Ahh, health and safety training. Everyone loves it, don’t they? We actually get very good feedback both about our training courses and our trainers, but we understand that some people give safety training a bad press. But we realise that (sometimes!) it isn’t the topic or the trainer that people see as a problem, it’s the time out of the working day to attend the course that’s the problem.
Remote learning, e-learning, online learning, whatever you may call it, can work really well for many organisations, specifically if you have employees who work from home, work flexibly, compressed hours or who work shifts.
Remote learning uses a variety of methods, such as webinars, live training via communication apps or even pre-made presentation slides.
Organisations can benefit using remote learning in a number of ways:
Depending on the type of remote learning used, it can support employees to allow them to complete training at a time and even a location that suits them. It can overcome issues typically associated non-attendance at face to face training such as travel delays and restrictions, physical inability to travel and poor weather delaying services.
Remote training which allows employees start, stop and the pick the training back up again means employees can pick up critical issues (such as emergencies at work or childcare issues) and complete the training at a later stage.
It has a larger audience capacity
Training and meeting rooms will have a maximum capacity. Raise your hand if you’ve tried to book the room you need and its not available, so you have to draw on your best negotiation skills to get it or go through the pain of rescheduling.
Remote learning removes this issue and many communication apps will allow 100s of participants to join at any one time so you can train a large number of people easily.
It’s cost effective
Remote learning can cut both internal and external costs usually associated with face to face training such as travel, lunch, accommodation, room hire and printing costs.
Used well, it can control the flow of training
Communication apps allow the presenter to control the training. Participants can be muted so background noise is eliminated (can you hear the sweet wrappers in your head now?) and people don’t talk over each other.
Controlling what participants can or cannot do, means the trainer can also schedule in suitable Q&A times, such as at the end of each training module or refer back to chat functions in apps to address specific questions asked.
It can be interactive
Many communication apps support interactive training such creating polls, using digital whiteboards to draw and sketch on, dedicated areas for asking questions and can even be recorded for future reference. Don’t forget that any follow up documentation that needs to be shared can be sent by email or other file sharing apps.
Surely there are challenges?
Yes, remote learning can limit how well trainers and participants gel, it can seem a little detached and might inhibit how well the trainer can gauge the audience as they might usually (reading body language and facial expressions etc.).
How familiar participants are with using technology can also influence their individual experience with remote training.
You know your employees best and how they might respond to remote learning, but we think the opportunities are great and given the nature of the way work is changing for us all, it may well become a necessity.