The rise in remote working has pushed companies to rethink their approach toward employee training and professional development. While the need for planning for employee career growth is still persistent, it’s often difficult. This is especially true when you don’t see remote workers every day or have the opportunity to develop deep relationships to better understand where they’d like to grow professionally. Below are five ways to provide remote employees with career growth opportunities.
1. Reinforce a remote company culture
Assessing how remote workers like to grow professionally should be similar to their in-office counterparts. Employees are generally more engaged when they believe their employer is concerned about their growth and provides different avenues to reach individual career goals. Remote workers might feel left out in this process unless they develop stronger relationships with their managers. Become comfortable with teleconferencing, video chats, and technology to encourage relationship development.
2. Make regular remote check-ins
Regular remote check-ins allow you to track how employees are progressing with their professional development. Provide real-time feedback within the task management platform your team currently uses or during one-on-one meetings. For productive discussions, rely on video calls, the closest to in-person communication you can get when working remotely. Have empathetic conversations about their challenges and offer your advice on overcoming them. Also, acknowledge their effort and successes.
3. Invest in online courses
Plan to provide the training with numerous online courses available at affordable prices. Online learning platforms often offer individualized learning plans that incentivize the learning process. While they can complete these courses at their own pace, help them select the courses that best suit their needs based on the skill evaluation done earlier. There are several real-time online training programs available via video conferencing that might be valuable resources. Gather and store all resources and learning material in a central location that is easily accessible by the employees.
4. Reinforce a culture of learning
The way learning takes place in the workplace is changing. It is more than just a single course or workshop that employees must take. It’s about continuous learning and creating a learning culture to support it. To successfully build a learning culture, your employees need to feel that leadership supports it too. One way to do this is by making learning a clearly defined core value. Core values drive decision-making and guide the actions that organizations make. Committing to learning also means your company is committing to providing the resources necessary to support employee learning and development. Your learning culture should emphasize employee autonomy to find learning opportunities and should be fully supported. In other words, if an employee comes to you wanting to take a course or pursue an opportunity, they should immediately feel encouraged to do so.
5. Start a virtual mentoring program
One of the best ways to encourage young professionals to learn about leadership is through a mentoring program. Whether the employee is the mentor or mentee, such a partnership can help advance their careers. It creates opportunities to improve communications and leadership skills, learn new perspectives, and grow in their role. Virtual mentoring offers distinct advantages for the new remote and hybrid work environment. Virtual mentorship removes the hindrances of shared space and geography. Online options allow more flexibility in mentor/mentee schedules and locations. The ability to record and transcribe mentoring sessions can enable mentoring partners to refer to and reflect on a past conversation.
Career growth is essential for everyone to remain in a job. Nonetheless, many remote workers are concerned about stagnating growth opportunities as they feel they need to be included by their employers as much as their in-office counterparts. Managing remote employees and helping them advance their careers doesn’t have to be complicated or demanding. So long as you allocate the time to assess their progress, offer resources to expand their knowledge, and provide transparency about career paths within your organization, you’ll do an outstanding job of supporting their careers, no matter where in the world they’re located.