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9 Tips for Successful Virtual Training

Virtual training provides a wealth of unique challenges, the biggest of them being that the world is now so comfortable attending online training that they find it boring. 

To add to the above, a recent Gallup survey of approximately 15,000 US part-time and full-time workers found an eroding connection between remote employees and a company’s mission and vision. Couple this engagement erosion with the copious research showcasing that highly engaged, purpose-driven teams are more productive and profitable and you’ve got a virtual training crisis on your hands. 

In short, ineffective virtual training could drastically affect your business’s bottom line. 

The above begs the question: how can you create an engaging remote training program that learners enjoy and retain? 

Read on to learn tips and best practices for training remote workers with effective solutions—innovating how workforces successfully learn within the four corners of their screens. 

9 Best Tips for Training Remote Employees Successfully

Let’s explore the nine tips for a successful virtual training program. 

1. Start by setting clear goals and objectives for your training

A good remote training strategy needs goals and KPIs to signal that your team is heading in the right direction. Measuring something so intangible as learning, however, is difficult. 

Most course success analysis methods involve comparing your objectives with your results to consider how closely they align. To do this, you must have outlined objectives in the first place—so make sure you start by setting clear, measurable, observable goals for your training.

2. Design and onboard interactive training materials 

 Build engaging solutions that go beyond hosting a one-and-done approach with a live webinar. Employee training methods in today’s world need to be self-serve, self-paced, on-the-go, and continuous. 

A few suggestions for interactive training materials are: 

  • Interactive slide presentations: These require less programming to create and are easier to edit in the future. Our favorite software at the moment: Ispring Solutions.
  • Adaptive quizzes: Quizzes that change depending on the quiz taker’s answer enable personalized learning. You can make it harder if someone is showing a certain level of knowledge, or you can provide more informational-framed questions if someone is showing a lack of knowledge. Our favorite software at the moment: Typeform.
  • Interactive informational videos: These are great for asynchronous training. These videos allow those working from home or on the go to leave reactions and comments throughout the video to which trainers can reply when they’re online. They also enable tracking so you can see who has viewed your video. Our favorite software at the moment: Loom.

Of course, exactly what you can do depends on the technology you use g to create them. Speaking of which, let’s explore our go-to tech for effective remote training. 

3. Use the right technology that fits your budget and work culture

Here’s some of our favorite tech you should consider for your remote workforce training tech stack, and why. 

  • Infinite scroll online learning modules: These self-study e-learning courses read primarily in a downward-scrolling direction. These are fairly easy to create and update, as pre-created content blocks remove any need for heavy programming. Our favorite software at the moment: Articulate Rise
  • Whiteboard animation videos: Also called motion graphics videos, these use intentionally low-quality pictorial and text elements with limited movement and colors, accompanied by sound, to explain abstract concepts. It’s adaptable and accessible remote training software. These require a bit of creative thinking about how to convey concepts without true animation but once you get the hang, these are fun and easy to create. Our favorite software at the moment:  Videoscribe

4. Bookend in-depth sessions 

Remote training is prone to distractions. Make sure you set your participants up for success by bookending in-depth training sessions with course materials, actionable next-steps, ‘cheat sheets’, and other quick reference tools. 

Alongside this, ensure each class ends with a summary document. Perhaps that’s an actionable checklist, maybe it’s a downloadable graphic, maybe it’s homework to complete before the next training. 

Either way, bookending sessions ensure virtual training is successful from the get-go, and sticks with employees after they leave the virtual doors of class. 

5. Encourage cross-team collaboration and socialization 

Face-to-face Instructor-led training is a fantastic opportunity to encourage cross-team collaboration and socialization among your team members, especially for those who haven’t had a reason to get to know each other previously. 

With remote training sessions, look for authentic ways for team members to get to know each other and carry relationships forward, even after the training is over. For example, simulations and games are great employee training activities to encourage employee engagement and connection.

6. Use online assessment tools to your advantage

One of the challenges of remote employee training is that remote workers are notoriously difficult to assess, so consider implementing unmoderated assessment strategies. Unmoderated assessment tools are great for helping you structure feedback, and garner a collection of quantitative and qualitative feedback to help evolve your training. 

You can use anonymous feedback forms, pulse-check quick surveys, screen tracking tools like heatmaps and click maps, asynchronous interviewing tools, and so much more. Even though a lot of these tools target product and marketing teams, they are a great fit to help you manage and assess your training programs.


7. Follow up with employees after the training

As with in-person training, remote training requires your trainer, manager, or HR person to follow up with employees after the training. Remote learning is not a one-and-done practice; learning needs to be fluid and continuous. 

Make sure you schedule time to follow up with your remote employees to see if they’ve retained and are using their learnings in their every day. These follow-ups, even if employees just see them in their calendar or inbox, can serve as an effective reminder to implement learnings, and run self-assessments to see if the training remains effective for both parties. 

8. Make the team training continuous

Building off of the previous point, remote training needs to be continuous, and this often comes in the form of ever-evolving company knowledge bases. However, if your team isn’t habitual in accessing the knowledge base then your efforts are all for nothing. 

Continuous training requires you to be a little more innovative in how you pepper learning opportunities into your workforce’s workflow; be it monthly, weekly, or even daily. 

A few strategies you can try for effective continuous training are:

  • Micro-learning opportunities: Find small opportunities for your workforce to learn on the go; mobile-first learning is great for this: think of the micro lessons and micro goals Duolingo encourages. 
  • Self-paced learning courses: Not everyone learns at the same pace as others. Make your courses accessible forever. 
  • Dedicated development time (DDT): Reserve blocks of time in your non-desk workforce’s calendars for them to dedicate to learning. This encourages them to use a designated amount of company time to learn. 
  • Dedicated learning communication channels: These are great methods to continue education. Things like a weekly/monthly internal training newsletter after your training, or dedicated Slack channels to send atomic research nuggets or host Q&As as employees begin to help them activate their learning.  

9.  Gamify the learning 

It can be easy to dwell on where we fail and difficult to celebrate successes. One of the joys that accompanies remote training is how we can showcase and indulge in achievements. This comes through gamification. 

Leaderboards are a great way to pedestal top performers while encouraging underperformers to remain motivated and goal-orientated. Find rewards centered around your goals and learning orientation. What do you deem as success in your virtual training? Build rewards around those things. 

Rewards can also look different depending on your budget, work culture, and even company mission and vision. Completion certificates, newsletter features, or donations made to a charity of choice are all great drivers for remote training gamification. 

With Comprehensive Learning Solutions (CLS) you’ll access instructional designers, certified project managers (PMPs), and specialized online trainers that can translate your complex procedures into understandable and effective online training. Get in touch today to find out more.


What are the benefits of remote training programs?

So, that’s the how—but what about the why? If everyone is bored with virtual training, is it time to abandon the practice altogether? No—it just means it’s time for some creativity! 

When done right, virtual training has several benefits over face-to-face training:

  • It provides more opportunities for using technology: This can help create new learning experiences for learners, giving them the chance to engage with different training solutions and learning management platforms.
  • It creates opportunities for async learning: This ensures that learners can engage with materials at their own pace, and revisit anything that they need more time on. It also enables you to better address different learning preferences, such as auditory, visual, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
  • It enables participants to learn with global participants: This allows learners to hear diverse perspectives and opinions, as opposed to in-person training which has geographical constraints.

Implement your virtual training faster and more effectively with CLS

There you have it, ten ways to implement more successful virtual training for remote employees. Remember, remote employee training needs a larger strategy for it to be a success. 

Want more tips on how to convert your classroom training for the online environment?  Comprehensive Learning Solutions has been advising organizations of all sizes on how to do this. Contact Comprehensive Learning Solutions today for training or advisory services on remote learning.

Training remote employees FAQs

1. What are the best practices for training remote employees?

Some of the top tips and best practices for training remote employees are:

  • Set clear goals and objectives
  • Design interactive training materials
  • Use the right software for your needs
  • Encourage collaboration and engagement 
  • Follow up after training

2. How can I track the progress of remote employees undergoing training?

Regular assessments can help track the progress of remote employees. The exact type of assessment depends on your training focus, but they give a good idea of where learners are at in their learning journey.

Karen Feeley
Karen Feeley

Instructional designer

Karen Feeley is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in workplace learning and development. She is a published author, trainer, instructional designer, editor, and project manager with a proven track record of success in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

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