remote workforce engagement- featured

Employee Engagement

How to Tackle the Engagement Crisis in a Remote Workforce?

Writen By

Sonia Gupta

Finding good talent has always been a challenge for growing companies. But today, expanding internet connectivity and the rise of knowledge-based economies is enabling organizations to hire skilled workers across geographical boundaries of states and even countries. Remote working is not a trend anymore, it is fast becoming the norm. 

The Lure for Remote Working 

Remote working allows companies to throw their talent nets much wider. Short-term, specialized employees are a huge boon for mission-critical projects that give significant bottom-line benefits for business.

From improved productivity to reduced overheads, the benefits of a remote workforce are plenty. One of the key advantages is talent retention, where research reveals that organizations that support a remote workforce strategy have 25% lower employee turnover, according to the 2017 State of Remote Work Report by OWLLabs and TINYPulse. This is because they have successfully captured the pulse of young workers, who are increasingly looking for greater flexibility and work-life balance, which remote working offers.

While it is becoming evident that remote workers are here to stay, it also poses significant challenges for companies, especially with respect to learning and development strategies. How can organizations juggle such initiatives across diverse teams and locations? And, how can these programs tackle the engagement crisis in the remote workforce?

Learning and Development Needs of the Remote Workforce 

According to a study published in Harvard Business Review, two-thirds of remote workers face an engagement crisis and over a third never get to interact with their teams. Over 70% of remote employees feel isolated from their workplace, according to a report by Igloo. These are the employees who are at greater risk of leaving their organization in the near future.

Then there is the issue of rapidly advancing technology, compliance needs and other business-related processes that require continued training. In addition, millennials appreciate opportunities to learn and grow their skills and careers on the job. When the organization offers them such opportunities, they feel valued. In fact, more than half the remote workers say that they want greater opportunities for learning from their company. 

There is no shortage of communication or knowledge management tools in the market, but organizations also need to understand the challenges before they roll out such tools.

Learning Resources Need to Evolve

Unlike the old-school training programs, where corporate L&D departments defined the curriculum for employees, learners today want greater control of their skill development. Allowing a degree of autonomy ensures better motivation to learn, as well as learning outcomes.

For remote workers, the creation of a culture of continuous learning can be challenging, simply because they are remote. When companies are not even able to engage them within their corporate culture, how can they ensure continuous learning?

Fortunately, remote workers take well to independent, self-directed learning. Hence, there are many ways in which managers can create a culture of continuous learning for everyone, no matter where they are based. There are 3 vital aspects of training remote workers.

  1. Providing them resources and toolkits at their fingertips, whenever they need them. This empowers them to resolve work-related problems independently and swiftly.
  2. Encouraging employees to use more collaborative technologies and online resources, so that they get to interact more with onsite team members.
  3. Employing technologies that can adapt resources according to individual preferences, so that remote workers can stay engaged and motivated to learn more and stay updated on the latest technologies in the field.

So rapid is the pace of technological advancements that the half-life of a skill is just five years, according to the 2017 Deloitte Report on Global Human Capital. At the same time, expectations regarding employee skill levels are rising. Companies want remote employees to be able to run a virtual office seamlessly and with minimal involvement of the head office.

When expectations are high, solutions need to be equally gratifying.

The AI-Assisted Solution for Training the Remote Workforce

AI-assisted learning experience platforms like KEA can help organizations create agile corporate training solutions. With the help of such platforms, remote workers can not just learn at their own pace, but access content anywhere, anytime, on the device of their choice. The platform makes the creation, updating and distributing of training programs quick and seamless, while the AI component engages the learner, making appropriate content recommendations.

At the same time, timely and real-time analytics allow companies to evaluate learner progress and content usage patterns. This then helps them create better content strategies for the future. Moreover, it assists HR teams to quickly onboard new remote hires, such that they can hit the ground running, while being in sync with the company’s culture, policies and compliance requirements.

In conclusion, what cutting-edge AI-powered learning experience platforms are offering is the ability to deploy training in the flow of work, with the speed of business.

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