Training Remote Employees With a Powerful Internal Communication Tool

Remote work is a hot topic right now, mostly because it’s been propelled into the spotlight in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While the circumstances surrounding the new working normal aren’t ideal, telecommuting can actually have some pretty stellar effects on your staff. It’s been reported that remote work produces happier employees, reduced turnover, and overall positive effects on most company cultures. But anyone who has had to move their operation online knows that the process doesn’t come without challenges–particularly when it comes to keeping training consistent and accessible. 

There’s no doubt that remote training comes with a unique set of challenges, including:

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Barriers to information
  • Distraction
  • Isolation
  • Technical difficulties

So how can you set up your organization to be well-prepared and equipped to deliver the most effective training experience possible? 

Think about how you want to deliver information


When it comes to delivering effective training to your team members, it’s common for many leaders to be a bit short-sighted in their delivery model. Many turn to live, synchronous learning sessions where everyone participates simultaneously on a web-conferencing tool but this approach is limited. It forces trainers into a situation where they must:

a.) create a single time slot where all parties attend or;

b.) conduct several sessions over the course of days or weeks, which understandably eats into the time they could be spending elsewhere.

Both approaches are cumbersome because they force the trainer to spend an inordinate amount of energy on coordinating details, but they also waste time on a process that is typically repeatable and lose message consistency in the process. 

Of course, with everything going on, there’s also a very high probability that many of your workers aren’t living in their usual circumstances as well, likely contending with childcare, homeschooling, and other distractions in addition to their usual workload. This in mind, an asynchronous learning model would be a far better solution for your enterprise training. This model allows learners to access content, assessments, and communications on their own time. 

But even when there isn’t a pandemic going on, asynchronous learning still has many distinct advantages over live classes. It gives employees more control over their training experience, allows them to absorb material at their own pace, fits around their busy schedule, and allows them to interact at a time that works best for them, regardless of geographical location.

Evaluate and choose a powerful employee engagement platform


Showing you the value of asynchronous learning is really only half of the battle. When you’re implementing this type of arrangement for your enterprise training, you’ll also need to consider how you store, share, and keep your company’s proprietary information secure. 

In this type of situation, many leaders turn to company intranets or LMS for their needs, but this approach is misguided. Not only are these systems typically cumbersome and not equipped to deliver information in a user-friendly manner, but they don’t take into account that the way we communicate is changing: It’s no longer effective to just email or Slack something and assume it’s seen, you need a central repository where all information is stored that is easily accessible on all devices. 

Modern communication tactics aren’t the only way intranets and LMS fall short for trainers, though. Many leaders have reported difficulty when uploading new content to these portals and even more have cited poor user-experience as a significant barrier to adoption for their learners.

Just a few ways these solutions fall short in the UX area include:

  • Nightmare navigation
  • Lack of personalization
  • Inaccurate labeling and tagging
  • Annoying pop-ups
  • 15+ clicks before you can start learning
  • Video not supported natively
  • Complicated SCORM training requires multiple toolchains

When it comes to evaluating corporate communication software for your enterprise training, you’ll want to consider several things:

  1. Is the corporate learning solution easy-to-use and simple to learn?

  2. How much time will it take until the employee training platform becomes useful to your team members? Using things like LMS becomes a time-consuming, costly endeavor that causes disruption at your organization, sometimes taking up to a year to implement. You’re better off finding a solution that is quick to start, intuitive, and has a familiar interface many of your workers may already be familiar with (this is the part where we promote CircleHD for your consideration). 

  3. What level of security do you need? It’s very likely you will be sharing sensitive information in your training program, so you want to make sure whatever you use utilizes the latest enterprise-level security protocols to keep your information safe from prying eyes. Not only that, but you want to find a solution that allows you to take advantage of access controls–after all, the information in one training module may not be suitable for all departments or team members so it’s critical to be able to restrict information to the relevant parties. 

  4. Is it mobile-friendly? That advent of the smartphone has exponentially changed the way we create and consume content and it’s essential that your team members are able to access their training modules from their device, no matter where they are. Not only should you look for a solution that has a dedicated app, but you should also check to ensure browser compatibility.

  5. What type of analytics does the platform give you? You can’t improve what you don’t understand but, the truth is, many of the solutions on the market today don’t really give you enough data points to paint a picture of what’s going on, they just give you enough information to say they offer analytics as a feature. Look for a platform that provides you with information like:
    • What content is being accessed
    • When content is being accessed 
    • How often the content is accessed
    • Who is viewing it and for how long
    • Where additional training may be needed

When you offer your workforce effective onboarding and training, you’re giving them the tools and skills they need to be successful at their job. At the end of the day, intranets and LMS are not designed for this use and you will be much happier if you find a solution that is focused on securely delivering training to your remote workforce.

Gather your existing learning materials

If you’re a training leader, you’re likely to have a large backlog of training materials stored in multiple places, which can make transferring them to a new portal seem like an exhausting, insurmountable task.

In this instance, going back to basics is the best way to address the task at hand: make a spreadsheet and take inventory of all your existing assets noting the name of the item, what type of file it is, a short description of its use, and a link to where it is stored. By putting together a holistic picture of your assets, you’re able to get a better understanding of what you have, what’s outdated, and what needs to be archived.

Assess where you may have gaps in your training


The best part about the aforementioned exercise is that it doesn’t just enable you to see what training assets you have, you can also gain insight into what you don’t have. Perhaps you noticed during the inventory step that some assets are out of date, don’t have accurate or complete information on them, or address some new processes or functionalities your product has. This is a great time to note the updates that need to be made, but it’s also a good time to strategize ways you can update your existing training with next-gen technology or other information that may make it have a bigger impact. 

Start by surveying employees who have gone through specific training or onboarding to see if there were any pieces of content they found particularly helpful or if there was anything they felt missing. Be sure to also assess materials for any knowledge gaps, looking for things your team could use more information on or any new trends in your industry they should be educated about.

Of course, finding these shortcomings is one thing, creating content to fill the void is a whole other beast. Often times other teams, such as marketing, usually need to be involved in the process, which can create less-than-ideal bottlenecks for you. If you’re using an effective internal content management platform though, you’ll find that it has native recording tools that let you create videos for key information, which is exponentially quicker to put together than a lengthy document (and wildly more effective).

Put together a training calendar and pre-class checklist

When you run a remote training program, you’re managing content, the environment, and the overall experience for a lot of people, which can be a big responsibility. It may sound old-school but checklist or agenda of modules and due dates will go a long way to ensure nothing slips through the cracks and essential steps are followed. You may even want to go a step further and create a sense of urgency to finish a program by implementing a training schedule for learners.

Define the support process

Knowing who is going to provide support for technological hiccups is an important aspect of the remote training planning process. At a minimum, you should have a member of your IT support team prepped on what happens if a serious issue occurs, and try to keep them on call. (Hot tip: if you’re using a platform like CircleHD, you should have access to 24/7 support for anything that goes awry.)

Deliver training modules

You’ve gone through all the pre-planning. You’ve selected your platform and identified what content is going to be used. Now, it’s time to actually deliver that training. The good news: if you selected an adequate corporate learning solution, this part should be incredibly simple. You’ll just need to upload your courses, set pertinent access controls, and invite employees. Make sure accessing the portal is as simple as possible. You may even want to put together a “cheat-sheet” for basic functions.

Engage your learners

Since your asynchronous training is being conducted remotely, you need to go that extra mile to ensure employees are engaged with and understanding the content. Not only can you encourage knowledge retention by attaching tests and quizzes to your training modules, but you can also reward your employee’s training efforts with a build-in certification function that automatically issues awards upon course completion.

Another great way to increase learner engagement is through the activation of gamification features like leaderboards, which can be used to facilitate friendly competition amongst colleagues, or just to provide some milestones as employees progress through the program.

Make a connection a priority

Of course, you want to use your employee training platform to save time, but don’t forget that part of creating an effective working environment means reaching out and offering yourself as a resource to your team members.

Studies show that employees who are are emotionally disconnected from their companies and may actually be working against their employers’ interests; they are less productive, are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.

Set your workers up to be the best they can be by empowering them with the knowledge they need to succeed and the support to do it.

Measure performance and results

When determining if your training efforts are making an impact, you need to go much further than just completion percentages. Be sure to track the metrics we mentioned earlier and use that information to create and distribute content that is meaningful to your audience, which will make you radically more effective in the long run. 

When it comes to remote training, don’t let “out of sight” mean “out of mind”. Equip your remote teams with the powerful corporate communication software they need to make onboarding, training, and continuous learning and cornerstone of your company experience. 


If you’d like to learn more about how CircleHD can help your enterprise implement a training program that is effective and propels your employees to higher levels of success, we’d love to chat with you. You can also read more about how some of the biggest companies in the world are using CircleHD in their own communication initiatives.


Common Enterprise Video Learning and Adoption Myths

It’s no secret that many people turn to video learning when trying to acquire a new skill. In fact, on Youtube alone, 1 million learning-related videos are uploaded and accessed 500 million times every day.

Enterprises often explore the possibility of implementing this format for their own corporate training but persistent myths surrounding video learning make some offices apprehensive about the technology. Many of these arguments were formulated before the development of advanced equipment and the video online support that we have now. Let’s bust these one-by-one.

“Video is Too Expensive”

Back in the days when shooting a video required big, heavy, very costly equipment that only video experts know how to use, this was true. Now, there are endless options for video recording and playback options, thanks to advances in modern technology. Smartphones have become powerful enough to create edit, and broadcast high-quality video content.

“My Team Won’t Be As Engaged If We Use Video Learning”

It’s a common misconception that video learning promoted individualism over group learning, something that has been addressed by online platforms by offering video conferencing and interactive webinars. Now, learners don’t have to miss out on opportunities to learn from colleagues, while also collaborating and building social connections with each other. By platforms like CircleHD take this one step further by enabling further engagement through quizzes and other knowledge checks in video content.

“Video Won’t Allow Me to Control the Pace of Learning”

The idea that learning with videos is fast-paced may have come from the fact that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster compared to plain text. Content paired up with images is also easier to remember because information goes straight to the long-term memory. Video courses allow employees to access the content at their own time and go through lessons at their own pace. They can pause the video and even playback a section as many times as they need to fully understand the lesson.

“Video Takes Up Too Much Bandwidth”

Many enterprises are concerned whether their internal networks will be able to handle the bandwidth requirement of video courses. There are concerns about the videos causing networks to slow down and get saturated. Truth is, it will take a thousand simultaneous views to cause problems to a network segment. Uploading video content to the internet requires compression which makes it easily accessible even by the lower bit rate wireless connections.

At CircleHD, we understand how video learning can help you achieve your employee learning and development goals. We help set up your system so that video content is easily uploaded, shared and streamed by anyone within your organization. Videos are searchable and accessible even on mobile devices. Book a demo with us and we will show you how video learning can transform your employee training for good.


The Power of Employee Video and Self-Broadcasting for Enterprises

At CircleHD, we believe opportunities made available by employee video can transform knowledge into company wealth. While many are moving the needle with self-broadcast in video, it often does not go past the top 10% of performers. In order to break through that barrier, a newer, faster experience is needed to replace legacy roadblocks to adoption.

There are some best practices organizations are implementing to operationalize video into learning, while encouraging peer-to-peer and knowledge sharing to encourage team skills growth. Here’s just a few:

  • Cambridge Engineering & CircleHD: I believe the epicenter for employee generated video is in Chesterfield, Missouri. Marc Braun is a primary lead in a consortium of 500 companies, hacking culture with video.

    As President of Cambridge Engineering, Marc doubled revenue and tripled operating profit in an industry with a CAGR of just 6.62%. Marc’s employees are told, “if you see a problem or waste, you have the job autonomy to fix it.” Just shoot a 1-min before / after video, and it’s played next morning at the all-hands meeting.

    “I have learned video takes courage to make. There is mastery in self-broadcast. And when video is given a purpose, the gift is people that outgrow the company.”

    This video interview was released to LinkedIn, where it got 7,600 views, and 69 likes.
  • Dell: Video lets employees bypass the organizational chart and connect with colleagues in other silos in the pursuit of better customer experiences. Dell uses Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite to connect its salespeople with subject-matter experts.

    “There are a lot of salespeople at Dell, but there are only a few ph.D.s in big data or machine learning,” said Lawrence Grafton, Solutions Product Manager at Dell. “Those ph.D.s can post an explainer video so that sales can better understand the topic. 
  • Moffitt Cancer Center uses an enterprise video platform to deliver content externally. The Moffitt Cancer Center uses its enterprise platform from vBrick to deliver video externally to patients.

    “We use it internally but also use a guest portal for external use,” said John Maass. He added that a doctor could curate or record videos to help patients understand their specific prognosis, “rather than go out to WebMD and get scared.” 
  • Video for Sales Training: ‘In fact, peer-to-peer instruction is one of the main pillars of modern learning programs and the majority of reps prefer peer knowledge sharing over corporate or manager-generated content. 

    Our survey of sales reps and their managers found the majority (65 percent) of sales representatives agree that sales pitch advice from peers is more effective than training from the corporation and that top-performing sales organizations are 76 percent more likely to utilize peer-generated video content for training than other firms. 
  • CISCO Shorty Awards: While more social in nature, the results from Cisco in 2016 for employee-generated video and content are outstanding. Get tips from this Shorty awards entry
  • Video in HR: “Employees want that guidance in an easy-to-access format to help them translate a complex topic in a way that will lead them to the right decision. Advanced HR teams have picked up on this, making video their medium of choice and incorporating into their open enrollment communications strategy.” 

CircleHD is the first cloud-native enterprise video platform for employees and teams of any size. For more information about how we can help your organization implement video learning, schedule a demo.


Should You Choose a Learning Management System or Video Platforms for eLearning

eLearning constantly evolves to adapt to the changing needs of the organization and its learners. Once upon a time, a Learning Management System (LMS) was enough to handle all your training needs. But since video has become an integral part of corporate learning, the LMS deemed quite inadequate.

If you’re still contemplating whether getting a dedicated video platform is worth it, this list will help you decide.

Many Learning Management System’s are not designed to handle video requirements

Sure, there are LMS that support video but when it comes to features and functionality, they are very limited. Since LMS cannot support large video files, there are often bandwidth issues and no HD video capability. It also has compatibility issues with different devices and video conferencing tools. If you require on-screen video capture or live streaming of lessons, you’ll probably need a more powerful video platform.

A Learning Management System is not conducive to social learning

Video learning encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among peers and colleagues. By recording and sharing his own video, an employee will be able to contribute his own inputs/feedback to the learning system. Retiring subject matter experts can also use video to capture their institutional knowledge which will be stored and be shared with generations of employees to come. An LMS won’t be enough to handle the creation and sharing of videos and therefore would limit your social learning potential.

A Learning Management System does not support video analytics

If you want a more comprehensive analysis of your employees’ viewing behavior, you’ll need an upgrade from your LMS. A separate video platform not only tracks whether a video is clicked but also whether the videos were watched until the end. Knowing at which part of the video the learners stop viewing will help course creators tweak the course content as needed.

A Learning Management System cannot build interactive video features

Games and other interactive features such as tests and quizzes make video courses more fun and engaging for learners. LMS cannot make these modifications due to its limited video support capabilities.  

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A Learning Management System is a good reliable platform for your corporate learning. But if your e-learning modules are heavy on video content, you might want to get a dedicated video platform. Not only will it be able to provide all your video requirements and customizations, but it also manages video-related issues way better.


4 Ways to Build An Effective Sales Onboarding Program

A new team member is always exciting. In order to create a successful future for them at your company, you’ll want to engage them right from the start with an effective sales onboarding program. One example of this is to implement a “pre-hire program”, which will feature everything they need to know about working with your company. This will set the foundation for their tenure with your company and give them a structured engagement model that will enhance productivity.

How can you set your sales onboarding program up for success? Let us count the ways:

Start Before Their Hire Date

Since your pre-hire program will set the stage for the rest of the onboarding schedule, you’ll want to get them engaged with the company before they even start. You’ll want to show them your company’s value and mission and this can be done before their first start date. You can provide them with things like a mentor, an introduction to the team, provide them access to group technologies and more. This way they are more familiar with their job even before they start.

Be Structured and Consistent

Meet that new hire’s expectations with consistency and structure. This can be done in a number of ways, such as giving them a welcome package, linking them with a mentor or doing icebreakers with the team so that they feel excited about working with your company. You want new hires to feel excited because they’ll be more effective at their sales goals.

Have a Team Mentoring Program

It can be daunting coming into a new sales team, which is why a formal mentoring program might be a good idea. Have them link up with a more experienced member of the sales them so that they can see what’s expected of them at the company. This will also accelerate their professional development and help get the accumulated with how things are done.

Have a Sales Onboarding Playbook

Creating one sales playbook will provide new hires with specific knowledge on things should go, including product knowledge, selling activities and approaches. Give them a detailed understanding on how the sales process goes within your company so they can easily follow it.