Businesses worldwide are supporting work from home staff, which means they are hiring and training staff that most employees have yet to see face-to-face. This can create quite a challenge during onboarding and training. But, it is a challenge that can be overcome.
Most companies have pretty standard on-the-job training policies. When an employee comes into a new job, they are expected to read the company policies, review their job description, talk to their boss about what is needed, and do some hands-on training of various systems.
Often, companies keep their “how-tos” in giant, difficult-to-navigate binders that most staff glance over before asking fellow employees for help.
This type of training and onboarding does not work well in general but really won’t work when a new employee is going straight from the hiring process to working from home.
This is why new training policies must be established for employers to hire effective employees when they can’t have others sit down with them and train them.
Beginning with Knowledge Transfer
At-home training starts well before a new employee is hired. Here are five steps you and your staff should take before tackling at-home training:
1. Create a centralized, accessible place for all staff to access employee information. This will likely be somewhere in your intranet which can store massive amounts of data in a searchable way. All documents stored here will need to have logical naming conventions and be sorted by job type.
2. Create knowledge transfer policies and procedures.
3. Have every employee write an overview of what their job entails and store it in this knowledge transfer vault.
4. Have every employee write down the tasks they perform with step-by-step instructions and screenshots.
5. Have every employee include training materials to which they refer, videos, webinar notes, and anything else useful in their section of this knowledge transfer vault.
This knowledge transfer vault can first be tackled by employees that are in the process of leaving your company, as you will need this information in training their replacement.
The next step is for leadership to think through what information is normally provided during a “sit-down” training of a new employee. What do you do to show a new person the ropes? Additionally, what new “ropes” does the employee need to know? Should they go through training on video conferencing/video conferencing etiquette? Do they need to understand how to use “channels” on Slack?
Make sure this information is documented.
Now that this process is understood, you have three choices:
1st. Have the new employee’s trainer virtually sit with them via screenshare and go through the training with them.
2nd. Create videos for this type of sit-down training so the employee can perform a self-guided training session.
3rd. A combination of the above two options.
We often recommend the third option as this allows employees to ask questions on-the-fly, but also provides them with autonomy when training in systems with which they may be familiar.
Do you remember the giant binder(s) to which we referred at the beginning of this article? That information needs to be made accessible as well as updated. So, one task during this knowledge transfer and training process will be to go through that binder, put the information into your intranet system, and weed out anything that is no longer useful.
This organizational process is one that you can and should delegate.
Training new employees that work from home is a challenge that can be overcome with effective processes and procedures. Don’t wait until an employee is about to leave your company to get these processes started. Contact Business Success Consulting Group to begin organizing today.