In this blog, we discuss the importance of upskilling your remote workforce post pandemic, and 5 strategies to do so.
If there’s anything 2020 taught us, it’s the importance of being able to adapt.
When the pandemic hit, we all realised how unpredictable life can be and many companies were not able to cope with new ways of doing business.
However, it is extremely important to know how to pivot and adapt to changing circumstances.
Although many companies were already invested in upskilling employees, the pandemic accelerated the process and became fundamental in protecting themselves from future disruptions.
In fact, during the national lockdown 43% of employers offered more training material to expand their employees’ skill sets.
And actually, upskilling your remote employees is crucial for boosting productivity, performance, morale and employee retention.
Let’s take a look at how you can upskill your remote workforce post-pandemic.

1. Personal Development Plans

It’s no secret – upskilling takes time, effort and money.
And, in all honesty, there’s no point in introducing upskilling initiatives if you are not going to measure progress or attach them to specific goals.
For this reason, it’s wise to map out a personal development plan for each employee, as a means to identify skill gaps, setting goals, documenting a strategy and measuring progress.
As such, the goals set must be a joint effort between the employee and manager and each goal should be tailored according to the employee’s existing skill sets.
Furthermore, creating personal development plans are a great way to add structure to the upskilling process and makes it easier to assess the effects, as well as avoiding miscommunication.

2. Bite-Sized Training

Getting employees to stay engaged in training has been a challenge many companies face.
In addition, working in a remote environment makes it even more difficult to retain employee’s attention.
Which begs the question, how do you keep your remote workforce engaged to complete online courses?
Well, this is where bite-sized training comes in!
Simply, the focus needs to be shifted towards short and concentrated pieces; i.e. instead of a 30 page PDF, create smaller modules that focus on single objectives.
Whilst doing this, you should try to incorporate visuals that help make information more memorable, such as infographics, charts and graphs, flow charts etc.

3. Blended Learning Experience

Working with a remote workforce can cause difficulties when trying to conduct regular virtual training sessions – especially if the workforce is spread across the globe.
But, at the same time, if you rely solely on self-paced learning, employees may not take this as seriously and become ineffective.
With this in mind, the key is to incorporate a blended learning experience; a mix of instructor-led and individual training.
Essentially, you want to be able to hold both live training sessions and offer friendly training modules, which allows your remote workforce to learn and upskill at their own pace, whilst still remaining engaged.

4. Assign Mentors

Sometimes, those who work remotely can feel lonely and isolated which acts as a barrier to training.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to assign mentors as part of your upskilling training initiative.
Because, if employees have a one-to-one relationship, it creates a better learning environment.
It’s worth noting, the mentor should be non-judgmental and allow the employee to think creatively about how they can develop their skills.
In addition to this, mentors can offer guidance and support, manage the employee’s expectations and help them to achieve goals.
Lastly, mentors will be able to assess if the training strategy in place is effective or if amendments need to be made.

5. Offer Incentives

When employees already have a busy workload and general daily responsibilities, the thought of training to upskill can feel like a “tick box” exercise.
As such, this generates a negative attitude towards training and will be ineffective in enhancing their skills.
And, as an employer, there’s nothing worse than investing time and money into training if they’re not going to learn something new.
Accordingly, offering incentives is a great way to get employees excited about upskilling and serves as a motivational push; leading to better levels of participation and engagement.
Incentives do not have to break the bank, but can be as simple as a gift card, paid time off or a one time bonus.

The Takeaway

We’re living in a time where all companies need to be prepared for any circumstance, and one of the best ways to future-proof your business is to invest in your employees.
These 5 strategies above will help you to upskill your remote workforce and build a stronger team that drives growth.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

This blog was produced in collaboration with: