This article has been updated to reflect the remote work challenges businesses face because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read "Leverage Your LMS to Simplify Managing Remote Employees" for more insights.
Even before COVID-19 disrupted the world, nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce didn't "go to work." Thirty-one percent of U.S. workers worked remotely 80-100% of the time, according to a 2016 Gallup report. Now as companies navigate the new business landscape and workforce dynamics are shifting dramatically, your organization might be tasked with managing remote employees' training more than ever before. Leaders need a new set of best practices for integrating geographically distributed teams, and learning and development leaders are no exception. Here are three recommendations for adapting your approach to workforce management.
1. Invest in onboarding
A blended workforce offers organizational benefits and access to richer, more diverse talent pools. But it also creates a new challenge for leadership: establishing unity between global workers. Use your learning management system to onboard remote employees into your culture by sharing brand values and your company's story. The right online learning platform features can inspire a sense of belonging between remote workers. Video content offers face-to-face exposure to leadership and subject matter experts. Using social LMS features during the onboarding process, such as commenting and polls, can initiate new talent into a culture of collaboration. To get each person up to speed on your company and its practices at their own pace, create multiple learning pathways to keep your new hires engaged from their first day. You can also use mobile-optimized microlearning experiences so remote workers can continue learning from anywhere. Organizations that invest in high-quality onboarding engagements have an upper hand over competitors with inferior programs. Best-in-class onboarding is linked to a 69% retention increase in the three years after hiring, as well as stronger company performance, according to the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation.
2. Integrate gamification
Gamification techniques are also likely to change a blended workforce's behavior, according to PervasiveHealth —regardless of whether your employees live in San Francisco or São Paulo. Consider investing in an LMS with reward-oriented learning features, such as contests, points acquisition or a visible leaderboard, to encourage healthy competition, teamwork and communication across state, country and continent lines.
3. Adopt intelligent reporting
Remote employees require leaders to dig deeper to understand changes in behavior and eLearning results, something easily accomplished using LMS data analytics. Reporting is key to understanding how eLearning content meets the needs of remote team members from different professional, cultural or geographic backgrounds. An LMS that offers insight into learner activity, competencies and progress reveals how effectively your training engages remote employees. Reporting can also show opportunities to better fit your content with your teams' needs.
Effective eLearning in a remote world
As organizations adjust to managing remote teams, L&D leaders must consider the unique challenges of managing remote employees' training. Techniques that worked for traditional, site-based employees aren't guaranteed to engage remote workers. The right LMS for your organization works for the company and the individual, regardless of where in the world they clock in.
Ready to engage your remote workforce? Talk to us. We can get you live and learning in days—not weeks!