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How to enhance distance learning and remote training sessions for home-bound employees

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The COVID-19 pandemic is awakening many Americans, some for the first time, to the unique challenges of working from home. But just because they’re not in the office doesn’t mean team members—let alone their managers—don’t require training and skills development. Even in this time of social distancing, effective, efficient, results-driven distance learning is taking place, and it’s being powered by these best practices and connectivity considerations.

Make it social: Just because remote learning happens while people are physically separated doesn't mean it shouldn't be a socially rewarding experience. Keep the learning light and fun with remote collaboration tools, which can help spark connection and facilitate knowledge-share. Many such tools integrate chat and hand-raising features, which can help the training administrator avoid cross-talk on the line.

Consider learning management systems: When gathering employees in a video call isn't an option, a learning management system, or LMS, can suit. These programs allow employees to work through lessons and build skills on their own time, providing flexibility on the where, when and how of their skills maintenance and development.

Build a strong connection: A reliable network raises the likelihood that everyone receives a high-quality, memorable learning experience. The network should have the ability to flex capacity on demand as content scales up or down. And for the best results, factors like budget, number of people and essential vs. nice-to-have features should be considered.

Collaborate across departments: There's never been a better time to bring groups from different departments together to learn from each other and share best practices. Benefits of this type of learning include avoiding siloed knowledge, improved collaboration, increased trust across an organization, broadening skill sets, and more—all of which can lead to improved productivity across the board.

Follow up: Just because a remote learning session has ended doesn't mean it's complete. Follow up with trainees individually to confirm they synthesized the lessons and to address any lingering questions not raised in the group. Take this opportunity to request feedback about what worked well and what could be improved. Finally, consider uploading a short post-training video to a shared workspace that can be revisited at any time, on demand, to reinforce the lessons. 

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