The past 18 months have upended a number of business practices, and often in a good way. Many companies are looking at training as one of these areas and considering what will work for their now hybrid team. But what kind of training really matters to your employees and to the overall success of your company? Here are two types of training that you should definitely be prioritizing, and they may not be what you expect!
What’s not surprising is that your company and team are more heavily dependent on technology than ever before. How many new apps, chat tools, and other systems did you roll out in the past 18 months? What is surprising, however, is how many employees are not using them effectively or at all.
Most staff will adapt relatively quickly and figure out how to maneuver with (or around) these new tools, but there are likely more than a few who are quietly struggling, at best, or down right avoiding these new systems. This can have a quiet but distinct impact on the day to day productivity and success of your team. But with everyone so spread out, it’s also an easy indicator to miss!
One way to make sure staff get the help they need with new tools is to provide smaller sessions as a follow up to the initial onboarding. This could take the form of on-demand recorded sessions (perfect for those who may be reluctant to speak up) or small groups formed around common challenges or training modules. However you chose to implement it, smaller, focused, sessions are essential for those employees who may need more hand holding to feel confident with new technology.
Learning and Development
At the other end of the training spectrum is the all-encompassing learning and development category. It can often feel like an afterthought when there are so many other pressing day-to-day skills to train, but opportunity for growth is one of the top requests of employees when it comes to development. In fact, 94% say they would stay longer at their company if this type of training was provided (check out the LinkedIn Learning report for more details) However, what may surprise you is that only about 1% of employees actually have time or access to this type of development as part of the normal workweek according to Deloitte’s Leading in Learning report. Those aren’t great odds.
So how do you make learning and development part of your hybrid team’s ongoing training? And without it becoming a burden to you as a leader?
First, consider that this type of training is not always associated with a job change. It can also simply be professional development, adjacent or related to the primary function of each employee. And yes, while this type of training will aid in career advancement, as it should, by disassociated the training from a specific job move, you are able to focus solely on each individual’s betterment, especially if you don’t have any promotions on the horizon.
As a starting point, survey your team to see what areas are of interest to them (Excel 101 always seems to show up on this list!) and then form small groups around common themes. You can even empower the group to seek out their own free resources for training and collaboration so that this is not an added to-do on your list. Encourage them to have weekly or monthly small group sessions, perhaps with a rotating leader and a quarterly check in with you on progress. By doing this, you create not only the environment for growth, but also in a way that is easy to implement.
There are dozens of other areas of training that are undoubtedly important to your company, but by focusing on these two pillars you span the entire spectrum: from day-to-day job functionality to long term loyalty and morale of employees. And we think that is a pretty good place to start.