tips for training CHWs

How To Make Training CHWs More Time-efficient

Training CHWs remotely is an excellent strategy that translates into increased productivity and lower costs. Reduced commutes, daily stipends, and time away from the office or field quickly amount to substantial savings.

However, for many CHWs, getting the hang of this training format and working through an online course can be challenging for many reasons. And you may find your remote learners dragging through the program seemingly forever, which negates the benefits of adopting this delivery method.

While there’s no hard and fast rule about how to make online training quick, there’s a lot you can do to help your staff complete the program efficiently and without a negative impact on their work or personal time.

Tips To Make Remote Training Quicker

  1. Designate Time for Online Training
  2. Establish Deadlines
  3. Document Your CHW Training Processes
  4. Schedule Delays
  5. Prioritize
  6. Anticipate Your CHWs’ Questions
  7. Focus On Upskilling

1. Designate Time for Online Training

One of the first barriers your community health workers may encounter is fitting online training into their schedule. You can combat this by blocking time off to complete the training during their work hours.

Designating a time for online learning also helps your CHWs track how much it actually takes to work through the training. Many of them may see training as one more thing they have to add to their to-do list. So it may help them feel at ease if they see an allotted time to learn instead of having to juggle it on top of everything else. Plus, it makes it easier for them to devote their undivided attention.

2. Establish deadlines

If you’ve ever had a task on your to-do list for months at a time, you’ll relate to Parkinson’s law, which establishes that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” And the same can be said about remote training for your CHWs.

Avoid procrastination and keep your learners accountable by establishing a deadline. And consider building milestones into your planning for more complex training.

3. Document Your CHW Training Processes

Supplement your CHWs’ learning by creating Standard Operating Procedures (also known as SOPs) so that they have the resources they need once the training is complete. SOPs can include repetitive tasks, complex processes like filing documents, or even screenings or procedures they perform less often and could have a hard time doing by memory.

SOPs help your CHWs learn by applying their new skills in real situations. Plus, you’ll be able to use the same documents to train new cohorts in the future.

4. Schedule Delays

Learners and instructors are humans, too. Not only will they need a break during their sessions, but they may also run into unforeseen circumstances that may affect your schedule. One way you can counter delays is by building in some buffer time to account for rest and distractions in your training calendar.

5. Prioritize

It may be hard to set a priority when training your CHWs. Especially if there’s a big cohort or a lot your staff needs to learn. 

However, trying to cover too much will leave you and your staff feeling overwhelmed and put you at risk of not achieving anything significant. So instead of biting more than you can chew, consider building your program based on urgent, necessary, and nice-to-have training for your staff.

Similarly, there are countless studies highlighting the fact that we’re not made to do two things at once. So encourage CHWs to focus on a single task at a time. If they’re driving between appointments and listening to the course, they’re likely not paying enough attention to either activity. 

Instead, when your staff is learning, make sure they’re learning — both so they get the best of the training and can perform their job properly.

6. Anticipate Your CHWs’ Questions

Create the best learning conditions by predicting the questions your CHWs may have prior to starting the program. This saves you and your learners time, as they have most of what they need before even clocking into your portal.

Consider aspects like login instructions and estimated completion times. Also include a list of necessary supplies (like headphones, a smartphone or computer, a notebook, and any downloadable materials).

Put these resources together in an onboarding package so your CHWs have everything they need as they start their training. And build the resources over time by collecting feedback and documenting the questions your new learners ask as they work through the program.

7. Focus On Upskilling

Learning anything from scratch takes a significant amount of time and a big effort. If your CHWs have basic training and field experience, invest in developing existing skills first, as it’ll be quicker and likely have a better ROI than starting from scratch.

Plus, continuous education is an excellent way to increase retention for CHWs and other staff.

Training CHWs Requires Time and Planning

At the end of the day, remote learning is still learning. Despite saving time by removing factors like commutes, hotel stays, or waiting to check in at an event, learners still need to sit in front of the course and complete it. 

Online training isn’t easier and it’s not a breeze. So ensure learners know what to expect by telling them they should take training seriously and devote enough time to learning.

Sometimes, just knowing how long something will take makes it go by that much quicker.

CHW Core Competencies

Find out all about what the CHW Core Competencies are, CHW roles, CHW careers, how to cross-train your staff, and how to get state certifications for the CHWs on your team

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