The pandemic has transformed the workplace and companies are finding it much harder to find employees with the skill set they need to move forward. If you’ve had to furlough or lay off employees, then you won’t be able to afford to hire new talents that have the skills you need. As such, one thing you can do is utilize the Talent Pipeline Management strategy. This includes making upskilling and reskilling a priority in the company so you can remain competitive.
However, upskilling and reskilling employees who are in a position of remote working may be a challenge as it is much harder to set up an effective feedback loop when working from home. So to help you effectively upskill and reskill your remote workforce, below are some tips to follow:
Make Individual Development Plans
Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are professional development tools that show how an employee is doing in the company. This is an agreement between an employee and employer that details how skills should be improved or learned. It also covers how their overall performance should meet set standards within a certain timeframe. The IDP samples on The Balance Careers show that these documents contain a person’s strengths, areas for growth, and actions to address those areas.
Say you want a senior manager with cross-functional expertise so they can make more informed decisions; you might realize that you have an experienced middle manager whose strengths include problem-solving and decision-making, as well as functional and industry expertise. You can suggest to the manager that they lead a cross-functional process improvement team that will allow them to learn about company functions. Having IDPs makes it easier for the employer and employee to keep track of any progress.
Create a culture of learning
A culture of learning is essentially one that lets people shape their own career paths. It teaches employees to continuously seek, share, and apply new knowledge and skills. A write-up on creating a continuous learning mindset by LHH explains that to start this culture, you need to convince managers and employees to help you. For managers, you’ll need to show them how the process will work since they respond better to concrete plans compared to hypotheticals. For instance, have a base-level assessment so you know which skills you have in your current talent base. Then figure out the skills gap and what skills you still need in your company.
Meanwhile, for employees, you can show them that it supports career advancement and personal development. They’ll be better equipped to take on new challenges and become more adaptable. Your workforce will feel more valued and engaged, improving individual and organizational performances.
Offer blended learning
It is easy to just give your remote workforce resources, like books and videos, for self-paced learning. However, this will result in poor knowledge retention due to passive learning, and low completion rates because of isolated learners. To address this, you should opt for blended learning - which our "What is Blended Learning?" article describes a strategy that combines online learning materials and traditional educational methods, especially the presence of a mentor.
This method involves a person going through content at their own pace and attending live meetings/presentations with a trainer or professional coaches during the course of their study. During the live meetings, employees will have in-person interaction and will be able to get immediate feedback to create a strong learning culture. Blended learning improves knowledge and skill retention since it provides a feedback loop where your workforce learns and can immediately apply their learnings. An easy way to do this is by using an online training platform which supports blended learning.