Remote working poses a lot of challenges for both the L&D team and learners alike. From updating existing courses to moving training online and ensuring learners are engaged while working remotely, training teams are having to quickly meet changing needs.
Lots of learning departments already dealt with a certain amount of remote learners or dispersed workforces. But now, this is a reality for almost everyone.
For those whose training programs previously consisted of mandatory in-person sessions, the shift to remote learning is a big change.
Decentralized management teams
Larger organizations have always been faced with the challenge of maintaining consistency across different states and regions. And when management is employees’ first port of call when it comes to training, it’s essential that management and the learning department are in sync.
Your dispersed teams need up-to-date courses and training materials in order to maintain consistent performance across the board. But these requirements place a huge burden on the learning team to maintain training materials and ensure knowledge is consistently dispersed to all management and team members.
Distributing learning experiences & training materials
Without a centralized online platform for your learners, distributing learning experiences and training materials can be difficult. Chances are some of your learners will miss out on some of the quality courses you are producing.
Not to mention that physical materials and instructor-led sessions all take a lot of time and resources to update.
The results of these challenges often culminate in inconsistent training experience and lower learner engagement. Employees are restricted to pre-scheduled ILT sessions that do not accommodate varying existing knowledge levels.
How One Organization Overcame the Learner Engagement Challenge
With a rapidly growing remote workforce, International Student Exchange (ISE) wanted to find a way to enhance their existing training methods. The goal was to supplement in-person and hard copy training by developing on-demand digital solutions for remote learners that would be easy-to-maintain for the training Team.
They faced the challenge of providing comprehensive training to each new field representative that would allow them to get up and running as quickly as possible in their new role.
In the 1980s, training primarily consisted of small and large in-person sessions supported by print materials. As technology evolved, ISE also leveraged video conferencing and soft copy materials, as well as the now discontinued Area Representative Resource Center which strove to house all training materials in one online location but proved slightly cumbersome and
difficult to maintain.
Therefore, the team began to look for an easy-to-maintain, streamlined solution to digital training with the goal of empowering field staff members to learn the skills they need to succeed in their roles at their own pace
“Ensuring that we’re delivering consistent and up-to-date training throughout each of our remote regions presented a challenge. There would sometimes be changes that would occur mid-program, such as a change in student insurance providers, which would require a massive recall of printed materials. This would make it difficult (and costly) to ensure that each and every rep had access to up-to-date information in the field.”
They wanted to ensure training was consistent, learners were engaged, it was centrally deployed and accessible, and could be updated quickly and easily.
“We could have a training session with 15 people with significant variations of existing program knowledge and experience levels. While we wanted to provide as much one-on-one guidance as possible, it was often difficult to do so while respecting the group’s time.”
After trialling some other solutions such as webinars, ISE decided to overhaul the training program and create a central online platform to house and index all their training. This, along with some clever learner engagement initiatives, would change the game for the team member training experience.
First, ISE used Cognota to quickly blueprint the training experiences and collate the content needed. Once the trainings were created through Cognota, they were easily deployed to “The Toolbox”, a new online repository for learning that could be accessed easily at all levels of the organization.
ISE has also found a way to further boost team members’ engagement with online training. Reps are now prompted by a friendly chatbot named Cooper to find training relevant to their role.
As a result of this new digital solution, ISE has seen an increase of 80% in unique readers of courses in the space of three months.
“This has reinforced to team members that they can access the online learning repository and search for more information. They can learn on their own time.”
Not only was on-demand training now more readily available for reps, but it could be updated at the click of a button. ISE can now quickly update courses on Cognota, refresh the link, and the training is automatically updated in The Toolbox.
“Now, we can just make a change to the course and update it without having to go and change any links or URLs elsewhere. Cognota has really allowed us to be flexible in a way that we never were before.”
ISE had been looking for a way to disseminate on-demand training materials to a remote workforce operating on different schedules. Through this new digital solution using Cognota, the organization has seen a significant uptick in learner engagement and are confident about the quality and consistency of training provided to their field representatives.
Want to learn more about how ISE revolutionized their training program? Check out the full case study!