My university has been implementing a telecommuting program for the past year.
We now have over 300 (known) people who telecommute 1-5 days per week.
In the initial pilot stage – we had three 1 hour classes separated by one week.
The first class covered the technology they could use.
The other 2 classes covering life as a telecommuter and how to optimize the use of that technology.
This worked well for the new telecommuters. As the telecommuters “matured” – they only needed technology updates and reminders. As a result – we would see a ton of people in the technology class and very few people in the other 2 sessions.
Other than those quarterly live webinars, we weren’t doing a great job of communicating technology changes to the telecommuters. We also didn’t have a particularly good library of central tips and tricks. Finally, we ran into too many instances where we would do the quarterly training, then 1 month later have a telecommuter ask for specific training on how to use the same tool we trained them on 1 month prior.
Struck me that the model could solve some of the issues I was having – particularly in regards to retention.
Leveraging research on how people learn and remember….what a concept!
This past week we started something called Tuesday Morning Telecommuter.
As with everything I try for the first time – I’ve put it together with items lying around my environment that requires little effort from anyone else and no money.
An email is sent to some Telecommuter Contact groups I developed in our University email system.
This is sent via my personal university account.
Within the email is a couple of reminders / really important news they absolutely positively need to know + a link to the most recent blog post. Here is a sample.
The blog is off of my personal WordPress account – at least until we get SharePoint implemented, or get a portal, or find a blogging service or something. This is the blog – for now.
I have put together a schedule for posts….attempting to leverage the power of repetition, building off of prior skills, and accommodating “hot” topics triggered by previous posts or conversations.
I have also tried to group the posts as modules – so we are covering a combination of soft skills and hard technical skills within each “module”.
As you can tell – there will be lots of fine-tuning as we move forward. If we move forward.
– It would be nice if I could come up with a system that doesn’t rely on ME to remember to send an email every Tuesday morning. Our individual accounts do not allow us to schedule emails. Bah.
– Our individual accounts also limit the number of addresses we send to at once to 50. As a result, I have to send 6 emails each Tuesday morning to cover our subscription list. We haven’t implemented Google Groups as of this writing. Bah.
– I need to come up with a better embed solution for my Articulate Storyline videos.
– Visually – it’s ugly. Graphic design is not a strength of mine.
– Better social media / interactivity options would also be nice. Here, I am starting to dream a bit bigger….
I figure we will pilot this until November and make a decision as to whether this format is worth the work.