How do I stimulate personal development for my remote workforce?

The right employees are the ones you want to keep for the long haul. How do you ensure that they remain involved and continue to develop their personal skills while working remote? Hybrid and remote working brings a new challenge to the table: enabling personal development and growth at a distance. What measurements are you taking to ensure that your L&D offer is hybrid and remote proof?

L&D Challenges & Solutions

In this article: 

  • We discuss the challenge of having a learning and development program that is the right fit for your remote or hybrid workforce 
  • Recent research gives a clear insight into how and what most people prefer to learn 
  • Get inspired: How airline KLM is working on a hybrid learning culture with GoodHabitz

Everyone has their own learning preference 

Most companies are used to on-site trainings, also known as classroom trainings. However, a hybrid work environment means less office hours per employee. Meaning, it's becoming harder to organise trainings on-site. When adding an additional way for personal development for your remote workers, it's important to keep learning preferences in mind. 

Because the way a person learns is very personal. You may like to read a book or a magazine, but your colleague prefers to watch a video, and Peter from finance likes to put things into practice with challenging assignments. Offering a variety of learning formats is clearly an important topic in this process. 

Allowing employees to develop themselves in their preferred way has tons of benefits for your company. If someone can choose the way in which they want to develop themselves, they are more likely to do so. It's easy as that! 

Next to that, you have to decide where to host your training sessions. Will they be available online, or offline? What type of training will you offer your remote workers? We gathered research statistics that will help you to make the right decision if you read along! 

Employees prefer online training over offline training

When talking about learning preferences, one thing is key to keep in mind. It's the online component. When looking at the preferences of the European workforce, recent research shows that online training is preferred over offline training. No less than 39% of employees prefer online training over traditional classroom training.

Yet, what about the rest? Combined trainings, also referred to as blended trainings, rank second with a preference of 34%. This is a mix of online and offline training. In the third place you find traditional classroom learning. Only 25% of European employees prefer the traditional way of developing themselves.

The preference for online training scores highest in Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, the UK and the Netherlands. They all defined online learning as their favourite way to work when working on their personal development.

What skills do employees want to develop?

When asked which skills employees would like to improve, there are three clear winners throughout Europe. 32% want to improve their 'Communication and Languages skills', and 30% would love to improve their 'Digital skills' to better meet the requirements of the future and hybrid work. Finally, 28% of employees in Europe want to develop themselves with 'Leadership skills'.  

The study also asked them which skills they feel their managers should develop now that we're working remotely more often. On a European average, we see that the number one skill that managers can improve on are 'Communication skills' (27%), followed by 'Creating team spirit' (26%) and 'Organisational skills' (24%).

Next to that, employees feel the 'Commercial skills' and 'Increasing productivity' skills of their team leads are on point. Both skills ended up at the bottom when it comes to skills managers need to evolve. Actually, both didn’t even make it into the top 5 in any European country. 

Hybrid working requires new leadership skills

Developing a learning culture doesn't start with the employees, it starts with the managers in your organisation. It comes as no surprise that remote working has a huge impact on leadership. Focusing on enabling personal development for your remote employees is not enough. Well-skilled managers can make a big difference.

A new way of working requires a new type of leadership. A hybrid working environment encourages a leadership style that is characterised by trust (rather than control), people orientation and sincerity. Of course, the right (digital) processes and communication tools lay the foundation, but do not forget to pay attention to the well-being and personal needs of your hybrid working employees.

According to recent research, no less than 34% of employees in the UK already stated that their manager is not capable of managing them remotely. You can find the full study via the button below. 

This trend is visible throughout Europe: reskilling leadership skills is key to staying successful in hybrid leadership in the long run. 

Different learning formats and course category variation 

So what's the solution to stimulate personal development for your remote workforce? Write it down: online learning is highly recommended. At least, if you listen to the needs of your own employees. But where should you start?

The possibilities are endless! One can easily get lost in the online world and, unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Simply offering online courses is not the holy grail for all your employee's needs, what you need is variation in these online courses.

This is why GoodHabitz invested in over 25 different learning formats – so everyone can learn! In addition to our various learning styles, we also made sure that there is a course suiting everyone’s needs.

Our platform offers courses in themes such as Management and teamwork, Safety and security, Productivity, and Communication and language. There is something for everyone – the sky is the limit!

We make our courses in-house, meaning, we adapt to the needs of what’s happening around us. Our courses are a perfect fit for employees that are working on-site, as well as those who are working remotely. Great examples are our Working From Home, and Online Teamwork courses.

KLM Airlines "Making your staff multi-deployable"

How airline KLM is working on a hybrid learning culture with GoodHabitz

KLM did hybrid working before it was cool - forced by the nature of their work. At KLM, issues such as mobility, flexibility and sustainable employability are crucial since most of their employees do not have an office job. Think of pilots and all the other flying personnel. For them, it’s important that they can learn at any time and any place, as they don’t have fixed working hours or an office to return to.

Additionally, KLM also has a large group of staff who carry out heavy work, in, for example, the baggage basement. It’s not likely to keep working in these professions until the age of retirement, which is why it is important for these employees to continue to develop outside their field of expertise - so that they can be flexible and adaptable later in their careers.

In other words: making them multi-deployable. The online training courses from GoodHabitz showed to fit every type of employee at KLM, and the HR department stated: “The GoodHabitz online training courses are a perfect match for the high level of flexibility that our employees require.”

This article is part of our 'L&D Challenges & Solutions' blog series. In every article, we connect the challenge to a leading company that solved the challenge. We summarised all of them in this article. Want to read more inspirational stories from our clients? Check out our case studies! 

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