The small business sphere has been greatly affected during the pandemic. If you are a business owner, one of the challenges you’ve been facing over these two years is remote work. Due to the work from home new normal, you may have experienced increased attrition and declined employee engagement, and have had to make greater efforts to keep your remote team productive.
It might seem that training is something extra in this case and is unrelated to ‘the real business.’ But actually, you can easily implant online training while working remotely and provide that essential support to your business. In this article, we’ll show you how online training can help you address some business challenges and stay productive while working remotely.
It’s common for small business owners to work long hours and be superheroes who handle it all. This may lead to a situation where the business can’t function in the absence of the founder. But to build a stable business, entrepreneurs have to learn how to delegate and let go of the tasks that their employees can perform. In this regard, online training can help you in two important ways.
First, you can train your employees to your company standards and provide everyone with identical training. The result is that the entire staff will be on the same page and know what to do without your supervision, making it easier for you to delegate tasks.
Second, you’ll be able to plan your energy more efficiently and lighten your workload. Remote online training will help you save time otherwise spent with face-to-face sessions and allow you to inject your efforts into the business tasks at hand.
Introduce Your Brand
When job-hopping is on the rise and the labor market is tight, employees look for more than a job when applying for another position. If you want new hires to come and stay, you need to give them a warm welcome and make a strong brand statement.
Another point is that small businesses tend to have a quick hiring process, and employees are expected to begin performing at their most productive level right away. However, it’s a good idea to take some time to bring newcomers in smoothly and help them adapt. This is especially relevant for remote employees who can’t be present in the physical office. Proper online onboarding will help them get a sense of your company and increase commitment.
To streamline remote onboarding, you can use online courses: prepare introductory materials on your company’s values and mission, incorporate them into a course with a user-friendly authoring tool, and share this with a single link sent to new hires. This way, you’ll provide them with sufficient information on your brand, explain why your business matters, and why it is so wonderful to be a part of your team.
Build a Stronger Team
Since your employees can’t see each other in person or meet only rarely, fostering company culture and maintaining a productive dialogue is a must. Building remote culture is relevant both for SMEs and large enterprises, but since small businesses may not have formal HR departments, it is more challenging for them.
Actually, the first step to putting together a strong team is online onboarding, which we’ve already discussed. Onboarding courses help you establish your company culture right away.
In the second step, you need to make sure that company-wide information can be easily located and accessed. Our tip is to launch an ongoing series of online courses on new products, features, policies, providers, etc. Remote employees can access these materials on their devices and study anytime, and you’ll be able to keep all of them in the loop and synchronize their work.
When working remotely, it’s not infrequent for teams to have communication gaps. Soft skills training and courses on communication strategies will also help your team members understand each other better and arrive at common solutions.
The SHRM “Retaining Talent” study confirmed that churn is especially tough on small enterprises. Since people who leave the organization tend to be those with specific knowledge or skill sets, every instance of someone leaving the company can be devastating for the business.
Some employees in managerial positions can also be pillars of corporate culture, and upon departing, this culture is removed. Given that employee retention is 30-50% higher in companies with developed learning cultures, training now plays an important role in fighting employee churn.
Onboarding, job-specific, or soft skills courses not only promote the quicker adaptation and effectiveness of your staff, but help people see that you care and want them to grow professionally.
For remote employees, especially if they are millennials, sufficient online training is a great argument for staying with your company. It will cost you much less to provide people with online training than cover unnecessary turnover and hiring costs.
Scale Your Business
Small businesses want to grow. But in order to grow, your company needs to constantly improve products and services, explore new markets, gain the trust of your target audience, and learn how to address their changing needs.
A well-prepared and highly trained staff is your human capital. Training can be the tool to work with employees on their development and even make them your business evangelists over time.
Plus, remote work is probably here to stay, and you will need scalable training to reach larger geographical areas and manage dispersed teams.
Once you recognize the need to streamline L&D processes in your company, consider moving to a learning management system (LMS). Being an online platform, it will help you organize and track your corporate training on any scale. In your LMS, you can easily upload courses and build consistent training programs from them. You can also enroll any number of learners, specify what a certain affiliate or department will study, and track how they progress through the learning content.
Remote employees can access the platform in their browsers or in mobile applications wherever they are, and you will encompass all courses, teams, and individual learners together on a single platform.
To seize all the opportunities we’ve listed in this article, equip yourself with the best practices for online training. You’ll be able to facilitate remote training in your company and make your business grow.