Every organization acknowledges the necessity for a well-trained workforce. It relies on the skills and knowledge of its workforce to win and nurture strong relationships with its customers. The business landscape has become highly complex and competitive, making it important to constantly skill, reskill or upskill the workforce to stay in the game. Moreover, regardless of the industry, for any business to thrive and compete successfully in today’s dynamic corporate world, it is essential to invest in workforce training and development.
It is a common practice among companies to invest considerable time and money in the induction training of its freshly recruited workforce but what gets often overlooked is the process of continuous training and development during the employees’ stint with the companies. What follows is the failure of such organizations to maintain their success and a surge in the churn rate. With professional growth being the most important factor in consideration for an employee, it becomes extremely important for organizations to devise a continuous learning system for their employees to have opportunities to grow holistically.
Organizations having a remote workforce is not a new phenomenon. It was back in 1979 when IBM, as part of an experiment, allowed 5 of its employees to work remotely. By 1983, it had roughly 2000 employees working remotely. Soon we had policies been devised globally for eligible employees to work remotely. According to a Forbes survey, in 2018, 50% of the U.S workforce was projected to be remote whereas Europe’s remote workers have grown from 7.7 percent to 9.8 percent in the past decade. The number of employees who work remotely is steadily growing around the world, and the trend does not show any signs of slowing.
Remote employees work either outside the organization premises entirely or a few times a week. They usually work for one specific employer and as an in-house employee, they are required to follow a fixed schedule. Remote employees, like any other workforce, place productivity and job satisfaction at the top, both of which are already higher as compared for an in-house employee. The distance and lack of face-to-face interactions do create challenges. A common spot of bother for remote employees is work-related training.
Research has found that it cost organizations nearly half to reskill someone for a job than to hire. With the soaring cost of rehiring, organizations are realizing the need to evaluate employee skills, uncover skills gaps, and provide education aimed at bridging skill gaps. Although employers have tried to address remote workers’ need for training to a fair extent, it has been usually handled on a need-based system. But business leaders are moving away from their reliance on external hires to drive organization growth, instead, they are keen to develop in-house talent by focusing on skill development of the existing workforce.
The pandemic posed a new challenge for the L&D departments of all organizations when a surge in the remote working employees made it realize that just as the market never remains static, decision-makers should not hesitate in adopting new learning strategies to cater to the new business demands. Thus, from an organizational standpoint, as the business structure changes, having a Learning Management System (LMS) has become critical to address the need for upskilling or reskilling the existing workforce, especially the remote workforce.
E-learning is one of the key features of a Learning Management System (LMS). It enables training material to be delivered remotely via the internet so that employees, especially those working remotely, can gain the knowledge and skills needed to perform their work tasks from anywhere and at any time. It also eliminates the time and distance barriers that prevent efficient learning and enables employees to do their training courses conveniently.
Remote workforce training and development is best achieved if organizations have the right tools and LMS today has become an important tool for organizations, irrespective of the industry, in many ways:
Leveraging a learning management system to onboard remote employees into the organization’s culture by sharing the company’s history and brand values creates a sense of belonging among remote workers. Apart from streamlining the onboarding process by creating multiple learning pathways to keep new hires engaged from their first day, LMS also helps nurture new talent into the organization’s culture. LMS enables a mobile-optimized microlearning experience so remote workers can continue learning from anywhere. Organizations that invest in high-quality onboarding engagements have always carried an upper hand over their competitors.
Mistakes in the workplace can be costly, especially if they cause business loss, injury, or violate the law. Remote employees are more prone to commit mistakes since they do not have the convenience of face-to-face supervision as compared to the in-house workforce. However, a workforce training LMS reduces or prevents such errors by simulating the real-world experience and providing anytime, anywhere online training tools. Remote employees can self-train to cure performance issues and overcome complex tasks. As a result, they learn from their mistakes during simulations and branching scenarios instead of when they’re on the sales floor dealing with a customer or in the warehouse working with heavy equipment that poses serious safety risks.
LMS facilitates communication and collaboration among employees of all levels and the best part of having it in an organization is that it doesn’t miss out on the remote workers. Real-time discussions with peers and instructors allow employees to clarify doubts and understand the training better. It a breeding ground for different perspectives and ideas where learners, irrespective of their physical presence, debate and discuss subject topics and enhance their professional development. An LMS provides a dedicated forum that allows employees, trainers, and course administrators to start discussions and gain insights from each other. These discussions can also be saved and viewed at any time.
Let’s face the fact that one of the major pain points of having a remote workforce is assessing how effective the remote training has been. Trainers think that employee attention cannot be 100% guaranteed in a remote environment and that such employees may not study as hard as during in-person supervision. Apart from providing a platform for the remote workforce to learn at their convenience, an LMS provides features like learning analytics, which is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts. This data is used to gain a better understanding of the user and to optimize their learning experiences. LMS helps measure the effectiveness of the training programs to ensure that organizations are getting the most out of their investments in the tool.
An increased level of employee motivation is administered by the level of satisfaction he/she has and while there are numerous ways to instill it, what remains vital is efficient and effective training programs because they increase skills and help acquire new knowledge. Remote employee training can be carried out off-site or on-site, which is why LMS technologies are useful. With an effective and convenient learning management system in place, an organization’s remote employees will be able to build their skills and perform better for the organization.
COVID has changed the outlook of every industry and how their businesses function. It will be widely accepted that the most important lesson this pandemic has taught us is adaptability. The recent scenario has made workplace rules being reshaped; remote work skyrocketed and has become the new normal. While working remotely, it should be made sure that routine jobs must be carried out without any hindrances. Workforce training is one aspect of an organization that should not be compromised because of remote working. Organizations, as well as professionals, now need to adapt to these new circumstances.
Companies could solve the problem of workforce skills gap by leveraging a training and development platform instead of trying to hire their way out of the problem and as organizations put further importance on linking the employee skill development to widen business performance, it will eventually result in optimization of organization strategies.
To see how HSC is helping organizations realize this, refer to our Corporate Learning Management Platform that assists in providing a personalized learning experience and helps narrow down the skill gap.