When employees were first sent home to work in early 2020, no one could have predicted what this would mean for the traditional working environment that had been in place for decades.
While companies and their staff likely experienced at least some disruption, overall once they worked through the initial issues many organizations found their remote work forces weren't just surviving, but thriving. Staff members actually became even more productive at home than in their former work setting.
Still, having a remote workforce consists of more than checking in now and then through a video conference to make sure everyone is "doing ok." In order for employees to continue to grow in their position, bring more value to a company, and ultimately become ready for advancement and additional responsibility, remote employees need similar tools and training once afforded to those that worked in a traditional office setting.
In this article, we will discuss several types of training that employees need no matter where they are located physically.
Since many organizations found that working remotely is quite successful, it's likely the process is here to stay for some time, and in some cases a remote work environment may become permanent. This means employee turnover and expansion will still occur within a remote workforce. Newly-hired remote staff members need just as much if not more onboard training, than if they had been hired to work in an office setting.
Traditionally, even new hires for work on-the-go positions likely received in-house training about the policies of their new company, as well as training for their specific responsibilities and companies shouldn't neglect this process now either. Smart companies recognize that delivery of a thoughtful onboarding educational experience to new hires, means new staff will be able to deliver real results more quickly, and feel as if they are a valuable member of the team.
Hard Skills Training
Just because a staff member's physical environment changed this past year, doesn't mean they won't require hard skills training in order to bring more value to their job and eventually advance through the company.
Organizations who want to remain competitive and continue to experience growth must take a proactive approach by offering staff members the same number of opportunities for hard skills training as they would receive if they were working in a traditional corporate setting. The training format may require modification to fit the needs of a remote workforce, but the need for hard skills training is still very much in demand.
Soft Skills Training
While overall most companies report that working remotely is largely successful, it does present some challenges when it comes to soft skills. Communication that once occurred face-to-face is now primarily conducted by phone, video conference, or through email and/or chat rooms.
Subtle facial and body language queues that convey meaning are often missing in remote communication, leading some individuals to feel less than confident with their leadership skills and/or feeling as if they are part of a cohesive team. Successful companies recognize that soft skills are even more important with a remote workforce and will provide training opportunities specifically geared toward remote workers.
In the upcoming year, some companies may be able to gradually open up their remote workforce to meet individually with clients, or they may be able to conduct an occasional face-to-face staff meeting with small groups in attendance.
Still, since the virus will continue to be a top priority until the general population reaches herd immunity, staff members will need adequate training on how to safely expand their outreach while conducting official corporate business.
Last but not least, some individuals working remotely must maintain up-to-date skills when it comes to remaining compliant for:
- Industry regulations.
- Local, state, or federal laws related to their industry.
- Corporate policies.
Those companies requiring their employees to maintain a certain level of compliance skills, must actively research the best approaches to providing compliance training in a remote setting.
If you would like to know more about delivering effective training solutions to a remote workforce, please contact us.