Posted by Rachael Jones on May 10, 2023 9:30:00 AM

How to Train New Employees Virtually: 3 Approaches to Consider


how to train new employees virtually

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced employers to embrace remote work environments—and along with them, virtual training strategies. Even as companies reopen their facilities, many continue offering virtual training as at-home and hybrid work environments become the new normal. Knowing how to train new employees virtually is more important that ever.

However, virtual instructor-led training is not as simple as sharing a PowerPoint presentation in a Zoom meeting. Remote training presents a variety of new challenges, from decreased engagement to technical challenges. A rapid transformation from in-person to virtual training is compelling companies to rethink strategies for employee engagement and learning online, especially when it comes to employee onboarding.

Every organization has different training requirements, and not all remote training methodologies will work for you. If you’re considering different training formats, here are three common methodologies for training new employees virtually.

How to train new employees virtually

1.    Blended learning

Virtual training programs are often delivered in one of two formats: synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous learning is typically offered as a virtual instructor-led training (vILT) session held with a group of learners at a specific time. Asynchronous learning is self-paced, allowing learners to access pre-built course content when it’s convenient for them - a good option to consider in the employee onboarding process.  Each approach has its pros and cons. While synchronous sessions make it easier to get immediate feedback from an instructor and engage with other learners, asynchronous learning is often more flexible and convenient for remote employees.

An alternative solution is to combine asynchronous and synchronous sessions in a blended learning approach. This allows employees to access the convenience of self-paced course material and get peer and instructor support as needed. A blended approach is usually a better option for longer or more complex training requirements, such as software learning, where users can learn and apply new concepts between scheduled vILT sessions.


2.    Microlearning

Traditionally, in-person training sessions can span several hours or days. This doesn’t always suit remote work settings where employees need more flexibility or can burn out and become disengaged from too much screen time. Alternatively, employers can develop training programs with a microlearning strategy. This gives employees learning opportunities in small, bite-sized chunks.

This approach has several benefits over long, multi-day training sessions. First, employees are less likely to feel overwhelmed with processing smaller pieces of information and more likely to absorb and retain what they are learning. Secondly, microlearning can integrate new competencies throughout an employee’s existing tasks, allowing them to practice and apply new skills one at a time rather than memorizing them all at once and applying them later. Lastly, a microlearning strategy is more flexible for remote employees who are balancing work tasks with at-home responsibilities.


3.    Gamification

One of the challenges of virtual training—especially self-paced online courses—is the learner’s tendency to become disengaged and struggle to retain and apply new knowledge. In other words, online learning can be extremely boring.

One way to improve employee engagement in the training and development process is to try gamification for training content. This could be as simple as offering employee perks for completing a training session, sharing a progress-tracking leaderboard between team members, or even turning learning opportunities into a workplace competition. This can help motivate employees to finish training sessions and interact with each other.

Employers can also invest in interactive tools to increase engagement during training sessions. For example, employees can interact with virtual sandboxes to learn new software skills, and some organizations use virtual reality to upskill employees.


In summary

According to an Upwork survey, the number of Americans working remotely will increase 87% by 2025 from pre-pandemic levels. It’s clear that remote-friendly work environments are here to stay, and employers must continue adapting their training strategies accordingly.

A benefit of virtual training is that it can be offered on demand, and a variety of virtual training strategies can be used. From blended work environments to gamification— this can help employees successfully gain new skills while maintaining the flexibility of remote work.

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5 Corporate Training Topics Microlearning





Topics: virtual training tips, Gamification, onboarding, microlearning, Employee Onboarding Training Program, Virtual Employee Onboarding, How to Train New Employees Virtually

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