How to solve your virtual corporate training challenges in a hybrid-remote environment
Virtual corporate training

How to solve your virtual corporate training challenges in a hybrid-remote environment

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written on September 2021 by Iwo Szapar

Training in any environment is a challenge, whether that’s in the office, working from home, or in a hybrid-remote environment. We’re always fighting to ensure that employees remain engaged and motivated, as well as successfully learn from the training they receive. With the huge changes that working conditions have gone through recently, training has become more important than ever. 

If your company has gone hybrid-remote, then you already know that there are new techniques to implement. These strategies can improve everyone’s productivity, happiness, and engagement But how do we identify and overcome the new obstacles we face too? It’s difficult to know exactly what our managers should learn and the best way to do it, so let’s dive in and explore more about what cohort-based learning has to offer.

What are the challenges of virtual corporate training in a hybrid-remote environment?

From our work with hybrid remote companies, we’ve identified six common challenges faced in virtual corporate training. While your company might not face every single one, it’s uncommon for a single corporate training course to have them all covered:

  1. Self-paced only courses are not engaging and have low completion rates. Even when you have time to concentrate on learning alone while working remotely, it’s still difficult to stay on track. Without an instructor guiding you through the virtual corporate training, motivation suffers. 
  2. No easy access to global Experts or peers from other companies to learn from each other. With virtual training, there’s a great opportunity to work with teachers from all around the world. However, you often need a network and experience to find the most worthwhile education providers. Part of any training process is having access to knowledgeable help. Learning without any human interaction when you need help is an ineffective and unengaging way to learn.
  3. No peer-to-peer learning or experiential learning. Virtual corporate training, especially self-paced training, typically loses out on the social experience that helps support learning new knowledge and techniques. By working purely by yourself, you lose out on support from your peers.
  4. Employees with remote experience can feel overwhelmed or tapped out by having to educate and support less experienced team members. This ends up making your most productive and efficient remote-hybrid employees ineffective. This problem is particularly common if your training does not supply expert access, defined policies, or a playbook with information to reference.
  5. Onboarding your employees efficiently to training is more tricky than in a co-located office. This issue is also common with providing ongoing support in a virtual environment. Without a guiding hand,  your employees won’t be able to prepare themselves or maintain their progress so easily. No one wants to spend precious time acclimatizing rather than learning straight away.
  6. Not making the most of hybrid-remote friendly technology. With the wealth of interactive video conferencing and digital collaboration software available, it’s a disadvantage not to use them. Virtual reality is also a new and upcoming solution that can even help combat some of the previous challenges we discussed.

Without external help, a lot of these issues will fall on the shoulders of your managers. This leads us to the next stage of identifying possible troubles with your virtual corporate training: finding out exactly how your managers can cope. The answers to these will help direct you in the most effective way to give them the virtual training they need.

What questions do you need to ask your managers?

Now we’ve covered the challenges in learning, next up is a discussion of what we even need to teach to set up our hybrid-remote managers for success. Defining the scope of your virtual training will go a long way in helping you make it a success. To find out what they need to know, it’s as simple as conducting a short poll, asking them if they can confidently:

  1. Keep their hybrid teams engaged and motivated?
  2. Successfully implement asynchronous communication? 
  3. Set up Standard Operating Procedures that actually help?
  4. Implement ongoing work documentation?
  5. Take care of their own well-being as well as their teams’?
  6. Foster digital collaboration and run effective virtual meetings? 
  7. Increase productivity of their employees? 

Keep their hybrid teams engaged and motivated?

This is especially important if your teams have moved from full-time in the office to a hybrid situation.

Successfully implement asynchronous communication? 

You may even find that your managers don’t even know what asynchronous communication is. Communication is a keystone of hybrid-remote, making this a hugely important topic.

Set up Standard Operating Procedures that actually help?

Your managers may still be using SOPs from the colocated office, which can hinder rather than help.

Implement ongoing work documentation?

Everything in remote work has to be documented in a clear and accessible way. Are all your managers doing this in the same way?

Take care of their own well-being as well as their teams’?

Burnout and fatigue are common when working outside of the office and its defined hours of work. It’s much more common than you’d think.

Foster digital collaboration and run effective virtual meetings? 

Meetings are one of the largest wastes of employee time if not done correctly. And that’s just in the office! Hybrid-remote meetings have even more challenges to overcome.

Increase productivity of their employees? 

There’s an incredible opportunity to tap into the productivity of workers taking the best of the office and remote. The techniques and motivation needed to do this are unique to the situation.

These seven areas need a unified approach in your company. In an office, it’s easy for everyone to harmonize processes, but if your managers are spending time alone they cannot see if what they’re doing is standard. Talk to your managers, ask them the questions, and get answers to best plan your corporate training.

Is there a single place to address these challenges in the most efficient way?

Education, knowledge, and training almost always benefit from a consistent approach and source of knowledge. However, there needs to be an interactive and social element as well to encourage peer-to-peer learning. Traditional approaches have concentrated too much on self-paced material, when in fact what we need is a more campus-like experience.

A cohort-based program offers clear benefits for anyone taking part in the learning experience. First of all, a community that enables peer-2-peer support allows for the creation of deep, professional friendships that can be used with your organization. The community also provides access to a knowledge base that’s greater than any individual teacher can offer. Finally, experiencing diversity in thought and background is a perfect springboard for creativity and self-reflection. All in all, learning with others provides a richer environment than learning alone.

To facilitate this style of learning, Remote-how has used its expert contacts and experience in remote education to create the Remote-how Campus. It introduces students to three key areas: a global network, interactive learning, and mentoring. Generating a real connection with peers, teachers, and mentors is the real key to our new learning 

Since 2017, Remote-how has helped over 400 companies globally train their employees to manage distributed teams. The feedback so far has shown that the teaching methods used can provide the results companies need. It works in cohorts run throughout the year to ensure that each group of students gets the dedicated time and support they need. 

The program is run in three Phases, each one concentrating on tackling the learning challenges we outlined above while tailoring the experience to what the managers need. We don’t just run one generalized course either. Each Cohort tackles a certain topic to make sure your managers get only the information they need and nothing they don’t.

Phase 1: Learning 

Phase 1 is Remote-how’s learning section lasting six weeks. Your fully virtual onboarding is taken care of, suitable for any remote, colocated, or hybrid-remote employee. Ideally, this is best completed in a small group of up to 30 people to best facilitate peer-to-peer learning. This makes sure everyone gets the dedicated help they need. 

Each person involved in the training will complete both a needs-analysis and skills-gap assessment. This is done as preparation for the onboarding session, making sure that everyone is fully prepared and know their strengths and weaknesses.

We’ve found this approach to be demonstrably more effective than the typical systems used in corporate training. Turning up on day one without preparation is a great way to waste precious time! In the session, we also demonstrate how to navigate the Remote-how community and e-learning platform. 

The platform offers a gamified e-learning experience, consisting of 3 modules with new challenges revealed every week. The weekly time commitment here is also efficient, taking only 60-90 minutes of your employee’s time. There’s no need to take a whole day out of anyone’s schedule in one go, meaning that your work can still flow across the week.

Above all, having access to Experts is a key part of the process. Your already experienced remote employees aren’t overloaded and the experts can share their knowledge. Each group in the learning phase has 3 hour-long learning sessions led by hybrid-remote Experts.

The final step for onboarding onto a leadership program with Remote-how Academy is a group consulting call. All participants share their key takeaways from Phase 1 and prepare for building action projects with mentoring help from our Experts. All participants can obtain a Certificate – Certified in Distributed Management. Everything is run on the Remote-how platform, but upon special request, we can export the content to a company’s LMS.

Phase 1: What’s included?
5+ hours of live sessions (including 3 hours of expert-led learning sessions)6+ hours of video content from Remote-how’s e-learning platform20+ assessments and cheat-sheetsCertification “Certified in Distributed Management”

Phase 2: Mentorship

It’s important throughout the learning process to have continued access to Expert help. We don’t just leave students to it as you would in a self-paced course. Each person in the Mentorship Phase defines an initial project proposal and submits it to the Remote-how platform. Everyone is paired with a suitable mentor who works hand-in-hand with them to shape up the projects and troubleshoot struggles. These projects can be related directly to your organization’s needs.

The projects can vary depending on the Program your employees are on. It could be building team playbooks, preparing remote documentation processes, or building up culture in hybrid-remote teams. It’s up to your managers to define the scope and how it can be applied to your business.

This phase all takes place in four 45-min, 1-on-1 meetings between mentors and their mentees. To finish off the phase, there is a consulting call for all participants to share their learnings and findings.

Phase 2: What’s included?
Pairing up managers with matching mentors 4+ live sessions between mentors and menteesAsynchronous homework between sessions An actionable project as a result 

Phase 3: Community

The final Phase of the journey includes building up the community contacts of your managers. Remote-how Campus runs educational and networking events all year round with platform members from other leading industries. 

There’s no commitment needed as we understand how busy people’s schedules can be, but the community is always there when your employees need it most. Each month will have four or more live, community-driven events for continuous growth, and course attendees will also gain access to monthly Mentoring Office Hours.

Phase 3: What’s included?
Access to our trusted, global peer network 4+ live, community-driven events each month to ensure continuous growthAccess to monthly Mentoring Office Hours

What Programs are available this fall?

This fall, Remote-how Campus is running five different programs, each one covering a different aspect of hybrid-remote working. Each group will have 30 people max, ensuring that each participant gets the most out of the resources on offer. 

Program 1Program 2Program 3Program 4Program 5
Workplace Ops(Head of Remote Workplace mgmt.)People & Culture(HR, Culture, Community)Production (Engineering, Product, Design)Sales & Marketing (Growth, Business Dev, Marketing, PR)Operations (Operations, Finance, Legal)
Learn how to successfully create and manage hybrid workplace operations.Learn how to successfully create a remote-first, people-centric culture in a hybrid setup.Learn how to successfully build products while working as a hybrid team.Learn how to successfully manage a distributed team responsible for growth.Learn how to successfully manage a distributed team responsible for keeping the company’s engine running.

Whatever your specific needs, there’s a Cohort out there for you. If you need something more custom or have any other requests for virtual corporate training, just reach out to us.

Remote-how Campus is your one-stop solution

A structured way of learning needs to combine the best of a remote setting with elements of traditional expert support. But that’s not all, it needs the right experts too. Our teachers and mentors are made up of former VPs, Co-Founders, and Leaders from companies including Google Digital Academy, Netflix, Buffer, and LinkedIn. Your managers attending a cohort-based course aren’t just in good hands, they’re in the best hands.

If you’re serious about supplying your managers with virtual corporate training that actually works, put in an application today or get in touch for more information.

We’re serious about making sure that the resources offered in Remote-how campus aren’t overstretched so space is limited. We’d love to see you and your managers and help you become the productive hybrid organization you’re meant to be.

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