Best Practices in HR
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  September 26, 2019

Training and Managing Remote Teams Using an LMS

Remote teams are becoming more popular in the information age as new tools and connectivity make it easier than ever to collaborate from various locations. In fact, some businesses are even moving to a fully-distributed model with no official office space. However, managing remote teams is not without its challenges. Fortunately, a learning management system may be able to help.

Using an LMS to Face Remote Team Challenges

Managing learning is a challenge in any organization. Delivering consistent, engaging and effective training to team members at different levels in different departments is no small task. These difficulties can be exacerbated by operating a remote team.

Traditionally, a lot of training has been facilitated by a manager or a senior team member in person, and this training usually only happens during onboarding or when the trainee is learning a new system. This approach doesn’t work well for remote teams because in some cases they can’t meet in person.

Furthermore, unlike people working together in an office, managers aren’t able to easily see when a team member is struggling in a remote work environment. Similarly, it can be harder to assess confusion when new policies are implemented or announcements are made with remote teams. Therefore, it is important to be more rigorous about establishing effective learning systems.

A learning management system, or LMS, is a great way to overcome some of these challenges. An LMS is used to make training and educational resources available digitally. Additionally, an LMS helps managers better track who is engaging with what material and when, meaning managers can see which content remote team members are engaging with. They can use quizzes and other assessment to ensure that the materials are deeply understood, and are given insights into other learning data and analytics about their team members.

Better yet, content from learning management systems does not need to be manager-directed. Instead, users can access lessons they are interested in and want to learn about at their own pace. This may be driven by curiosity, a need for a refresher, a desire to learn an important new skill, or all of the above. Not to mention, a mobile LMS makes it even easier for remote team members to engage with lessons anywhere and anytime.

Using an LMS with a remote team is a good idea no matter how large your team is or how many people are remote. It makes providing consistent and effective training easier. You don’t need to limit training to onboarding. Similarly, you don’t need to dedicate a senior team member to provide training. Instead, you can give your whole team access to a collective base of knowledge anytime and at their fingertips.

Achieving Effective Learning Results

Without a doubt, an LMS can be a great tool for both remote and traditional teams. However, achieving great results isn’t as easy as setting up a learning management system and letting things take their course. These are a few guidelines for how to make the most out of an LMS, especially with a remote team:

  •  Remember Reporting: Most learning management systems offer robust analytics and reports for managers. These reports make it easier for supervisors to understand what their people are learning and how well. As you implement your LMS, learn what reports are offered and what insight they provide as well as what data you need to see in order to prove program effectiveness. Reporting can make a world of difference in helping you make data-driven improvements to your training program to encourage training success.
  • Make It Accessible: Make sure that the LMS is easy for everyone to access, especially remote team members. If people struggle to use the system, they won’t use it. When an LMS is configured for easy updates and is simple to use, your people will use it on their own accord. A mobile LMS is often a great option as it offers your people numerous easy ways to access content.
  • Content Counts: Even the best learning management system can be hamstrung by low-quality or unengaging content. It can help to seek outside support from an eLearning vendor who can help you incorporate best practices when developing your LMS lessons, including incorporating custom content. Easy-to-understand, interesting and useful content is a must for any LMS implementation.
  • Offer Varied Content Types: Videos can be very helpful for making learning easier and more meaningful, especially for remote team members that are visual learners. Combine them with infographic and textual content to help your team learn in the ways that are best for them.
  • Get Feedback: Ultimately, it is your users whose opinions matter the most regarding your LMS. If your team members don’t like the LMS, it won’t matter how excited your management is for it. Get feedback from your people on what works for them and what doesn’t. Be open and responsive to this feedback so you can hone your implementation to find the best solution for your entire team.

A learning management system can make managing remote teams easier. It is one of the best ways to deliver consistent training and education for your distributed team members. Using the suggestions above, you can help ensure that your learning management system implementation is as beneficial as possible for your remote team.

Interested in implementing a learning management system to help train and manage your remote employees? Contact eThink with your questions or click below to request an individual demonstration.

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