Mar 30, 2023
The way companies and employees work has changed. Since the pandemic, people want the opportunity to choose how they work whether that’s remotely or adopting a hybrid approach.
However, this new way of working can be a challenge for companies and their L&D departments. Without a face-to-face approach to training, it can be tough to upskill your marketing and sales teams as the digital world continues to evolve.
In this article, we’ll look at what companies like yours can do to train their remote employees, and why it’s important. Plus, we look at great examples of how companies are upskilling remote workers and see why they’re successful.
We all know the online world moves fast, but with new technologies such as ChatGPT and the rise in AI and marketing automation tools, marketers need to understand the marketing space to leverage new opportunities.
According to ‘State of Remote Working 2022’ research, companies have made changes to accommodate remote workers but some have adapted very slowly, if at all. When it comes to benefits, while salary and insurance are still priorities, professional development (59 percent as very important) and good technology (66 percent as very important) rank high on the list for many workers.
Upskilling will not only mean that your employees have the skills you need but demonstrate your commitment to career progression and a willingness to nurture and empower your marketing team.
For example, you may have a great content marketer but do they know how to integrate SEO into the writing? Or does your email marketer know how to automate campaigns and workflows?
There are many benefits to having a remote workforce, either as an option alongside other ways of working or becoming a remote company.
Now that you know the importance and benefits of remote learning let’s look at 5 ways to help upskill your remote workers effectively.
The most obvious tactic to use when it comes to training remotely is offering online training and learning. But many companies still do not offer it or have out-of-date systems and learning content that are not keeping pace with trends and developments.
To ensure marketers have the skills they need and can access them at any time and from any location, a robust online training system is essential. This doesn't only mean a reliable and easy learning platform and interface but also one with content that’s updated regularly to reflect changes in the market.
Plus, a good learning management system will help you to track the progress of learners and help them stay motivated to study and complete modules or courses. It can also test users’ knowledge before and after training to ensure they understand the content.
Whether it’s improving your internal learning system or partnering with a provider (like DMI) to offer courses and content, it’s an area you should prioritize for not only remote workers but all staff.
59 percent of employees have had fewer opportunities for workplace learning since the pandemic while over two-thirds prefer to learn in small moments throughout the day - Salesforce research
Online events such as webinars are a great way to provide information interactively and visually.
You can host a training webinar on a particular topic or area, or bring in an expert and have a Q&A session at the end to interact (followed up with downloadable notes or a presentation).
These are also a great way to tell your staff about product launches or a new service that’s going on the market. It not only informs but ensures staff is connected to what’s going on in the company even though they are not in the office.
There are a lot of tools out there for hosting webinars such as Zoom, GoTo, Zoho, and Webex (good for real-time translations if your team is global). Do some research and see what’s right for your company.
With remote working, it’s important to have the right tools in place to drive engagement.
This means you need to have technology in-house that helps connect your remote workers and ensure they are on top of daily tasks but also as informed as other employees.
Using technology to connect your workforce is important for team leaders or management and enables colleagues to collaborate and work effectively on time-bound projects.
There are a lot of tools out there to facilitate communication, project management, collaboration, and meetings. Read ‘How to Manage a Remote Team (and the tools to help you do it)’ to find out more.
With employees working in different locations and at different times, it’s important to keep track of meetings and discussions.
Email can be a great way to document meeting outcomes and the next steps involved. Project management software like Monday or Asana keeps projects in one place and enables document uploading so everyone involved has access to assets.
Collaboration tools are vital here kike Miro as a way to track any changes or make comments for colleagues to follow up on.
For managers or leaders, it’s important to keep everyone on track and ensure that people know their responsibilities. Keeping on top of information and changes is a key part of dealing with remote workers.
Just because someone works remotely doesn’t mean they don’t want to be part of a team or have ties with the company.
It’s important to nurture team bonding and offer space for people to interact on a personal level. This can be done through regular check-in meetings (the frequency depends on the needs of your business and team) or hosting a regular virtual get-together like Friday afternoon pizza for team members. There are also virtual team-building exercises like hosting a photo contest or a learning circle where people share knowledge.
You can also organize in-office events monthly that encourage remote workers to come into the office. This helps to build bonds and boosts morale company-wide and helps people to communicate about areas outside work tasks or projects.
Also, consider gauging the health of your team but using a Health Monitor to identify strengths and weaknesses you can build into a training or development program
Virtual call center Liveops recruits on-demand virtual agents for sales and customer service. As an employee of Liveops, you are an external consultant, not an employee, and can work the hours and days you want.
In the job, you are matched with companies based on your skills and expertise. It can either be as your main job or as a remote side hustle to make extra money.
For training, Liveops agents need to complete a certification course designed for the client you have been matched with. Certification is a combination of self-paced eLearning courses and live virtual classroom sessions designed to guide you through the tools and practices you’ll use every day.
The company also offers support such as Liveops Nation where you can network with other agents or business owners and get real-time chat and technical support.
While this is tied to financial savings, the company is committed to remote working. According to Coby Chapple, Product Designer at GitHub, “Remote work being the default has always made a lot of sense for GitHub, because it meant we could ensure our product worked for teams regardless of where people were located.”
In how that works for the teams and productivity in the business, Chapple went on to say “The hours people work or the tools they use aren’t that important—what matters is results. Is this person doing important work? Is this person working effectively with their team? Is this person actively supporting GitHub’s long-term goals? These are the things by which we measure how someone is doing.”
As a perk, GitHub offers a yearly allowance for professional development and a stipend of $2,000 for conference attendance, workshops, tuition reimbursement, and other professional development learning sources.
Launched during the pandemic, Tango is an application that automatically generates how-to guides. With a team of remote people across over 30 American states, the company embraces a remote working environment.
When a new person is hired according to a Quartz interview they are asked to complete and share their personal user manual to help colleagues understand how to work with them. Questions include “How do you like to receive feedback?” or “What’s commonly misunderstood about you?” allowing people to get insight into the person to help the team work more collaboratively.
The company also has a remote playbook that is a manifesto on key areas such as onboarding, accountability, recognition and alignment.
As a leader in the software and technology industry, SAP always wants to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to skills and training.
As part of its digital transformation, the company wanted to increase the capabilities of its marketers - in-house and remote. SAP worked with DMI to assess the skills of its workforce to discover the knowledge gaps to determine what training was needed for each employee.
Once these results were benchmarked remote learning was provided that was self-paced with a deadline of 24 weeks to certification. Tactics to drive learning included executive sponsorship, webinars, support hours, emails, newsletters, and internal champions.
The result of the training program was a 52 percent increase in the team score and a positive shift in the appetite for learning programs.
It can be a challenge for your business to keep up with digital technologies and developments. DMI can help you assess the skills in your organization with a corporate digital marketing training program designed for every employee - remote and otherwise. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!