Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2018 - 44

By Nancy Nagdeman, M.A.

In the last month, how many meetings
did you attend in which someone
participated via phone or video?
How many team members, clients,
vendors don't reside within the four
walls of your work location? More
than likely one of those scenarios is a
reality for you.

When the World Economic Forum
surveyed global HR decision-makers,
some 44 percent pointed to new
technology enabling remote working,
co-working space and teleconferencing
as the principal drivers of change.
adaptation of the skills needed to be
successful in a virtual workplace has
been slow to be incorporated into
ways of working. Instead there is a
tendency to make in-person behaviors
fit into a remote environment. This

| 44

type of conduct risks alienating remote
workers, impacting engagement and
Learning and development can be
a powerful enabler to combat this
"one size fits all" mentality. Following
the principles of instructional design,
there is an opportunity to understand
the needs of various populations,
identify the competencies needed to
be successful, and embed training to
support the required skill development.
A needs analysis for both the user and
environment identifies the size of the
remote population, the types of work
and interactions conducted virtually and
the technology available. It is important
to include the co-located employees
in the analysis as well since everyone
becomes "virtual" the minute they
attend a video or phone conference.

Technology has created a fundamental
shift in how organizations operate. The
widespread use of tools like email, social
media and video conferencing enable
work to be done without geographic
constraints. Therefore, a technology
assessment factors significantly into a
needs analysis. Items to consider are the
types of conferencing tools available,
the user's familiarity with the tools and
the meeting norms associated with the
utilization of the technology.
Utilization and optimization become
important factors when changing
behaviors from in-person to virtual
work. Too often webinar tools are
simply leveraged as a conference
call mechanism, overlooking the
capabilities to share documents and
images, use video, and interact and


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2018