Want to train someone to help you with certain tasks who are no longer part of your core business tasks? Planning to hire them remotely? No matter what kind of task you will ask this person to do, there are some steps you will need to follow.
Here’s a 101 guide to training online:
Rule #1: Do the job yourself for a few hours so you know what you want
Unless this person is an expert in exactly what you need and the tools you intend to use, my recommendation is that you do their job first for a few hours and take careful notes. Once you’ve assessed what this position entails, you can train this person with all the ins and outs of the job.
Rule #2: Provide documentation
When working with an online team, documentation is the key to smooth relationships. It will also help you minimize the questions you answer, as well as minimize the time you spend correcting mistakes in the beginning.
Write down an introduction about what you do and why the job is important to your company.
Anticipate the FAQ, like how their work must be reported, how you will pay that person — everything! Create all the tracking and reporting documents you need and then create a schedule. Set up any goals they must strive for (and make them achievable).
Complete the documentation process by going over the everyday tasks this person will need to do. You can provide part of this documentation in a training video, or you can write out the instructions in a Word document and include screenshots.
Rule #3: Control the first hours of work
Do not let the person start working the entire day before you check their process. Instead, make them work for two hours immediately after the training (while it’s still fresh in their mind) and then stop for a break. Check their work, and then move forward for another small burst. Check the work again, and repeat these bursts until the person is working with little to no mistakes.
This process will help your trainee avoid unnecessary frustration, and it will save you a great deal of time. If they are making mistakes, it’s better to catch them earlier than later. This will also give you an opportunity to upgrade your training materials.
Rule #4: For some tasks, use a screen sharing program to watch them work
Once they are able to work with little to no mistakes, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any room for improvement. Watching them work for just thirty minutes or an hour will likely make it clear to you where improvements need to be made. Sometimes, simple alterations can make a big difference.
Steps never to be missed:
- Introductions and a little personal moment to smooth things over
- Introduction to what you do and what the job is about
- Why is that job important? Why is that person important?
- Job instructions
- Example done by you
- Example done by the trainee
- How to report the work/hours worked
- Next steps (Is the person free to start working, or is there going to be a second training? How and when they can contact you?)
- Thanks for the training, reinforcement of why the job is important, and goodbye
- Send a little questionnaire to make sure they understand the most important parts
- Ask the trainee to make a little checklist and revise. Yes, you could give it to them, but it is better if they do it themselves
- Take thirty minutes or an hour at a later date to watch them work and make procedural improvements
Looking for a long-term working relationship? Empower them
If you want low turnover, less burnout, and happier helpers, it’s best to empower them. Leave all the doors open for them to provide you with ideas and generate change. Get to know your team and build confidence in their abilities. Once you know their strengths and weaknesses create paths so the person can grow in their role. It will benefit them and your business. Let them make decisions autonomously whenever possible, and always be positive.