At Horizon Point, we have always offered virtual training in some form or fashion. While navigating a pandemic, more and more companies are reaching out to us about facilitating training virtually. We are fortunate that this is not new to us & with SO MANY tools, i.e. Zoom, virtual sessions can be just as fun and effective as live, in-person training!
I facilitate an online career development course for Horizon Point. Typically, we offer a new course every month and have people from all over the US and occasionally other countries participate.
Here are my top tips for successful facilitation of a virtual course:
1. Set Clear Expectations – During or prior to the first virtual session, make certain that all expectations are outlined. If you must utilize the computer camera, give everyone a heads up, so no one shows up in their PJs.
2. Allow for Flexibility – Everyone appreciates some level of control when participating in the training. Allow some flexibility in your course/training. If someone is unable to participate for reasonable circumstances, offer a makeup session, or record the live session. I also allow for flexibility in submitting required assignments, but still set clear expectations on what must be completed in order to successfully complete the course (like a hard & fast deadline for all assignments).
3. Be Available – This should be a given. As an instructor, you must be available and approachable. Provide participants with your preferred method of communication & make it a habit of returning calls, texts, or emails within 24 hours.
Need more ideas on Engaging a Remote Workforce? Check out this podcast from Adam Grant: How Science Can Fix Remote Work.