Healthcare businesses have been leaders in remote work, starting with telemedicine for patients who can’t travel to see specialists or have limited access to health care in remote areas. Now, due to COVID-19, workers across all areas of the healthcare industry are working from home. Billing, scheduling, messaging, and monitoring patients all can occur remotely. As needs expand, healthcare businesses will need to know how to train and motivate remote workers—including new hires—on an ongoing basis.
Provide Guiding Principles
Mission statements and clear organizational values are especially important for remote work. Without daily in-person interaction, remote employees can feel detached from their company’s culture. Combine a clear statement of guiding principles with real-world examples of how these principles make a difference in patient outcomes. Workers appreciate the “why” of what they do; it puts their work in a broader context and helps them feel connected to the organization’s overall mission.
Accommodate Different Learning Styles and Focus on Outcomes
Training remote employees offers organizations many opportunities to use the technology workers are already using in different ways. Screenshots, video, simulations, interactive quizzes, and live webinars are all formats that work well remotely. Company learning portals can provide online resource libraries with whitepapers, links, and blog articles that supplement worker learning. Remote workers benefit from having choices among formats that address different learning styles, from visual to auditory to experiential.
Establish Clear Expectations
It’s tough for workers to maintain a schedule and routine when they suddenly find themselves turning a corner of their basement into an office or trying to get a toddler to take a nap while finishing a report. Businesses should be flexible for workers encountering barriers to productivity, while also establishing clear expectations of what and how much work must be done by when. Setting reasonable goals broken up by day, week, and month will help remote workers organize their workday and accomplish what the organization expects within the time allotted.
Check-In Regularly and Provide Remote Social Opportunities
A regularly scheduled online one-to-one alternating with small group meetings keeps employees engaged and offer the chance to ask questions, address problems, and resolve any confusion. Online social opportunities keep workers in touch with teammates. A quick daily chat that offers the chance to share a fun fact or solve a puzzle helps colleagues feel connected over the miles.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Healthcare businesses taking on remote workers should explore existing training programs before trying to create programs of their own. Trying to recreate programs that outside experts have already prepared is a waste of time and money. External training organizations provide customized, high-quality remote training programs for healthcare, scientific, and technical workers. These may take the form of asynchronous e-learning modules or live remote training.
All kinds of organizations are grappling with how to train and motivate a remote workforce. Healthcare businesses have a head start, but they must cope with a constant flow of new information, regulations, revised international standards, and updated procedures. Healthcare businesses will need to wrap ongoing training into their expectations for remote workers.