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by Olaf Scheffers | April 8, 2020
It sounds kind of obvious, but training and developing your remote workforce is essential to improving their skills and performance. It encourages them to be more engaging within the workforce of your company while working from their home office, which leads to happy, effective and great employees that are here to stay. Especially in these days where a lot of people find themselves having to work from home, it’s helpful to know how you can continue to train and develop those people who aren’t in the office.
A great way to provide people with the material they need is through e-Learning courses. These should also be promoted to engage your employees having work-at-home jobs into actually taking part in these courses.
This is a good start to their remote training and development. However, it is not yet enough to contribute to their development and engagement in the long run. More effort from your side is needed if you wish to keep them engaged.
If you want to help your home-based workforce to grow in their role like they were in-office, a blended learning approach is usually the way to go. This works for both full-time and part-time workers and can make sure that they will leave a positive impression on your customers.
At 5CA, our customer service agents are all remote workers, they work from their own homes or anywhere else in the world. As long as there is a stable internet connection, they can perform their job. This makes for a special work-life balance.
Our approach to training remote employees is to make sure that they stay engaged throughout their learning journey within 5CA. During this journey we focus on 4 key points:
Engaging e-learnings, Face-to-face interactions, Coaching, and Quality.
A person will be engaged if they understand the “why” behind the learning experience. At 5CA, we make it clear to the learner how the content relates to their job. We set specific learning objectives to help them understand what they will learn and how that will be beneficial to their development. We create a blend of videos, texts, quizzes, pictures, and tests to keep the learner engaged and eager to learn more.
Videos are created inhouse by 5CA team members who deliver an authentic experience that the learner can relate to. We hold value in our remote workers understanding the foundation and the values of our company. They are a part of it just as much as people that work in-office.
In addition to the e-learning courses, we have multiple points of “face-to-face” contact between the trainer and the employees that are training during the training and development process. This helps the trainers and new employees to get to know each other, answer any questions that may arise, share experiences, give updates and maintain the progress of the training and development of the employee.
These contact points are essential as the trainer gets more insight into the employee’s progress, listens to their feedback and gets a greater understanding of their engagement. The trainer is then able to adjust the learning path to meet the needs of the employee.
Coaching is done by the Senior Agents and Team Leads who coach the agents after their initial training. They set the KPI’s, track the agents’ progress and give feedback where needed. Their training for the role is also done in a similar, blended way.
They have to go through several e-learning courses based on how to give appropriate feedback as well as how to increase their coaching skills. Their training also includes virtual classroom sessions to learn and practice their new coaching and feedback skills. This gives them more confidence in their role and benefits the quality of the feedback that they give.
Within 5CA, we have a Quality Assurance team that helps to analyze and support the quality of the interactions between the agent and customer they are working with. This gives them insight into where the development points are for the agent and where the opportunities for them to improve are.
They advise on possible follow-up training in specific areas as well as encourage the strong points the agent has within their role. This way they help support the project and their managers to make sure that customer satisfaction and trust stay high as well as continually improves.
When it comes to our blended learning approach, we always aim to stimulate organic learning. This is a natural way with which our agents and employees can train, learn and develop themselves organically over time while performing their job. Our priority lies in creating a learning environment that is accessible and inviting to all our people.
Olaf is the Learning & Development Lead at 5CA. He has a passion for helping people discover and develop their personal and professional talents and potential. He develops and delivers practical blended learning solutions that aim to keep the learner engaged, give insight and stimulate personal growth. When he’s not training he likes to go running or goes out to see a good movie.
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