In our family we have a saying that comes up a lot: if you can’t ride a horse, ride a cow. Well, 2020 is all about learning to ride that cow-and quickly! Thus, we’re launching the Learning to Ride a Cow blog series to explore the challenges (!) and rewards (?) of pivoting to a virtual client service format. We are a virtual company and have offered remote services to clients on a limited basis since our inception in 2003. But with the advent of COVID-19, we’ve had to, like many of you, quickly retool our service offerings. I keep thinking of those scenes from Westerns where the actors jump from horse to horse at high speed, only in 2020 it’s from horse to cow.

For our first post, we’d like to share some of the lessons we’ve been learning from hosting HxGN EAM remote training sessions, including what to do and not to do before, during, and after training.

Training Session Prerequisites and Preparation

  • Identify client training leaders who can go to the training site and/or have good working relationships with the trainees. These leaders assist with preparation and readiness exercises, training delivery, and gathering training feedback.
  • Before the training begins, hold a pre-training session to verify that trainees:
    • can log into the EAM training environment;
    • have correct desktop configuration for the meeting software;
    • know how to share their screen on the meeting software;
    • can mute/unmute; and
    • are comfortable with camera and audio settings. 
  • If possible, provide trainees with two monitors, one of which will be used to view the web meeting, and the other for their session of EAM.
  • Emphasize no multi-tasking. Get commitments from leadership to have a “no radios” policy and to disallow calling people out of the training session.

During Training Sessions:

  • Schedule classes for no more than two hours at a stretch, as all day and even half-day web. meetings are too taxing.  Break the sessions into smaller pieces if delivering over a web meeting.
  • Have the training leaders play the role of assistant, virtually “walking the room” to see if trainees are able to enter data and complete exercises, and chat with them privately to make sure they are tracking, etc.
  • Challenge the trainees up front that they may be called on to share their screen and demonstrate entering a work order, finding equipment, etc.  If they know they may be called on, they may be less inclined to multi-task.
  • Create exercises where trainees attach their names to the data they are entering.  The instructor can then see if everyone is able to complete the exercise and either help certain trainees publicly or notify training leaders that some are not keeping up.
  • Read more of our online event tips and tricks!

Follow-up Labs

  • Not everyone is comfortable with speaking up in class, so offering a follow-up lab provides a safe environment to get extra help. Trainees can:
  • practice what they learned in an earlier class;
  • get assistance from the instructor; and
  • ask questions about real world scenarios.

We look forward to the day when we can get back on our old familiar steed and conduct some onsite training. But until then, stay tuned for more installments of Learning to Ride a Cow.

Have questions? Contact us here, or check out or LinkedIn page here.