If you want to attract and retain top talent, it’s important to realize that the best employees are highly motivated to join and stay with companies that are willing to invest in their development. This is just as true in hybrid organizations as it is for those with fully remote or on-site teams. Consider these key employee development tactics that are particularly well-suited for a hybrid work environment.
Onboarding is a new hire’s first exposure to employee development at the company, so everyone should have the same experience. If all employees will not be in person for onboarding, avoid designing onboarding for in-house employees and then just adjusting a bit for remote team members.
Instead, use a consistent virtual onboarding process that can be completed just as seamlessly from home or any remote location as it can from the office. This helps set up all new hires for success, which can boost employee happiness and retention.
Provide employees with access to a library of employee development courses that can be completed online at any time, from any location. Offering an online learning library will ensure that employees have access to a variety of training programs, no matter where they work or what time zone they are in. This will also prevent remote members of a hybrid team from being inconvenienced or left out of opportunities that are scheduled in places and at times only convenient for those who work on-site.
Encourage employees to share their expertise with their peers by offering virtual training sessions for their coworkers. Put out a casting call for team members to propose topics for workshops they’d like to lead, and also ask managers to nominate employees from their teams to present on topics that highlight their greatest strengths. Allow presenters to redirect work time to preparing, and/or pay an honorarium to recognize their effort. Consider recording these sessions to include in your online learning library.
It’s not always practical to bring members of hybrid teams together for in-person learning and development. Knowing this, try providing individual team members with a learning allowance they can use for training that’s focused on skills specific to role or company goals and objectives.
Encourage team members to earn industry certifications relevant to their roles.
For example, if you need employees to master Excel or develop project management expertise, empower them to find and sign up for a local or online class that the company will pay for via reimbursement.
Encourage team members to earn industry certifications relevant to their roles. Consider paying for remote and on-site employees to attend online certification prep courses so they can learn and study together (and bond!) while preparing to sit for their certification exams. Or, if you have in-house experts who are already certified, ask them to lead virtual study sessions for employees who are preparing to earn the same credentials.
Offering a tuition reimbursement program is a great way for employers to demonstrate their commitment to developing all employees, regardless of where they live or work. Higher education is not location-dependent, so tuition reimbursement is a flexible option for hybrid companies and their employees.
Not only does offering this type of employee benefit help with recruiting and retention, but it also provides an opportunity for employees to expand their expertise and skills
Establish training levels that coordinate with badges of different styles and/or colors to assign to employees who accomplish learning and development objectives.
It’s important to realize that the best employees are highly motivated to join and stay with companies that are willing to invest in their development.
For example, assign a management-focused badge to supervisors who complete a certain number of classes within a set timeframe following their promotion. Add badges to employees’ intranet profiles and provide image files they can use in their email signature line, LinkedIn profile, etc. These badges may become status symbols in the company’s culture, leading employees to want to level up.
Employee development may be different in a hybrid environment than in a traditional workplace, but it remains essential. Fortunately, it’s possible to deliver quality learning and development programs to a hybrid workforce. Start with the ideas listed above, and you’ll be on your way to providing your organization’s hybrid teams with employee development programs and opportunities that can improve individual performance and boost bottom line results.
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