Working Solutions, a leader in on-demand contact center services, has educated 100,000s of remote workers over nearly 25 years. With the coronavirus, Tamara Schroer, a 20-year veteran in virtual education, offers five tips for businesses to teach their new remote workers. According to Schroer, vice president of education for the company: “In the end, companies that follow these tips can end up being more effective and productive, whatever happens, be it COVID-19 or something else.”
1. Don’t panic – The course material you use today is largely the same in the virtual classroom. You already have the expertise in hand. There is no need to research or reinvent. What’s required now is adjusting the way you teach it online, so recalibrate.
2. Scale down – Workers have limited attention spans, especially if it’s by-rote, check-the-box training. To adapt, break down lessons into digestible chunks. Make it bite-sized education, delivered via iPhones or iPads. Long-distance learning should be short and sweet for remote workers who have little patience or bandwidth.
3. Use gamification – Make lessons entertaining and interactive. Use games to engage your workers, such as Jeopardy!, Bingo and Menti, which delivers quick, online polls. They’re particularly enjoyable and effective. Emulate the world that workers know and love to educate them. You’ll compete better as a business by making lessons easier to learn and retain.
4. Break workers into small groups – No one likes lecture-hall classrooms. The same is true with online teaching. Small groups are more intimate and attentive. Have workers interact and identify with each other as lessons are taught. Structure the instruction to create teams and form bonds from afar.
5. Overcome the distance – With virtual teaching, there are a couple of obstacles right up front. You must bridge both the distance and the subject matter. For instance, you can’t look workers in the eyes and connect in person. You can, however, call out their names: “Hey Joe… Sally, does that make sense?” Being personal makes the lesson more real to them in real-time, and hopefully, makes it stick, too.
As Schroer says: “Social distancing doesn’t need to disrupt the learning process for businesses.”
She, instead, sees it as a way to streamline staid, maybe even outdated, training. Embrace it as a modernized way to better engage workers, spread out across thousands of miles in scattered locations.
Virtual education, in fact, can be a great unifier.