How to Train Your Staff Remotely

‘Make it simple. Make it as barebones as possible to make sure everyone can understand it.’

With the shift to remote work caused by the pandemic, more employers have been training and onboarding their staff online. We give you pointers on how to make this process seamless and convenient for everyone. Find out how to train your new staff effectively and remotely.

Roger: Hi! And welcome to Local SEO Today. I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong. 

Roger: John, welcome. Today, we are having a kind of a great podcast or today we want to talk to the business owners and entrepreneurs but business owners that have staff and we live in this world now…This, you know, we’re in this pandemic world of so many people are working remotely. So it’s, how do you train them remotely? What’s your…Give me your thoughts on that, John?

John: Yeah and it’s challenging, right? Like, people are so used to doing things in person training, collaborating, following instructions, live demos, you know, just job shadowing. You get so much more accomplished and you’re going to actually get instant feedback but with technology, now that everyone’s in front of a computer, doing everything online, we don’t even know how many people have that skill set of understanding how to navigate in this new digital age. So first off, you need to understand perspective like, your employees, do they have technology skills? Do they understand how to use a zoom call, or do some online training and understanding how to collaborate in workshops? Do you have videos? Do you have things that prepare you to know that your staff, employees can actually navigate it properly?

Roger: Yep. And that’s, again, I guess it comes down to the staff you have today. And it probably has a demographic profile too, in terms of the younger, you know, the younger the staff..They tend to be…they grew up with technology all their lives. So it really, I guess that’s something you have to address as well because there’s different levels of competency around technology.

John: And are they equipped? Do they have access? You need to provide that to them. So that’s an additional expense for you as well, right? Because it’s not a part of their job to have a computer, you know, on duty or zoom, a webcam or internet speed that’s really fast in order to do video calls, right? Understanding all that and having that available and maybe these are new processes that you can now incorporate moving forward as well, that allow people to be more comfortable, you know, watching videos instead of doing it in person. 

Roger: And I know and I think people are pretty good with modules…Self learning modules and learning at your own pace and if it’s done correctly, the modules as you go through, you know, you sort of you test…Or the systems or tests that the staff as they go through to make sure they move to the next level.

John: Yeah, and the reason we’re talking about this is we actually implemented a lot of these online training videos in the last, I would say, a couple of years. We’ve been really focused on making it easy for anyone onboarding new customers, new staff, actually coming in so that an existing employee doesn’t have to be there for them during the training phase. And that allows for more ability, bandwidth that’s not tied up, right? So, it’s building a system and building videos that is like a shared library so that whenever someone’s onboarding, you don’t have to have someone monitor them, you can just push them to a video training session with a feedback loop, right? And it allows for more seamless and easy access for people to do it on their own as well.

Roger: That’s right. And of course, there’s lots of technologies, maybe we could just touch on. But, you know, we use Skype quite a bit here at our company. But we also have engaged zoom, where we can have, you know, training sessions and is recorded. That’s a big deal, John, isn’t it? We can record information so that it can be shared amongst the team for…Down the road, it becomes a library of content.

John: And there’s so many different tools, right? From video, Google Hangout, to Microsoft has their own. We’ve just been doing it for so many years that it doesn’t matter which tool and even with like, downloading the document, the video, making it shareable. Is it Google Drive? Is it Dropbox? Is there different places that you can actually put so that people can actually watch it and share it. So, there’s a lot of tools out there that can make it easy for your staff to absorb and make it very simple like, don’t get too complex because remember, this is onboarding and this is new for a lot of people. And the more simple it is, everyone will understand. The more complex it is, it becomes a lot more questions, right? And there should be modules and different levels based on where they’re at in their business. Like, if someone’s entry level or starting, they’ll have different modules versus someone that’s more senior that gets it. So, understanding the perspective of who’s coming on board.

Roger: Yep. And I think that’s a very good point in terms of if you’ve got someone new that is you don’t want them to have…Be stressed out and have anxiety because they can’t figure out the technology first, even learn what they’re supposed to learn. So, keep it simple for them.

John: Exactly. And again, your staff, your employees, do they need training as well? On these tools and understanding that like, you have to understand, you have to make it as barebone, as basic as possible so that everyone can absorb it. From someone that’s fresh out of school to someone that is maybe in their 60s 70s, right? Because you don’t know their skill set, especially if this is not a duty that was required when they first took this job on, right? So, t’s a new skill set that now you’re requiring someone to do and understanding that perspective of where they’re sitting and how you can, you know, help them, get them closer to adapting to how you want things to be run.

Roger: Nice. Other thoughts, John, in terms of tracking results? Any thoughts on that?

John: Yeah, like we use Asana. It’s a project management tool. I would say, you know, talk to your customers, talk to your employees, find out like, what they enjoy, what they don’t enjoy, track the progress, get feedback, instant feedback, question them. Do they feel like you’re helping them get them closer to something that they feel comfortable doing on a regular basis? And, you know, it’s more about like, getting to know your staff so that they feel comfortable doing the best job, equip them with all the necessary tools and, you know, software or equipment so that they’re gonna do the best job and perform the best duties for your business.

Roger: And I might add to just always, maybe we talked about it but just always ask for that feedback too because we did get some good feedback on some of the tools we use in terms of best practices, how to use these tools so that, you know, they’re not wasting time going through different windows and, you know, opening different tabs and going back and forth. So, just get good feedback  to make sure that the right tools are up and they’re being used the right way.

John: Yeah. And again, this is new for a lot of business owners, right? Like, video presentation, creating modules and, you know, this is actually really good things that you’re now putting together because this can be repurposed for the future. For every new employee that comes on, you already have a whole module in place, so that people can train and a lot of these big companies have already started doing this. So, now you think about your business and maybe it’s a five employee, service based or product type business. Now, for every new employee that comes on, you already have this training orientation, video series for them to actually onboard, before, you know, doing it in person, which is very time consuming as well.

Roger: Sure. And that idea of just talking about company values, the history of the company, so that your new staff understand what you’re all about because, you know, every employee is a reflection of the business. So yeah, it helps you even with setting expectations so that they understand, you’re part of this business, this family, you represent us and these are our core values. So, that’s all in terms of the training.

John: Yeah. And just make sure everything’s in alignment, right? With what you’re looking for out of the employee and document it. Let people know, let them in on what your focus and your goals are, ultimately and make sure everyone’s in alignment. But have fun. We always talk about that. 

Roger: And of course, we’re even doing this meeting today, remotely, John, so I thank you for your time and I think there’s some great tips and ideas that came through today. So, thank you. 

John: Thanks a lot, Roger. 

Roger: And thanks to everyone listening and we’ll see you again in Local SEO Today.