Some of your company’s previous learning routines may have to change as many of your workers settle into their new work-from-home routine.
In a typical workplace, a lot of learning happens naturally in the hallways and over lunch—and with employees being more dispersed these days, you’ll likely question why people appear to know less about what’s going on in your company, your product, or their own professional growth.
Whether your company has a full-fledged learning staff or is running a little leaner these days, here are three easy, yet effective, strategies to ensure that your workers continue to learn and develop:
1. Reintroduce informal education
We used to exchange intriguing morsels of knowledge over lunch and in the office hallways, such as that wonderful thing your product could do that you didn’t think it could do or how you made one of your clients happier after they were upset about something. We don’t even consider it. We don’t think of it as learning, but it is, and it’s quite effective.
Here are some things you can do to reintroduce informal learning in the virtual world:
- Encourage teams to meet for lunch or social hours on a regular basis, allowing natural discussions to return to the rhythms they used to love. In no time, they’ll be sharing intriguing things again!
- Encourage everyone in your firm to make educational films. Quicktime, a free piece of software, makes this simple and available to everyone. Organise a competition to find the finest, most instructive small video (less than 2-3 minutes) on a range of subjects. Share them on your Namely feed, publish them to your LMS, or put them on a private Youtube channel.
- Challenge teams to come up with the top ten most obscure facts about a topic to discuss, or make them into team happy hours jeopardy games.
2. Create opportunities for mentorship
Your workers’ internal networks may not extend as quickly as they used to since they have less time for socialising and less time in a physical workplace.
Here are some ideas on how you might continue to develop mentorship opportunities:
- Make a list of persons with whom all new recruits should meet for 15-minute meetings. Include folks they’d regularly work with, as well as those who are on the same career path as them.
- Encourage managers and other leaders to link your workers with internal mentors who can help them learn more about career advancement and new prospects. The mentor is likely to benefit just as much from the partnership in terms of their own growth.
3. Encourage self-directed learning
When it comes to workplace learning, employees should be their own greatest advocates. Employees, on the other hand, sometimes find themselves in a holding pattern, waiting for a higher-up to give them courses, trainings, or personal development responsibilities.
Here are some things you can do to encourage self-directed learning:
- Establish guidelines for how and when employees can use their work time to pursue educational opportunities.
- Set learning goals at regular goal-setting periods, and have management check in on progress on a regular basis, just as they would with business goals.
- Employees should be aware of your company’s learning resources, such as professional development funds and online learning sites.
4. A team that works together to learn…
There are so many different learning demands in your company that it might be difficult to try to meet them all on your own. Instruct teams to collaborate on common learning objectives.
Here are some ideas for encouraging team learning:
- Request that managers devote the first 10-15 minutes of their team meetings on a topic that interests them. Set up a rotation of workers to give a presentation on a topic linked to an upcoming project or developing trend in their industry, view a short film together on YouTube and debate it, or form a book club.
- Use professional development funds to join professional organisations and gain access to publications and webinars that you and your colleagues may discuss.