ENGAGING REMOTE EMPLOYEES WITH LEARNING
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge many employers and their employees to move their daily work online, while trying to be just as productive and connected as in their normal workplace setting.
With the remote workforce growing, employees can often feel disconnected and not as engaged with co-workers and the overall organization. Learning and development efforts can help reengage employees—especially as the coronavirus abruptly shifted many employees to a remote work setting.
Why It Matters
According to Gallup, 70% of workers in the United States are not engaged. As employees have been sheltering in place, they may start to feel less connected to their work and co-workers. Engaged employees are more than just satisfied with their jobs, they are committed to the organization and its goals. They have passion, pride and energy for their work and their employer, and are willing to go the extra mile on a regular basis. Employees who are truly engaged stay because they enjoy their work and support the company.
With travel restrictions and work-from-home policies in place, consider the following benefits of online learning:
- Develops motivation and ownership
- Encourages collaboration
- Improves productivity
- Increases sense of community and purpose
- Supports flexibility
Additionally, online learning is scalable and can be easily personalized for employees.
Training is an essential activity in every organization. Employers should consider online training as an investment—an investment in both their employees and organization. As the threat of COVID-19 shifts, a continued investment should focus on training resources to keep the workforce engaged—whether they are remote or not.
It’s important to align training to the company mission and goals. Training could support better understanding of the organization, job responsibilities or industry topics. Consider the following key types of training programs:
- Orientation—Initial training for all new employees is a one-time activity to get introduced to the organization.
- Onboarding—To ensure employees get adjusted to their department or team, onboarding should take place over a longer duration and may require multiple sessions.
- Product training—Whenever new products or capabilities are introduced, training should be done to ensure employees are aware and educated.
- Technical skills training—Instruction focused on the employees’ jobs and subject matter expertise will not only help them do their work, but also help boost confidence.
- Soft skills training—Guidance on communication, leadership, time management and conflict resolution can help build employees’ personalities overall.
Keep in mind any other mandatory training for your organization, like sexual harassment, work safety, first-aid training or other workplace-specific procedures. It’s important for all employees to follow local laws and regulations.
Aside from offering training, consider tuition reimbursement for employee development. Employees may be interested in pursuing online courses or programs to advance their technical or industry knowledge. The goal is to make training accessible to all employees.
The great thing about online learning is that it’s scalable and customizable for an organization. It could be as sophisticated as investing in online training portal software, or it might be as simple as recording training sessions or meetings—both virtual and in-person—and having them accessible on a company server or intranet.
Source - Zywave, Inc.