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5 Ways to Train Remote Employees Using Online Podcasts
In the increasingly diverse contemporary workplace, the number of remote employees is growing on an everyday basis. As of 2019, nearly 66 percent of businesses allow remote work, and 16 percent are fully remote. The latest surveys suggest that about 70 percent of workers all over the world operate remotely at least once a week. This figure has amplified in recent years together with additional developments in communication technologies, producing a more distributed staff.
Along with the rise in the overall number of remote workforces, employees are also increasingly demanding flexible work arrangements. Nearly a third of the U.S. employees state that they would leave their job for the one that lets them work remotely. As a result, companies that are looking to attract workers could use remote work as a perk.
Although technological improvements offer access to a broader worldwide talent pool and allow companies to grant their workforces the incentive of flexible work settings, remote workers put forward a distinctive set of challenges. These challenges are the most evident in workforce training.
Onboarding remote workforces and training them requires certain expertise. Remote employees do not enjoy the amenity of learning via direct observations and daily communications in the workplace. Therefore, training them requires a special methodology. One such popular methodology is podcasting. This is why nearly 13% of companies used podcasting to train their employees in 2017.
Using Podcasts for Employee Training
In this article, we have outlined five different ways of using online podcasts to train your remote workers:
Offer personalized training
By means of podcasts, you can offer personalized training and generate an informal framework which can enhance usefulness and retention. Online learning management system offers incredible benefits in comparison with classroom-based training without carrying off that feeling of personalization that can come from this training style.
With podcasts, you can still leverage the advantages of e-Learning, without mislaying those indispensable fundamentals of classroom edification.
Invite guest lecturers to add diversity to your podcasts. This will expose your workers to new subjects and perspectives. For instance, invite a professional from one of your global divisions to share his/her experiences. This will offer your employees a different viewpoint, based on the expert’s experience level, location, and work status.
Your remote workers can be located in any part of the world and in any time zone. Therefore, with podcasts, you can allow them to continue learning whenever they want as per their schedule.
Plan your conversation points
It is generally not wise to “make up on the spot” when you are creating online training podcasts. In fact, you should prepare an agenda to follow or even a script that includes all the important conversation points.
This way, you make sure that you remain focused and convey the message as swiftly and concisely as possible, rather than deviating from the main topic and taking up your workers’ valuable time.
You can also generate timestamps for your online training podcasts. For instance, by the first-minute mark, you should get done with the introduction and proceed with the next topic.
Deliver bite-sized training
Instead of covering too many topics in one podcast, it’s best to emphasize a single training goal in each episode. This allows remote workers to better focus on a particular assignment or learning matter, then proceed to the next when time permits.
Your remote workers can also use the online podcasts as “just-in-time” e-learning tools if they are bite-sized and easily available. You can first generate a list of potential ideas or thoughts and then write down some points for each idea to see if they are sufficient to complete one episode.
One thing that makes online training podcasts popular and effective is their interactive nature.
Podcasts are pre-recorded, which makes them swift and expedient. However, they do not offer workers the prospect to team up with one another or ask queries in real-time.
That’s where you can leverage social media. Start a companion social media group to allow your remote workers to share their opinions, ask questions, and offer feedback.
Another great way is to use relevant hashtags and enable online discussion on Twitter. This will allow your remote workforces to communicate with one another whenever they listen to the online podcast, even if that’s after several years down the lane.
Adopt storytelling techniques
Developing an emotional connection with your audience is a vital part of fruitful online training podcasts. What can be better than including real-world stories that evoke feelings?
Share narratives and real-life instances that are related to the learning topic.
For instance, when training about conflict management or soft skills development, share examples of how you resolved a clash with a colleague or addressed a client’s problem.
This way, you can humanize the online training experience and get your workers invested expressively. As your remote workers may not have experience of working directly with you, they can relate to your personal anecdotes and then use the gems of knowledge in their own careers.
Your podcasts don’t have to be a boring monologue. Play with different sound elements, such as background music and sound effects. This improves the interactivity of the podcasts and makes the right atmosphere for learning.
For instance, when talking about your personal stories, add a piece of soothing music in the backdrop.
Podcasts are an effective way to train remote employees. However, the secret to producing outstanding online training podcasts is audience involvement. Your remote workers might be listening to a pre-recorded podcast, but they should always feel like they’re involved in the process.
Focus on personalizing the learning experience and use storytelling, sound effects, social media, and other additional online training software activities to keep your employees enthusiastic and involved.