Are you ready for a truth bomb? We don’t devote enough time to employee development.
According to a Gallup poll, 87 percent of millennials consider professional development and career advancement opportunities “extremely important” in a job. Despite this, more than three-quarters of employees believe they are on their own when it comes to professional advancement.
And working from home isn’t helping matters.
A disheartening 31% of employees feel their possibilities for advancement have decreased since the pandemic began.
Other research suggests that distributed personnel are less likely to get promoted or increase their salary, owing to misconceptions about how hard they work.
Employees are understandably concerned about the impact of remote work on their career advancement as many organizations migrate to a permanent hybrid or small models.
Here are five strategies for putting distributed employee growth first.
Make Proactive Growth Plans
Is every member of your team aware of how to advance in their careers? Is their road to success well-defined? And do they realize the changes that await them if they succeed?
Employee development plans are a tangible way of gathering that knowledge. While the specific format varies, these plans include:
- Where a team member is a today particular
- Where they need to get to
- What it will take for them to get there
What is the significance of a growth strategy? One-third of employees looking for a new job do so because they are bored and want a new challenge. They will always be striving for something if they have a plan in place.
That anything does not always have to be a promotion. It could be developing a certain set of talents, improving in a specific area of weakness, or becoming more efficient in their current role. The crucial thing is that each team member has a goal to work toward not to feel like they’re jogging in place.
Highlighting internal opportunities is also a critical component of assisting staff development.
Less than 30% of employees are delighted with their internal career growth prospects. This appears to be decreasing among distant employees.
You should encourage your teams to apply for open internal positions that correspond to their career objectives. Or, if you believe someone could be a good fit for a new role inside the company, be proactive in finding courses or certifications to help them build the skills required for that job.
Also, don’t wait for your team members to approach you regarding expansion plans or new opportunities.
This can be detrimental to introverts, minority groups, and persons who have had unpleasant growth dialogues in the past.
Women and people of color, according to research, are less likely to strive for their promotion and are less likely to be promoted to managerial roles.
Working remotely also eliminates numerous opportunities for management interactions, making it even more difficult to initiate these dialogues.
If you want your staff to grow within the organization rather than outside it, you must initiate the growth conversation. Give your scattered team members goals that are in line with their ambition, and watch them bloom.
Allow Managers More Access
One of the reasons it is difficult for employees to take the lead on growth dialogues is that managers often challenge reach. When you look at an executive’s calendar, it’s like losing a game of Tetris—no, there’s more room for blocks!
Remote work has rendered already overflowing calendars impregnable. Every brief talk, meeting, or update is now a call, usually scheduled for a 30-minute time frame. This can be highly daunting for team members who understand how essential and in high demand management’s time is.
Keeping this in mind, you should incorporate access into your timetable. Open office hours, daily or weekly team check-ins, and, most crucially, 1:1s can all be used to accomplish this.
The one-on-one meeting is an essential tool for staff development. It allows any employee to engage with managers on any topic, including growth—but, once again, managers should initiate those dialogues.
It is an opportunity to showcase accomplishments and progress while also delving into areas for development. These meetings can be used to assess talents, create a working portrait, and map out a growth strategy.
Finally, managers are the best mentors and coaches for your firm. If given the opportunity, every member of the team can learn from you.
Increasing your availability and sharing your valuable time with distributed team members is a minor move that will significantly impact their development.
Whenever possible, work in public.
One of the absolute prerequisites to success as a remote team is transparency. It enables you to dismantle silos, ensure alignment, identify roadblocks, and capitalize on opportunities.
This has a significant impact on the growth of employees. People, like seeds, need to be exposed to sunshine to flourish!
Working in the open allows team members to take on jobs or initiatives that interest them but are outside of their typical day-to-day responsibilities.
It enables them to provide and receive feedback from their bosses and peers. Because everyone can see their work, they can learn from other people’s mistakes and are less likely to make their own.
This is something that can happen rather naturally in the workplace. You can listen in on an overheard conversation, observe what someone is doing on their screen, or invite individuals into a meeting on the spur of the moment to obtain their feedback. This is significantly more difficult in a distant setting.
Nearly 60% of remote workers think they miss crucial information because it is shared from person to person rather than through public channels. You must make a concerted effort to be professionally visible.
Trello is arguably the simplest way to accomplish this. Every member of your team should capture their work on cards shown on your team’s board. This allows their coworkers and bosses to monitor their progress, provide feedback, and assist them in improving at every step of the process.
You can even organize your lists in a way that promotes or supports staff development. Create a feedback list on which all team members are encouraged to place cards and solicit feedback from their coworkers.
Perhaps you could create a list of weekly challenges to inspire individuals to attempt new things or learn new abilities. Another simple technique to encourage development is to provide a list of various training possibilities.
And all of this is easily scalable across the organization. You can use Unito to sync complete boards or connect Trello to several specialized solutions. This can help expose your employees to other mentors or possibilities for growth throughout the firm.
Alternatively, you could create 1:1 boards for each team member and sync the results as cards on the team board.
Other initiatives that can be taken to improve openness and encourage remote employee development include:
- Organizing video lunch and learns so people can flex their learning muscles
- Weekly all-hands meetings where you highlight work being done in each department
- Involving employees in testing sessions for new features, services, or workflows
Working remotely may have made it more challenging to work openly, but with the correct tools and a commitment to transparency, there will always be opportunities to grow.
Take Advantage of Online Education
Training is an essential component of staff development. According to Gartner, 70% of employees do not believe they have mastered the skills required for their current positions, let alone those required for advancement.
On-the-job training is undoubtedly essential. However, to develop or reinforce skill sets, change roles, or take on new responsibilities, we must occasionally seek out alternative forms of education.
In-person conferences and courses were traditionally two of the most popular channels for learning and growth. However, distributed personnel frequently do not have access to either of these solutions. Fortunately, virtual learning is on the rise.
Numerous platforms offer classes in several subjects, such as Udemy and Masterclass. Many SaaS tools, such as Moz and Salesforce, also provide training classes. Virtual meetings have swiftly become the new norm.
Your teams can now hear experienced speakers from the comfort of their own homes, frequently at a lower cost.
Speaking of which, you must allocate funds for online learning to your dispersed personnel. Allow them to pursue these learning opportunities without hesitation.
It’s also worth noting that mentorship is a type of online learning. Mentors, both internal and external, may help your team grow and learn from their experiences.
Internal mentorship programs may include shadowing (through Zoom), recurrent 1:1 meetings with more senior employees, or Q&A Sesto sions. As a leader, you may also connect employees with external mentors from your network to who they would not otherwise have access.
Create a learning culture to assist your distributed team, whether it comes from mentors or professional instructors.
Make Provisions for Social Interaction
The most forward-thinking firms understand that employee development is more than merely acquiring new skills. Personal growth leads to professional development.
Since the start of the epidemic, 75% of employees have reported feeling more socially isolated. This harms their well-being and works engagement.
Business leaders must promote mental health and inclusivity, and one of the most effective ways to do so is to provide opportunities for social connection.
Businesses have adapted typical social events to remote work in various ways, including happy hour hangouts and open lunch rooms. However, here are three innovative ideas for encouraging social connection while simultaneously assisting employees in their development.
1. Organize a remote “Hackathon.”
Bring together members of several teams to work on a hackathon project. A hackathon is a quick-turnaround collaborative project (or series of projects).
The idea is to complete something that would typically take weeks or months in a single day. While hackathons were originally held within development teams, they have developed to be highly cross-functional, including numerous groups and topics (Atlassian hosts hackathon-style events called ShipIt).
Participants interact and socialize with people they might not ordinarily see while remote, but they are also working on something that will benefit the business. Hackathons typically require participants to learn on the fly and take on projects they would not usually take on. And they’re a lot of fun.
2. Take a look at Donut Calls.
While we enjoy yummy sweets, Donut is a Slack extension that pairs two people in your organization at random for a coffee talk. When you operate remotely, you will only see members of your team or frequent collaborators.
Random Donut interactions with people you wouldn’t ordinarily interact with can help you create team bonds and introduce you to new mentors, projects, or even pals.
3. Assign New Hires Work Buddies
Starting a new job can be nerve-racking. While remote, doing so adds tension because you won’t be able to meet people face-to-face or develop a network of supporters straight away.
By allocating a work buddy to each recruit, you provide them with a resource that can teach them about the firm, answer their questions, and more.
It’s Time for a Growth Explosion
Fostering employee development while working remotely must be deliberate. It takes time and effort from team members as well as their managers. It does not happen by chance; it results from providing people with the attention, tools, and opportunity they require to succeed.
That is time well spent. Of course, this devotion results in more trained and motivated employees, but it also aids retention, performance, and satisfaction. You can’t place a price on anything like that.
Source: Trello Blog
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