A Guide to Developing Your Virtual Training Strategy

There are many reasons you may be working toward the creation of a virtual training strategy. Some of these reasons include:

  • It’s less expensive to train employees in a virtual environment.
  • Your employees may be located in a variety of locations, making it difficult to come together in one location for training.
  • Virtual training allows you to utilize exciting new technologies to deliver more efficient learning experiences.
  • You may have at least a portion of your workforce that’s actually made up of virtual employees.

Businesswoman pressing touch screen button on virtual interface featuring Globe with buildings on top and network with person icons, on blue background. Element of this image furnished by NASA

Regardless of the reasons you’re turning to a virtual training strategy, here’s our guide to develop a training plan:

  • Before you begin the actual creation of training content, build a broad concept of what competencies training will address and what goals you hope to reach as a result of content. This will help you streamline the process of creating and launching virtual training.
  • During the strategy phase, bring key stakeholders into the process. Ask C-suite executives, human resources personnel and any involved parties what they’d like to see come from the virtual training process.
  • Think about what virtual training will mean within your organization. Virtual training is a very broad phrase. Look at the business goals you have in mind for virtual training—for example, saving money, becoming greener or delivering more consistent training. Pair this with the objectives you have for your employees as a result of training—think about how you hope performance will improve and what changes you’ll want see in your workforce. Looking at virtual training from these standpoints will help you not only create a strategy but also choose the best learning management system for your needs.
  • Consider your audience. Not everyone learns in the same way, and not everyone is going to use technology in the same way. These are both important considerations when putting together your virtual learning strategy. If you’re unsure of how to best reach your audience, go to the source. Send a survey to employees asking them their preferences for training delivery. Let that information provide a framework for the overall design of training.
  • Start small and let your virtual training strategy grow over time. If you’re new to virtual training, begin your approach with a pilot program. This will allow you to determine what works in your business and what doesn’t. When you’re choosing a learning management system, look for a platform that offers flexibility and scalability, so as your training strategy grows, your LMS can grow along with it.
  • Center your strategy on the goal of not only delivering information but also putting it into a format that’s user-friendly. You want to design learning content that’s completely easy for your employees to access and use. This should always be a central component of your strategizing.
  • During the strategizing process, look for ways you can keep training as direct and to-the-point as possible. Keep content bare-bones and cut out any unnecessary or superfluous information in any areas you can.
  • Once you’ve come up with an overall structure, plan and strategy for your training, work to build buzz around it. You want your employees to be excited about the possibilities that will be available to them as a result of training. Tie inter-company marketing efforts in with your virtual training strategy through the use of email blasts, blog posts, newsletters and even social media posts. The more excited you can get employees about the prospect of training, the more engaged they’re going to be, which means a better return on your training investment.

We’d like to hear your thoughts. How did you build a successful virtual training strategy?

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