distant workers’ careers
Taking into account the current accelerated business environment, one thing is certain: improving employee skills is the basis of progress. No matter what they do or where they are, companies must ensure that the best talent management and development programs are implemented for all their employees.
This generates even more challenges for training and development professionals and, in general, for the HR function, since the management and improvement of the skills of employees working in remote locations require the application of specific strategies and tactics. There are some things to consider before embarking on that trip.
1. Time zones
There are currently 38 time zones around the world. If a company is based in the U.S. and only expands throughout its states, there is a maximum time difference of three hours. But if a US company has people who work in Southeast Asia or Europe, for example, the differences in local hours become more difficult to manage, although not impossible.
It is easy to forget about time zones when scheduling interviews, meetings, or training sessions, but this is usually a mistake that is only made once. After an important virtual meeting has suffered problems because someone confused the time, everyone will make sure that that does not happen again.
2. technological tools
There are a lot of options when it comes to technological tools that help companies deal with time differences and employees who work in remote locations. After all, technology is, in fact, the engine behind remote jobs.
After making sure that each employee has a personal computer and an Internet connection that they can use to do their job, there are three main types of software that must be taken into account:
- an LMS with functions that allow asynchronous learning. All good learning management systems for companies do that, but there are still many training solutions that do not favor it. Asynchronous learning allows employees to access training courses, participate in learning activities, collaborate with their peers, and communicate with instructors when it is most convenient for them.
- There are chat tools that are always active, either as an integral part of the LMS mentioned above or as independent solutions. For the training part, it may be better to encourage the use of the LMS chat tool, since all learning will take place in the same place: courses, questions, answers, etc. But since people are social beings and learn from each other even more than they do from training materials and formal debates, opting for an independent chat tool is also a good idea. Learning can occur even in the most informal conversations between employees.
- technology that supports video calls. Again, it can be integrated into the LMS or be an independent solution. Whatever it is, it is crucial that video calls, especially long-distance ones, are made without problems.Remote employees who see a frozen instructor screen or have to muffle their ears due to squeaks in poor-quality video sessions can waste critical learning time and work time.
3. Training courses
In order to move forward and upward, any business must invest in the professional progress of its personnel, whether they work remotely or not. That’s why training programs must meet the learning needs of employees.
Instructional designers must make remote worker training courses appealing and culturally suitable. Having a complete understanding of someone’s culture will help L&D professionals avoid any mishaps.They can achieve it by investigating what fits and doesn’t fit in different scenarios and correlating those data and thoughts with people from that culture.
In addition, instructors must consider enrolling workers in courses that are relevant to them. Courses that are mandatory in one place can become optional in another and completely irrelevant in another.
And last but not least, training programs for remote employees must allow for informal learning to occur. The chat tools above and others support this.
Creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing knowledge and is aware of it is crucial.
4. translated learning materials
Many of your staff will speak different languages if your organization has multiple locations.
Thus, translating or designing training courses in their local language may reduce work-related risk.
After deciding in which target language(s) you should translate or create training courses
To answer, utilize Google Translate, professional translation services, or both. This article shows a balanced list of pros and cons for each option, which can help you make a decision. Translating training materials is costly but can improve knowledge transfer.
In conclusion, the Internet and remote work technology have expanded firms’ talent pools. But no matter where they are, all employees need to constantly update their skill set.
Human resources and L&D professionals must overcome many challenges to help and support remote workers do that. Remote worker career development? They can succeed if they understand time zones, use the correct technology, and translate training materials when needed.