Episode 37

Training a Virtual and Dispersed Workforce

Steve Chambers

Brought to you by your hosts:

Hannah Brenner
L&D Specialist
Derek Smith
L&D Specialist
With special guest:
Steve Chambers | Director of Human Resources
Steve is the Director of Human Resources at the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. In his role, he manages the human resources functions including workforce planning and employment, employee benefit programs, performance appraisals, training and development, and payroll. Additionally, he ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements dealing with HR, as well as designs, implements, and manages VFW employee policies and procedures.


A growing trend for large and medium-sized businesses is creating dispersed and virtual workforces. After all, there are plenty of benefits to hiring employees outside your immediate office geography.

For one, you aren’t limited to the best available talent in the area you’re in; rather, the entire nation is your candidate pool, and you can select the best candidates possible. Secondly, when you operate in a high cost of living area like San Francisco, paying employees who work in South Dakota can save you tons on payroll.

A geographically dispersed workforce opens many doors, too. Logistics become much easier with multiple locations, productivity can increase, and you can expand your market to new territories.

That said, there are plenty of challenges involved with virtual and geographically dispersed workforces.

Some employees rarely get to meet face-to-face with their coworkers, and this can be a challenge to your culture. In addition, relying on only electronic means for communication can open the door for miscommunications.

This means that project objectives can get lost, and efforts can be misdirected.

When training coordinators have to travel to deliver training, those expenses (airline tickets, flights, per diems, and rental vehicles) become very costly very quickly.

Online training can be a powerful tool for overcoming the challenges associated with a dispersed workforce. Communication training specifically can help your employees deliver better results, and dispersed workforces can be unified through training, creating a seamless experience for customers no matter where they are. Virtual training delivery also means businesses can save thousands on travel costs.

We sat down with Steve Chambers, the HR Director of the VFW, to talk about the strategies he uses to deliver training and perform strategic HR duties at over 20 locations.

Steve talks about the value that he’s discovered in using microlearning to deliver training content. With administrative reporting, Steve can be sure that his employees are completing their training. With reinforcement boosters, even from hundreds of miles away, Steve says the skills he is training can be applied on the job.

When you’re done listening to this week’s episode, be sure to download the free, related resources below!