Remote Training Challenges

The productivity struggle of remote work (and what you can do about it)

The productivity struggle of remote work (and, what you can do about it)

November 23, 2020

Watch the Cost of Going Remote on Employee Productivity and Revenue webinar to hear us discuss the results of Spekit’s Cost of Going Remote research report and how leading teams are combatting remote training challenges.

 

We founded Spekit after experiencing the challenges firsthand on productivity, sharing knowledge and training employees at a fast-growing startup. We wanted to understand how the shift to remote has impacted those efforts, so we teamed up with the Revenue Collective to produce a survey that would give insight into how this transition is impacting the productivity of teams.

Over 190 sales enablement, marketing, and sales leaders at companies ranging from fewer than 10 employees to over 5000 responded. Some of the most critical findings were:

  • Employees are context switching (a lot!) – 52% of respondents use 6+ applications daily to do their jobs. 
  • The rate of change continues to increase – changes in processes or products commonly occur every 2 weeks (44% of respondents).
  • Employees feel like they’re on their own (and it’s draining productivity) – now that employees can’t turn to a colleague next to them, 71% said their employees spend about an hour per day looking for answers. 88% of respondents are turning to instant messaging apps (Slack/Teams) to get their questions answered, but often are waiting around for answers.
  • Knowledge retention is down – 41% notice a higher gap in retention of training since going remote. 
  • Morale is down – 74% of respondents say low energy and low morale are the biggest barriers to productivity right now, impacting employee ability to learn (and earn in commission-based roles!)

We’ve compiled the most compelling takeaways in the infographic below for your reference but you can download the full report here:

The Cost of Going Remote on Employee Productivity: Infographic

Most of us working at home are probably not surprised to hear any of the above. Even before the pandemic, we were exhausted by the daily onslaught of constant emails, interruptions, switching between tools and keeping up with frequent change. Shifting to remote work has exacerbated what we were already feeling. We’ve put together this guide applying our combined experience in employee enablement to help you combat the challenges we’re all feeling.

Improving morale and engagement in a remote work environment

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that staying inside and blurring the lines between work and home life are taking a toll. Each day feels like the last and we’re all understandably drained. There’s no magic bullet for morale — it’s a dynamic that’s always shifting. Thankfully, there are a few relatively simple practices you can adopt to improve it week over week.

Remote Engagement

Setting up employees for success

Before we get into solutions, we first need to acknowledge the problem: training isn’t designed in a way that motivates people to learn, and its format often makes it hard to retain the information. 

Motivating employees to learn 

Despite the best efforts of implementation teams, tools are rarely fully adopted. In fact. less than 40% of CRM customers have end-user adoption rates above 90%

There are two major factors that influence successful digital adoption: perceived usefulness and ease of use. Perceived usefulness requires that an employee understands the benefits of him/her using the tool so that they overcome their natural resistance to change. Ease of use involves making the tool accessible and helping an employee fit it into their workflows.

Therefore, your most important job is to sell the team on why the new tool or process is important and be thoughtful about how you can make the transition as easy as possible. 

  • Understand their current experience – sit and watch them work to understand their current workflows. Think about which specific changes you’re asking them to make and how that will impact their day-to-day
  • Perceived Usefulness: communicate about the change –  show them WHAT the change will be before selling them on WHY it will be a good thing for them. Spend time explaining how this will impact them personally.
Ease: Make changes more predictable and therefore manageable
  • Never make changes a surprise, communicate the changes that are coming regularly leading up to the launch. Send reminders. Don’t post on every channel available–you don’t want them tuning you out for being too noisy.
  • Follow a consistent sequence of events for every roll out from announcement of the change, to launch, to follow-up. 
  • Follow a consistent format for emails or slacks detailing changes to make them easily searchable. We highly recommend creating a FAQ Slack channel on the new process or tool so that folks can go find answers to their questions.
  • Follow up after the rollout. Hold virtual vent hours – set aside time each week to have them come and share. Where are they getting stuck or frustrated? Is there something you know how to automate or reconfigure that will make their lives easier?
Ease: be thoughtful about the timing
  • Don’t roll out at the end of the quarter or before a big deadline. 
  • We recommend rolling out in the middle of the week to avoid the hectic Monday and checked out Friday dropoffs.

Designing training for optimal retention

Now that we’ve discussed how to increase employee openness to make the change, we should look at how to make the training as effective as possible. There are two big reasons that employees aren’t retaining the training they receive:

  • High volume and unhelpful format – Employees are already overwhelmed, so a large volume of information won’t stick. 47% of our respondents admitted that too much information at once is already lowering their team’s ability to apply training. This issue is compounded by Zoom fatigue and increased screen time in the virtual workplace.
  • Lack of Reinforcement 47% of respondents believed that a lack of reinforcement after training was contributing to the decline in teams’ ability to apply the training, but 70% believe it’s the most important characteristic of effective training. Significant time and effort is put into the initial launch, but employees don’t have enough documentation and support to reinforce that training, so they struggle to commit it to memory. They can’t turn to the person next to them to ask a quick refresher question anymore. Even instant messages require some waiting for the information they need.

What you can do about it:

  • Make information bite-sized  – cognitive psychologists believe that the average person can only hold seven ideas in their mind at once. Don’t try to deliver more than seven bites of information.  Make each bite easily digestible by keeping it short and crisp. Especially on Zoom!
  • Tell stories to make it memorable – the earliest memory trick in human history is to format information as a story. Use names of real people and tell a story about them running into challenges with the new process or tool, have other people in the meeting helping to problem solve.
  • Make documentation accessible – 50% of respondents believe that making knowledge easily accessible in an employee’s workflow. THIS IS A BIG ONE. It’s always been hard, but the virtual setting makes it even harder.  Since it’s something we think about 24/7, at Spekit, we’ve put together some best practices:
Documentation

The companies with the best results have reinvented employee enablement for this new remote environment. With a better understanding of how and where their employees need guidance as they work, employers have started looking to digital enablement solutions like Spekit’s in-app learning platform that surfaces answers contextually, right at the moment of need, wherever their team is working.

Remote with Spekit

As COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges for the airline industry, Southwest Airlines was also shifting to 100% remote and virtual training for their sales team. They turned to Spekit to make sure that employees who were on their own for the first time felt supported, and had what they needed without having to navigate a complicated system or dig through layers of outdated documentation. They consolidated training materials from five different systems into Spekit’s Salesforce integration, so employees can now find everything they need, in bite-sized servings, directly in Salesforce. Southwest’s management team now spends 50% less time communicating new initiatives and process changes and 60% less time developing and creating new training material. 

“I have honestly never seen a tool as quickly accepted and loved as Spekit was by our sales Team — it was awesome. The only feedback they gave us was “More” and “Why didn’t we have this when I started?”   – Libby Magliolo Manager of Organizational Health, Southwest Airlines

Key takeaways for improving productivity while working remote:

  • Improve morale and engagement by meeting and emailing regularly but sparingly and using a uniform structure to avoid noisiness
  • Motivate employees to learn by digging into their current practices, understanding the pain points they feel, and communicating how changes will better enable them to do their jobs successfully
  • Design training and documentation for optimal retention by keeping it bite-sized, in-context and reinforced. Digital enablement tools, like Spekit, are the easiest way to train, improve performance and roll out changes directly in the apps employees are using throughout their day

 

Chat with us to learn how teams across industries are enabling and empowering their remote teams with Spekit!

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Combining Spekit and myTrailhead to become a Training Rockstar

So, you have myTrailhead and are thinking about adding Spekit. Or, maybe you’re looking at getting both? You might even be comparing the two trying to determine if you need both of them.

You may be asking yourself, “how will these tools help me maximize my in-app learning, new employee onboarding, and continuous training?”

Great question! Navigating your training journey can be tricky with so many options available. There’s no doubt that the LMS space is growing and rapidly. In fact, according to Zion Market Research, LMS systems will be valued at roughly $19.05 billion by 2022. That’s a whole lot of reasons to make sure you are paying attention!

Still, it can feel overwhelming when looking into different applications and where to begin. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Let’s start by doing a quick breakdown of what myTrailhead and Spekit are, the differences between Spekit and an LMS solution, and how you can combine them both to train like a rockstar! Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

So what is myTrailhead?

myTrailhead was adapted from Salesforce’s “Trailhead” platform. Chances are if you’re involved in the Salesforce ecosystem in some capacity, you’ve heard of this platform. 

If you’re brand new to the ecosystem or unfamiliar, click here to read more!

What is it? myTrailhead is a traditional style LMS (learning management system) that is designed as a series of learning modules that users can take in a specific order. Your employees can take courses that you have designed for them to assist with your onboarding and training process. 

How does it work exactly? myTrailhead gives you the ability to build out “trails” similar to a course in an LMS for your employees to use during onboarding and training. Putting together a dedicated “myTrailhead team” in your organization, you can begin to make your own trails. Each trail is comprised of a series of modules containing important information your employees need to know. 

This information can extend beyond Salesforce CRM training and onboarding. For example, you can work with your IT team to put together information about important security measures each employee needs to be aware of and comply with. You can even add quizzes to the end of each module to reinforce the content being taught. 

This is a great starting point for onboarding but what happens after they complete the module, when they’re in their day-to-day workflow and have a question? What happens when a small process change is made that they need to learn (ie you add a new field in Salesforce)? Do you create an entire module and have them go through it again?

When businesses are looking into “agile” learning platforms, they’re looking for systems that are customizable, user-friendly, tailored to their unique business needs and are quick to stand up (TalentedLearning). Enter, Spekit.

Introducing, Spekit.

 

Now that you’re familiar with myTrailhead and how it can help with initial onboarding and training, let’s take a closer look at Spekit. 

First of all, what does it do? Spekit is the leading just-in-time learning platform for driving adoption across applications. 

What does that mean? With Spekit, teams can embed and surface bite-sized enablement and training directly in the tools they use every day so that employees can access answers if they get stuck, when and where they need it without leaving their workflow. This is important because studies show that we as human beings generally forget about 60% of what we just learned in only about 20 minutes! 

The platform gives organizations the flexibility to move quickly, drive change and scale learning with growth.

Spekit helps to not only train and onboard your employees but also to continuously reinforce and re-engage employees with just in time learning, embedded through your team’s workflow. This is important because ROI on Salesforce does not happen immediately after implementation. 

Why does ROI not happen right away? As you use the Salesforce platform more and more, you will begin to mold and tweek it to fit your organization’s unique and specific business needs. Each change will require you to notify your team and re-train them.

 

It is not enough to simply notify them and hope they return to the centralized documentation system for more information. The chances of them doing that extra step are slim. You consequently run the risk of users developing work arounds, returning to legacy systems or simply not using the platform.

This is where ROI can be lost and why it is important to embed your training and resources into the platform itself. It allows your users to get answers to the questions they have in real time without having to hope they return to a traditional LMS system to visit the documentation.  

It’s not just a one-sided approach either, Spekit allows your users to give valuable feedback in real-time within the application itself, letting you know what content is working for them and what is not. With the feedback gathered from Spekit, you’re able to identify bottlenecks in the learning process and make updates to content instantly to maximize impact and efficiency. 

Even when employees are outside the app, information is still easily available to them without having to take the time to go back in. With the Chrome and Outlook extensions, users can access answers to their questions on the spot, anywhere they’re working. 

Can you see how Spekit allows you to take your training well beyond the onboarding process? It allows you to seamlessly integrate learning into all of your business applications  and avoid the headache of manual updates and confused employees. This in turn makes you a rockstar.

Where do they meet?

 

Now that we understand what each of these tools do on their own, let’s take a look at why adding them together can take your onboarding and training journey to a new level. 

We all know that the onboarding during a new employee’s journey will never cover every employee’s question right out of the gate. 

It will be a great jumping-off point for them to hear a deep dive about your business, the tools available to them, requirements and KPIs and the necessities of how to get started in their roles. 

Chances are in the next coming weeks and over the course of their employment, they will have many many more questions. Starting them off with a detailed repository of onboarding information that’s centralized and easy to access is key. 

Having users run through myTrailhead trails and modules will provide a foundation for them with the option to come back and retake a course whenever necessary. This, however, is not enough. The likelihood of revisiting an LMS system for each and every question that comes up is very low. Why? Because it is time-consuming and assumptive that they will remember exactly where the content lives on their own. 

What is the answer to combat this? Employees can use Spekit to answer all of those ongoing questions that will continue to come up without having to go searching for the answers in myTrailhead. 

 

For example, think about your Sales process. Chances are very high you will train your Sales staff on your specific process in their onboarding and initial training. But chances are also very high that this will not be enough.

Your employees will need lots of reinforcement as they get started and even as they settle in and feel comfortable. They may get confused about what requirements need to be met in order to move an opportunity from step 1 to step 2. Or maybe they do not remember which fields are required or what details they need to add in each step. 

If you expect them to leave their workflow to spend time searching your LMS for the answer, think about how much of both their time and the company’s time is being lost. This extra step causes needless stress and confusion when they could be spending their time elsewhere (like prospecting). 

Let’s look at another quick example. What if that same rep needs to create an opportunity report to monitor their individual pipeline and are unsure how to start. Now, they can use the out-of-the-box Spekit content with step-by-step instructions on how to create a report. Voila! They were able to answer the questions they had without ever leaving the page, asking a coworker or emailing support. 

Another great use case for Spekit is ongoing change communication and training. Tools and businesses are in a constant state of flux. Nobody has time to create an entire training module every time a field definition updates, a territory change is rolled out or an opportunity stage is revised. 

Spekit is the easy to use, create and scale solution for training and change communication. You can quickly ping updates to impacted team members that appear via notifications, email, through the Chrome Extension and in Salesforce itself to keep everyone on the same page at all times. 

Combining myTrailhead and Spekit makes YOU a rockstar!

 

With Spekit and myTrailhead combined, employees are empowered with the answers and coaching they need to succeed. And when your employees are happy and well equipped, your business runs smoother and more efficiently saving both time and money. 

Have more questions about how adding Spekit to your myTrailhead instance or your Salesforce journey can improve your bottom line? Click here to set up a demo or signup for free!

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