Learning is an integral component in the growth of any organization. Fostering a culture that encourages constant learning not only helps the organization adapt to the ever-changing business environment but also contributes to its endurance in the industry.
In this article, we discuss a few strategies that organizations can adopt to build a learning culture for their remote teams.
According to Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a subsidiary of Gartner, Learning Culture is “a culture that supports an open mindset, an independent quest for knowledge, and shared learning directed toward the mission and goals of the organization”. Aspects such as employee retention and increased engagement are interlinked with learning culture. For this reason, a culture that encourages learning is essential to achieving business growth. HBR notes that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by a massive 147 percent in earnings per share.
Fact: Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report reveals that only 33% of US employees are engaged at work. It also observes a 16% increase in productivity as a result of offering employees the opportunities to learn and grow.
Today’s situation demands strong leadership abilities to guide the teams in a remote setting. Post COVID-19, learning has gone through a paradigm shift due to transformation in the workforce and business. Several experts expect that the situation would continue even if the pandemic subsides. Research has revealed the productivity gains of virtual work and hybrid work models. Studies have also reported that more than half of employees want to continue working remotely post-pandemic. This calls for the development of new skills in employees as well as employers.
Remote work requires a Learning and Development (L & D) function to change its strategies to ensure remote learning for all. When in-person learning sessions for building the capabilities of employees are not feasible, virtual learning is the only way out.
Here are a few strategies that help your business develop a learning culture in a virtual environment.
Most often, the in-person training sessions are lead by an instructor who lectures with the help of a PowerPoint presentation. This type of training does not have the learner driving the learning process. The best way to carry out training is to coach learners to take ownership of mastering a skill or material. Make sure you include the entire organization (as many levels and locations as you can) since it helps build a vibrant culture of learning that serves your long-term goals.
As it can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to remote learning, businesses have been creating a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. This helps create a better-customized learning experience as it offers the employees flexibility to learn. Synchronous learning is scheduled training with several learners at the same time, whereas asynchronous learning is self-paced training that gives employees the freedom to choose the time to access course content, assessment, and course completion status within given timelines without their work getting affected in the process.
One can’t think of virtual learning without the usage of information technology as it requires learning systems and platforms to reach the learners who are scattered across geographical locations. If your organization has a Learning Management System (LMS) in place, an appropriate centralized content library that has a user-friendly interface and accessibility from any device at any time will make things simpler for you. You may choose conferencing/webinar platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, MS Teams, Google Meetings, etc. based on the learning objective, target audience, and attendee strength for seamless training delivery.
Tip: Make sure the resources and links of scheduled or self-paced training are available anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
To make teaching and learning in a virtual classroom effective, you may need to redesign your learning interventions. Before you take any action in this direction, conducting a virtual survey or poll with your employees can help you gain insights into what their learning needs are, how they solve work problems, and what their digital delivery preferences are. Several experts suggest using the microlearning method. It involves getting your eLearning in smaller, digestible portions that help easy comprehension. Content with visual appeal in form of infographics, slides, videos, animations, chat boxes, etc. may simplify productive learning with interesting features.
Knowledge sharing is one of the central features of a learning culture. You may develop virtual communities or groups where Subject Matter Experts within the organization conduct sessions for interested learners. This learning can be in the form of videos, posts, tips, counseling sessions, etc. Learning from peers is expected to be more engaging as it improves collaboration among the employees. You may recognize employees who participate in the community activities with compliments or small rewards.
Throughout the learning process, employers must be reminded that learning is a win-win for themselves and the organization. This requires employers to make their people aware of how their learning impacts business outcomes. Laud your people for their performance. LMS can also help you in imparting lessons on anything from leadership to organizational culture. For instance, in the case of learners of leadership programs, you might track learning in the LMS and award points for individual e-learning modules, mentoring sessions, or a personal project.
Today, remote work has become part and parcel of businesses across industries. As organizations prepare themselves to meet the changing needs and expectations of their current and future employees, quality training and development are requisite. Make sure the learning process is simple and fun. With the help of a skillfully deployed LMS and the strategies outlined above, you can provide your remote employees with ample opportunities to grow and succeed in their careers.