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Techniques & Tools for Training Strong Distributed Teams

Sococo
Sococo

It can be challenging to navigate time zones, schedules, and technological difficulties when working virtually. Add in the need for specialized team training, and you might find yourself in a pickle. How can you train someone you've never met with in person? How do you ensure they understand what you’re teaching? In this presentation of Techniques & Tools for Training Strong Distributed Teams, we've got some epic tips and techniques to interactively train your virtual team. This presentation is part of the Virtual Life Webinar Series, focusing on building a community of distributed workers and addressing common topics we all face. The panelist in this webinar is Anna Danes with Managing-Virtual-Teams.com and it was moderated by Mandy Ross, Director of Social and Content Marketing at Sococo.

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#SococoLife Webinar Series
Presented to you in partnership by:
Techniques & Tools For Training
Strong Distributed Teams
Agenda
● :05 Introductions
● :30 Techniques & Tools For Training
Strong Distributed Teams Presentation
● :20 Q&A
● :05 Key Takeaways & Wrap Up
Introductions!
Anna Danes - Panelist
Holds a Degree in Communication, working in web companies since 2000. She has collaborated in the
launch of some of Spain's biggest websites, such as Atrapalo.com and Emagister.com. During her
years of experience working with online companies, she has encountered the types of issues that
companies face by having workers outside of their offices, or even across their borders.
In 2008 she founded Ricaris Have a Nice Day SL, and thanks to this experience she is
knowledgeable in the tools that help strengthen online teams of workers, and a firm believer in
the power of well-managed virtual teams.
Anna is now the CEO of Managing Virtual Teams where she teaches courses and consults for
companies with global teams. Her experience working in the United States, Asia and Europe
brings the added advantage of understanding the ways of work on those three continents.
Introductions!
Mandy Ross - Moderator
Mandy recently moved into the role of Director of Marketing for Sococo, after
serving as Director of Program Management since 2012. Her past employers
include Handspring, Palm, Apple, Sony and Boeing.
A telecommuter since 2005, she lives for helping distributed teams establish
remote work best practices by connecting people to create thought leadership
in the virtual world.
Let’s Get Started!
Techniques & Tools For Training Strong
Distributed Teams
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Techniques & Tools for Training Strong Distributed Teams

  • 1. #SococoLife Webinar Series Presented to you in partnership by: Techniques & Tools For Training Strong Distributed Teams
  • 2. Agenda ● :05 Introductions ● :30 Techniques & Tools For Training Strong Distributed Teams Presentation ● :20 Q&A ● :05 Key Takeaways & Wrap Up
  • 3. Introductions! Anna Danes - Panelist Holds a Degree in Communication, working in web companies since 2000. She has collaborated in the launch of some of Spain's biggest websites, such as Atrapalo.com and Emagister.com. During her years of experience working with online companies, she has encountered the types of issues that companies face by having workers outside of their offices, or even across their borders. In 2008 she founded Ricaris Have a Nice Day SL, and thanks to this experience she is knowledgeable in the tools that help strengthen online teams of workers, and a firm believer in the power of well-managed virtual teams. Anna is now the CEO of Managing Virtual Teams where she teaches courses and consults for companies with global teams. Her experience working in the United States, Asia and Europe brings the added advantage of understanding the ways of work on those three continents.
  • 4. Introductions! Mandy Ross - Moderator Mandy recently moved into the role of Director of Marketing for Sococo, after serving as Director of Program Management since 2012. Her past employers include Handspring, Palm, Apple, Sony and Boeing. A telecommuter since 2005, she lives for helping distributed teams establish remote work best practices by connecting people to create thought leadership in the virtual world.
  • 5. Let’s Get Started! Techniques & Tools For Training Strong Distributed Teams
  • 7. People Activate "Super Communication" Distributed teams have their own particularities and challenges. To defeat them: communicate better, more and diversify your channels.
  • 8. People The smaller the audience, the greater the interaction. Smaller groups (under 10 participants) are ideal for virtual trainings. The larger the group, the less opportunity for interaction is possible.
  • 9. People Take the time for a longer icebreaker. Gauge the team’s familiarity with each other and make introductions with fun questions based on this. The more common ground a team has, the more open they are to learning together.
  • 10. People Be particularly mindful of individual engagement. Ask direct questions of participants that seem to be fading. Reinforce what they say and give praise to encourage participation. Ensure they understand ahead of time that the training is interactive.
  • 12. Process Be extremely well prepared. Know your audience ahead of time, and ensure the training will meet their specific needs. A quick survey of the team to be trained can help you understand the level of team knowledge and how you can best prepare.
  • 13. Process The more interactive, the better. We are used to a fast pace of media flying through our lives via tv, internet, etc. Subject matter expertise is not enough - it’s about gaining and retaining engagement.
  • 14. Process Check results as you train. Without body language, gauging progress is tricky. Short quizzes will measure what is and isn’t sinking in. Provide opportunities for students to shine by demonstrating the knowledge they’ve gained.
  • 15. Process Use real life cases frequently. Training subject matter becomes more relatable when describing a common frustration or problem the team is solving. Encourage them to share their personal use cases.
  • 16. Process Repetition must be more frequent. Feedback, training and purpose must be underscored more often. Virtual teams don’t have the same immediacy of knowledge sinking in. Instructors must be patient with slower learning.
  • 18. Technology Your virtual training toolkit needs to include: ● White board ● Video/audio/chat ● Video editor ● Accessible storage space ● Interactive quiz forms ● Tools specific to the training needs of the team
  • 19. Technology Record and edit your training. Creating a set of 2 - 10 minute clips that capture the entire training. Students benefit greatly by having a visual explanation of the training to which they can later refer during practical applications. Make sure they are organized and accessible.
  • 20. Q & A Q & A
  • 21. Key takeaways ● Be prepared and know your audience very well. ● Repetition and reinforcement of lessons is the best way for a virtual team to learn. ● Keep trainings highly interactive. ● Monitor and encourage individual engagement. ● Learnings must be “real life” relatable. ● Hands-on training returns the best results virtually.
  • 22. Virtual Life Webinar Series Thanks for coming!

Editor's Notes

  1. Hello everyone, thanks for joining us today. I’m Mandy Ross with Sococo, and I’ll be your moderator for today’s webinar, “Techniq1ues and Tools for training strong distributed teams”. This is a third in a series of webinars focusing on best practices for distributed teams and we’re pleased to present this to you in partnership with our friend Anna from Managing Virtual Teams dot com. A few technical items on the webinar front: note that, as the nice webinar lady said, all participants are muted by default. If you have any questions during the presentation please go ahead and type them into the Questions pane on the GoTo Webinar control panel and our trusty band of webinar elves will make sure that your question is handled when we get to the Q & A portion later on. A recording of the webinar will be sent out tomorrow, and Monday you’ll receive a virtual gift bag with resources discussed in this webinar. Now, let’s move on to our agenda.
  2. We’ll kick our discussion off with quick introductions of our panelist and your faithful moderator. Next, we’ll go through techniques and tools for training strong distributed teams. We’ll approach this in three sections: people, process, and technology. Once we’ve covered all of Anna’s tips, we’ll have roughly 20 minutes for Q & A, and then a short wrap up.
  3. Kicking it off with introductions, I’m very pleased to introduce Anna Danes from Managing Virtual Teams, or MVT. She’s based in Barcelona, Spain, though she’s coming to us today from beautiful Croatia. Hi Anna, and welcome!
  4. I’m Mandy Ross and I’m the Director of Social and Content marketing here at Sococo and I join you today from Hood River, OR. I’ve been telecommuting since the olden days of 2005, back in internet caveman days. My passion is to help establish best practices for those of us who work in the virtual world. I’m grateful that Anna has agreed to share her expertise today.
  5. Let’s get started on Techniques and Tools for training strong distributed teams.
  6. We’ll kick it off today starting with the topic area of people. Anna tell us your philosophy about working with people on virtual trainings.
  7. So Anna, to begin, let’s talk about the importance of super communication.
  8. Facilitating communication is so important in training, and the size of the group is part of that. Anna, what is your recommendation here?
  9. One thing that strikes me as important is having the team feel comfortable working together. How do you make this happen?
  10. One of the things I always worry about with virtual teams is engagement. With training, it’s even more so. What works here?
  11. That concludes the people part of the discussion, and now we’ll move on to process.
  12. Even though subject matter expertise isimportant, nothing beats a well organized trainer. Anna, tell me how you prepare for your trainings.
  13. One thing that’s tricky is keeping our media-obsessed teams engaged. How do you keep them interested with so many virtual distractions?
  14. Even when it seems like people are engaged, it must be hard to make sure that the message is getting through, especially in a virtual environment. What are ideas for gauging this?
  15. On the topic of engagement, how do real life use cases help training retention?
  16. You mentioned that repetition also helps retention of the subject matter.
  17. That was the last part of the process discussion. Now, we’ll look at how technology impacts training.
  18. To kick this section off, let’s talk about what your virtual training toolkit should include.
  19. Let’s talk a little more about the recording aspect of training.
  20. All right, we’ve reached the end of our overview, and now it’s time for us to take questions from this great audience. We’ve got a nice list that’s compiled here during the webinar, please feel free to continue typing questions into the questions section of the GoTo Webinar control panel.
  21. Now that we’ve reached the top of the hour, it’s time to wrap things up. Anna, can you take us through the key learnings from today?
  22. We really appreciate you all coming today and hope you found this as valuable and informative as we did. You’ve been a great audience and your participation really made the difference in this webinar. Looks like there were a few questions that we didn’t quite get to, so I’ll work with Anna to craft responses and post them on the Sococo blog on Monday. You’ll get an email tomorrow with the Webinar recording, and we have a little virtual gift bag you’ll get via email on Monday. Stay tuned for more webinars in the “Virtual Life” series sponsored by Sococo and our partners.