Companies are working hard to make their employees work hard to attain goals. But it’s not so easy because only continuous learning can make them the best. The companies can ensure that employees put their energies into learning, which is not an easy task, especially with remote employees.
Why is continuous learning needed?
For companies to get extraordinary performance from their employees, it’s paramount that they are always learning because innovation can only happen then. For example, a company may want to add a better structure to its work, implementing new production rules and the accompanying software.
And this process upgrade happens occasionally; hence the companies must encourage continuous learning which is available on-demand for employees and happens when they are free from their scheduled duties.
Remote employees don’t come to the office, and it’s a challenge to stay in touch with them. Employees also don’t like to follow up on industrial trends because they consider them a waste of time. Hence, they have to be made to realize the importance of such news. They can be sent a digital newsletter informing them of the most contemporary happenings in the form of summaries of their sector. The remote employees can also be sent birthday cards and welcome letters to new joiners. There can be weekly Teams call where the employees are congratulated for their exceptional performance and areas where there is scope for betterment.
The remote employees might not have time to access the training modules. They might be traveling a lot, especially in a target-based job. Hence, make sure that they can access the training modules offline or get them better mobile data packages to get a signal wherever they are.
Sometimes, continuous learning becomes a problem when the employees hesitate to ask questions. It’s not a good company culture when the employees have such apprehension because it can affect their performance. Such shyness comes when it gets revealed to the whole group that a particular employee has asked a question. And when all the team members know that a certain employee has problems, they start answering his question simultaneously. The solution, in this case, is that the remote employee with a query must get someone working from within the office(mentor) to support him. Such queries by remote employees can be simple, like how reports have to be prepared, but their delayed resolution can be troublesome.
However, this mentor can also support the remote worker by providing him with help on how to use the LMS for his continuous learning because the latter might face problems frequently. This is how the management can foster a culture of continuous learning in a company:
- The job of managers
Managers have to encourage employees for them to pursue their learning activities. If an employee is taking time out for his work, his manager should not take it as abstinence from work. The employee can better contribute to the job with his improved skills. By making a role model of such an employee, you can inspire other employees to do the same. A lot can be achieved in a culture of continuous learning through collaboration. The managers should popularize the belief that sharing is caring. So if an employee knows something, he should share it with others.
Knowledge hoarding is a dangerous phenomenon because it does not help when employees conceal crucial information from others to get ahead. So, it is the manager’s job to see that knowledge sharing is given its credit and that such employees are acknowledged. Employees should not follow a practice of knowledge hoarding because they feel important when everyone asks them about work. A company should ensure that team victories are more important than personal success. This way, a worker hoarding knowledge will share it with the team.
Sometimes, some employees have better access to resources than others because of their education or academic contacts. Moreover, the employees should be privileged to get a paid subscription to professional magazines. The management can pay for such magazines and hold discussions about what employees have learned during lunches. The employees can also be paired in groups (task-force) to share their queries with others and get competent answers through investigation.
- Social learning
Social media groups are essential to continuous learning, but they can start veering from the topic. Hence, it’s the job of a moderator to see that no one posts irrelevant memes on Facebook. Also, when any can’t answer back a question in two hours, it must be directly reported to the seniors to provide correct answers. The learners who share the most strategic posts like simulations, podcasts, or an article must be rewarded for their efforts. They could have contributed such content themselves or got it through somewhere. But a worthwhile article link can solve the problems of employees who get a reliable resource. However, there must be a schedule by which employees share such information, like once every week. If every employee posts something every day, there can be cognitive overload, and employees might miss something. Again, a moderator must approve such posts.
- Weekly webinars
After an expert has conducted a webinar, the next round ensures that all the solutions are crystal clear to the attendees. There can be a moderator in their webinar-based question and answer(Q&A) session who has ample knowledge and can shortlist the important questions. Send emails to the employees about the time and the meeting link of the webinar. The script of such a webinar containing questions and answers can be given to the employees who didn’t attend the event.
In the same way, when any online discussion gets started, the moderator should inform all the employees about it. The new employees might be getting solutions to their problems, like how to tackle a tough client. When a discussion starts about an online post, the other employees should be notified about them. The employees become aware of any ongoing discussion when they click on the “Join” button. The employees who have started their jobs from home sometimes feel left out when they are not given a proper introduction. They can be given a virtual training session through an experienced manager, who can also listen to their problems online. Later, the employees can be sent an online MCQ questionnaire by the LMS admin, in which they can fill in their responses about the quality of the lecture. This survey can also contain a Likert scale where employees can rank the lecture from a rating of 1-10.
The employees also feel that providing feedback about virtual sessions is not so time-consuming in such a way. When the employees give the questionnaire results, the reports can be prepared in the form of charts and then shown to the manager, who can be given access to better resources to be a superior trainer for the juniors.
Ensure that if you have implemented an LMS for continuous learning, it sends notifications to employees as soon as an article or a video is published. If the employees have a Facebook group, as soon as someone posts a query on it approved by the moderator, he must send email notifications to all the group’s followers.