Yes, I know it's somewhat of an overused phrase now - "this new world of work"; however, it is. Many people are now opting for a hybrid working arrangement which means they may not be located in one place for their entire working week.
With the right organisation, employees now have the opportunity to work from the office, from home, from a co-working space or even the local coffee shop and whilst this new flexibility is hugely beneficial to both employees and employers, it certainly has its challenges. One of these being staff training. Of course, you can insist that all hybrid workers come to the office when training is being held; however, are there better ways to embrace the hybrid working ethos?
Well, the answer is yes, definitely. And here are our top 5 tips for effectively training employees in this new world of work.
Encourage more interaction
It's been a long-term dread of walking into a training session and realising you're in for the next 3 hours of death by PowerPoint - now imagine that when you're sitting at your home workspace alone. Not exactly motivating, is it?
So, if you're replacing in-person training with virtual, use platforms such as Zoom and insist cameras are turned on. This means everyone feels involved and can interact with each other. Even if you have attendees in the office, ask them to join the training via Zoom to ensure everyone is on an even playing field.
Lastly, try to ensure a variety of resources are used to keep the attention of attendees and test knowledge retention. This could be breakout rooms rather than table discussions, polls, quizzes, role play - anything that helps avoid people just sitting and listening for too long.
Make training on-demand
As well as hybrid working, many organisations are also offering flexible working, which adds another challenge for the learning and development team. One solution is to create on-demand training. This could be pre-recorded videos, online courses, or Ebooks. Add these to a central area accessible by all employees, such as the company intranet, and trust employees to manage their own learning. Employees who are given this kind of autonomy are often more motivated to learn and be happier in their day-to-day roles.
To ensure employees remember the training that's available, send out monthly announcements that detail the new training added or the most popular training for that month. Have fun creating communication that could make your employees excited to log in.
Start with wellbeing
Moving from traditional ways of working to a hybrid or flexible model can have a negative effect on employees' mental health as they adjust to maybe not having a team around them or no longer having a manager they can turn to immediately. Of course, many people will adjust perfectly well, but it's essential for employees to know they can speak up and have someone they can go to if they feel they are struggling.
So, one way to help is to integrate wellbeing training into your onboarding process. Make it a mandatory and essential part of new employees' induction as well as meeting the Mental Health First Aiders. This helps demonstrate how important employee wellbeing is to your organisation and encourage loyalty, motivation and productivity.
Set goals and gather feedback
Without setting goals and listening to feedback, it's going to be impossible to know if your training has the impact you want. When setting goals, take into account the long term plans of the business and train employees for these plans, ask managers what training they would like for their teams and themselves and, probably most importantly, ask your employees what training they would like.
Next, set small achievable goals and don't worry if these goals need amending as you move through your training plans. Developing effective training in this hybrid world of work is going to be a series of experiments before you get to the ideal mix.
Now, feedback is essential. Ensure employees are encouraged to feedback (sometimes it helps to give the option of anonymous feedback) to find out how they felt training sessions went or how they feel about the overall learning and development offer. You can collect feedback with simple questionnaires or polls; however, always make sure employees know they can email/call/visit face to face to give feedback if they choose to. A great learning and development programme is one that meets the needs of the employees, and without feedback, you will never be able to improve.
If you are unsure whether you have the right in-house skills to deliver specific training or you would like help delivering a hybrid training programme, consider external partnerships. These can be with training providers, like us, or colleges or local authorities.
The great thing about external partnerships is that many have offered hybrid training options for years. For example, Supportive Solutions can provide face-2-face courses on your premises or at another location or we have virtual classrooms so we can deliver to delegates throughout the country, or even world.
Furthermore, an external provider, like Supportive Solutions, can offer a vast amount of accredited courses, plus we collect feedback for you.
Please feel free to contact us to find out more and discuss your training needs.