Training your remote team well relies on setting up foolproof systems for teaching them new skills and supporting them in their day to day use of these skills
Every team needs instruction, but if you’re managing workers remotely, you need to take extra care with the way this instruction is delivered. Your remote staff need training, and they definitely need ongoing support. They’re not going to magically know how to do things. Even if you’ve written up a few steps for them it may not make sense. Even if you’ve talked them through it in a conference call, it could leave them confused.
88% of employees say that they want workplace training which they can then apply to their job. Of course, the vast majority of people want to be trained in things that actually help them improve in practical ways. So what is the best way to approach training your remote team?
“In order for any business to succeed, it must first become a system so that the business functions exactly the same way every time down to the last detail” Rick Harshaw, Monopolize Your Marketplace
I am a big fan of using video instructions. Video processes are really fabulous. The challenge though, is that they may be quick to create, but they are slow to maintain and use. To get all the instructions it also takes time to watch the entire video through. Also, if there is a small mistake or upgrade needed, you can’t just fix one little bit, you need to recreate the entire video again.
The “Perfect” Solution?:
In a perfect world, the solution is to have a beautifully presented video that also comes with a written instruction document. This way there are two points of reference for people to make sense of. This is the ideal, yet in the real world it’s simply not practical. You’re rarely going to have the time or resources to develop instruction manuals and videos with enough detail.
The Real Solution:
In the real world you are burdened with time constraints. The best method is to use video or written instructions for training your remote team. You can look at which is most suitable for each particular process. This saves you time. It also means can you devote your resources more effectively. The real key is knowing when to use which.
Use Video Instruction when:
Video instructions are great for more specific tasks, especially one-offs. Processes that are only performed occasionally, but need to be done right. Also, if you are working with a younger team they are going to love using videos. Especially if they’re millennials! This is the YouTube generation, they know how to absorb videos. Providing video instruction for a young team is really helpful.
The best case scenario is if you’ve got someone else to write the steps up for you. You can use electronic solutions like Otter.ai or rev.com to get your video transcribed. You can use offshore virtual assistance to make transcribing more cost and time effective.
Use Written Instruction when:
If it’s something you’re going to be doing, over and over, take the time to write it up. If the task is going to be performed daily create written instructions. If your team is more mature, they might feel more comfortable with written instructions instead of watching a quick video. Also, if the process is unlikely to change in the medium term, then written instructions really are best.
Overall, written instructions are easier to follow for the vast majority of people, but a video is going to be fast, snappy and easy to create. So when training your remote team, you should really try to balance the two.
I hoped that has helped you today. Training a remote team can be challenging for a number of reasons. Having the right tools for the job will make everything easier!