When your company grows, you will probably have remote employees. How do you keep them connected, and using the best new practices and developments?

First, make smart hires. Be sure you hire workers who have experience working remotely without direct supervision. They need to be self-motivated with strong communications skills and commitment.

Second, establish the easiest and most effective way to communicate. Should it be through Skype, instant messages or email? Set expectations, and don't waver.

Third, make the need for ongoing development clear. Set expectations. Let them know that they will be called on for input and feedback. Make sure they know they'll need to be prepared.

Fourth, because most development is via webinars, make decks simple. Use animation to capture their attention. At my firm, trainers interact with remote workers through the camera, online polls, chat pods and breakout sessions that work virtually. We make sure all training is an exchange so employees at home are not passively receiving information. Instead, they are participants.

Fifth, get feedback. Not just on the content, but also on the process. What resonated, and why? Also, recap key takeaways from the session in a summary slide at the end. Ask what you can do better.

Lastly, don't stop training. The only way you can reinforce your company culture is through frequent sessions. This is especially true for remote workers. They need to feel connected to your company's mission and the people they work with.

Published on: Aug 2, 2016