With remote work seemingly here to stay, it’s time for companies to rethink their traditional practices to accommodate this new reality. One prime area that is crying out for change is workforce training.

While distance learning for schools has received far more focus, distance learning for employees is every bit as much in need of a revamp. Whether it’s onboarding new recruits or upskilling existing staff, training in a remote or hybrid workplace needs an entirely fresh approach.

Perhaps understandably, the sudden shift to remote work was scattered. No one knew how long the coronavirus pandemic would last, which made it difficult for businesses to commit to new training programs. And, unfortunately, employees took notice. A recent survey found that 61% of remote workers felt they didn’t receive adequate training while working remotely and would welcome additional resources for learning and development (L&D).

Clearly, companies need to step up and give employees what they need. To up your organization’s training game, consider adding in a healthy dose of video training.

Advantages of Video Training

Video training can do what in person or even virtual meetings often can’t: Engage employees and increase their ability and willingness to learn. Studies have shown that videos provide learners with both greater engagement and retention. Employees are certainly more likely to watch a video than read a document. Plus, they’re far more likely to remember the information that the company wanted to impart.

Training videos allow employees to watch and complete tutorials at their own pace. This helps companies cater to a variety of learning styles: some people learn by working independently, and others benefit from having a step-by-step curriculum. The beauty of training a workforce through video is the flexibility it offers. Be sure that the videos are hosted on mobile-friendly platforms, so employees can take part while on the go.

Video training also supports consistency, ensuring every employee receives the same information and guidance. In onboarding, this guarantees that all new employees start on equal footing, as long as they’re taking the time to complete the training — if not, it shows a lack of motivation that can be easily pinpointed and dealt with.

Pre-recorded training videos can be recycled and reused, all for a one-time upfront cost. Companies don’t have to pay for trainers’ travel and accommodation costs, for reserving a training space, or even for employees’ time that could otherwise be spent productively. For instance, Microsoft reportedly went from spending $320 per employee on training to a mere $17. Those are savings of $303 per employee.

Developing a Curriculum

Remote learning can take many forms: virtual tutorials, webinars, podcasts or virtual instructor-led (VILT) sessions. A diverse set of options is key to maintaining learners’ interest.

Instructional videos don’t have to be lengthy, either; in fact, a series of shorter snippets will be more likely to encourage engagement. Employees can pick up a new skill or learn to comply with a new policy in as little as three minutes. For example, one video might feature a simulated customer service call, including a script for how to respond to complaints. Video is especially effective when it presents employees with real-world scenarios.

One important choice that companies need to make is whether to adopt a synchronous or asynchronous training approach. Essentially, synchronous training occurs live, in real-time, while asynchronous training gives employees the ability to learn at their own pace and in their own time.

Asynchronous training has the advantage of being more flexible and catering to employees with busy or unpredictable schedules, like parents of young children. However, one potential downside to asynchronous learning is that less motivated employees may not take it seriously. Synchronous training has the advantage of requiring employees to be present, albeit virtually.

Training for All

When developing a training curriculum, consider using a diversity of options that support inclusivity and learning differences — offering tools that allow employees to pursue visual, audio or kinesthetic learning preferences. Both self-led and group-paced learning should also come with additional resources outside of the required content, allowing learners to pursue additional training or access refresher material as needed. By creating a library of video resources that break down extensive training into easily digestible parts, employees will can reference areas of need whenever they want. That’s one thing that remote work has made even more challenging: Giving employees a chance to stay engaged. Luckily, video training can help to rectify this disconnect and help employers meet everyone’s needs for continued learning and growth.

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