note along with a training giveaway like a pen and journal they can use to take notes. The thoughtful gift will make them feel welcomed and valued.
Life’s too short for boring remote training
By taking the time to implement these fun and effective remote training ideas, you’ll reach training goals while building a positive reputation for your company.