Challenges of Remote Teams Training
If there is one business practice that will stick around in the post-pandemic world, it is that virtual work will remain an integral part of the workplace. Less reliance on a physical workspace can mean finding and retaining the best candidates you can find, regardless of location and accessibility. This is great news for any business looking to expand its search for talent and a new means of acquiring top-quality team members.
However, training a remote team comes with its own set of challenges. When training virtual professionals, new and innovative ways need to be utilized so that the quality of work from every new remote employee remains the same, across the board. When virtual employees are working from remote places, it can be difficult to make sure that everyone on a team is working toward the same goals. Without proper planning, ideas can get convoluted and there can be confusion on how to meet outcome goals or even confusion as to what the outcome goals are in the first place.
Without face-to-face (f2f) interaction, there are challenges to convey a shared workplace culture during the virtual team training period. When people work in the same physical space, it is easy to foster the idea of the kind of work setting managers and administrators want to run, including the tone, style, and dress codes. Defining if the culture of a company is a relaxed, fun environment or one of a more professional and conservative setting can be easily done in person, but not so much over the internet. There are subtleties in communication that must be conveyed in different ways in a virtual setting.
The process of onboarding in a virtual setting will need different kinds of mentoring and different means of providing feedback to a new hire are needed when an employer is at a distance from a new team of employees. It can be hard to pick up on the specific training needs of a virtual worker if there is a barrier of communication between the two parties.
Effective communication among employers and their virtual team members can be especially difficult to foster in a virtual environment if everyone is relying on more traditional means of communication, such as email. For people working across large distances, time zones may need to be considered. The newest and most innovative technologies should be used to enhance communication.
New employees simply getting to know each other must be addressed in new ways in a virtual environment. Team members developing a sense of trust with each other and discovering what each employees’ strengths are will help a project reach its goals successfully, as well as foster a sense of camaraderie, which is easier done f2f than remotely.
Training a quality remote team can mean the difference between your business maintaining the quality of its products and services across the board, or a team that is chaotic and unproductive.
During the pandemic, virtual learning has undergone massive improvements, as it was necessary to remotely train new hires.
Why Is Training Your Virtual Assistants So Crucial for Your Business Growth?
There are many benefits to training virtual assistants that can lead to substantial growth in your business. Virtual training sessions have standardized and streamlined training so that, across industries and cultures, a high-quality level of performance is maintained and the goals and expectations of a virtual assistant in training are clear. Even one client having a bad experience with a virtual assistant can tarnish your company’s reputation.
Another benefit of virtual training is that it can save travel costs and time, as there is no need for trainers and mentors to travel. Furthermore, a virtual assistant doesn’t need to leave their current location to be trained.
How to Train a Virtual Team? A Step-by-Step Walkthrough of Remote Training
While virtual training may look different than Face to Face training, the goals are the same: to produce a standardized high quality of production from every virtual assistant that is hired. In a virtual setting, there are specific steps that you can take to ensure that each new employee receives the most efficient types of training. The steps to this are as follows:
Step 1: Define a Role
Defining the role of each member of the team ensures that all parties will know what their purpose is within a remote team and what outcomes are expected of them. Beginning by defining a role gives a virtual assistant a concrete place to start as they move on in the training program.
Step 2: Prepare Learning Materials
As stated above, one of the benefits of virtual learning is that the training materials can be standardized and accessible, anywhere a virtual assistant may be located. These learning materials may include pre-recorded lessons and step-by-step training guides.
These learning materials benefit when they include real-life examples and scenarios the virtual assistant will experience when working for clients. Furthermore, experienced team members talking about their own experiences, challenges, and accomplishments they have had while assisting their own clients help encourage and inspire the new hires to work hard to reach their full potential.
Learning materials may also include live training screen shares. This training takes advantage of many of the interactive elements that benefit from f2f training, and when there is a mix of live video feed and text, it helps ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and questions can be asked and answered in multiple formats.
Step 3: Develop a Timeline/Training Schedule
Developing a timeline and realistic schedule is one of the most important steps of online training. This sets clear goals for both the employer and the remote worker. These schedules must be carefully planned so that the knowledge and training can be given to a new virtual assistant efficiently, but not in an overwhelming way.
A great aspect of virtual training is that all training information can be revisited when needed by the new remote worker. Even online live sessions can be recorded so that someone can always rewatch the live feed if they missed something the first time.
Step 4: Define How to Provide Ongoing Support and Measure Success
In a physical workspace, when a question arises, it is not uncommon for a new hire to stop by a colleague or supervisor’s office and ask a quick question. It is beneficial for a business to train new employees to simulate that access in a virtual environment. Policies that could be put into place could have a “virtual open door” policy, where new employees use technology to have quick access to colleagues during business hours. Furthermore, managers might have virtual hours where they are available to immediately respond to questions from new hires.
Assigning mentors is also a great way to bring new employees on board, and this is no different in a virtual setting. Mentors and mentees can have specified virtual meeting times to work together in the mentee’s training.
There should be clear outcome goals to measure the success of new hires as they proceed through the training process. Not only do outcome proficiency goals give the new virtual assistant a clear path through the onboarding process, but they help the company bring into focus its values, responsibilities, and aspirations. Especially thought-out outcome goals benefit all parties involved.
Step 5: Go Over the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
A standard operating procedure (SOP) offers concise and detailed instructions for how a new hire should perform tasks specific to their business. This document explains, step by step, the procedures to successfully execute and reach goal outcomes of the specific tasks presented.
An SOP will help a trainee understand how to adhere to their required business practices, make these processes more efficient, and minimize the risk of errors. A successful SOP will maintain premium productivity by providing support accountability, and foresee potential misunderstandings while keeping virtual communication between team members open and productive.
Introducing and reviewing SOPs with new employees can significantly reduce the training time necessary to be competent, top-quality virtual assistants. Videos and FAQ documents can enhance the SOPs and make them the go-to documents for both new and veteran assistants.
Main Takeaways to Consider When Training a Virtual Team
The main takeaways to consider when training a virtual team include producing training materials that thoroughly explain training outcome goals so that the process of onboarding is thorough, successful, and time-efficient.
Mentoring programs can help give trainees individualized training, as well as convey such things as company culture, values, and learning from personal experiences.
Successful virtual training includes many opportunities to give the trainee specific, specialized feedback to help maximize their potential. In turn, the employers should also give the new hire ample opportunity to give their feedback as well, so that each party can assist and learn from the other. Be sure to address the trainee’s concerns before and after the training process.
Virtual Latinos provides the best virtual assistants out there to help you create, implement, and maintain successful virtual training programs. We are the top virtual assistant companies that offer bilingual professionals from all over Latin America. We will find the right virtual assistant for you and then provide the support you and your assistant need as you do business together. If you are looking to hire a virtual assistant, contact Virtual Latinos today!