You might have already come across a plethora of articles on COVID-19. Of course, all that knowledge is critical to the current situation. But if you have observed closely, there's one truth that's becoming more and more evident.
The pandemic has pushed us off the edge. Now, we can choose to fall or fly. If you choose to fly, then welcome to the fourth industrial age.
Many industrial experts believe that this is the decade for the next industrial revolution, and remote work will finally claim its due respect. However, they also warned us of the shortage of required skill sets.
"There are three main revolutionary macroeconomic trends that will have major impacts on business: the mainstreaming of the flexible workforce, use of technology, and a skills shortage."
—Sue Bhatia, The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Changing Work
With the use of technology, we are now mainstreaming remote work— how do we address the skill shortage.
Some companies have resorted to firing their employees and hiring candidates with relevant skills. But this is no time to let your people down as it will only intensify the war for talent. Bhatia suggests a different solution.
"The easiest and quickest way to ensure opportunities for growth is to continually reskill and upskill your current full-time employees."
So, getting your newly formed remote workforce to engage in remote learning is the way to do it. If you're wondering how, hop in.
Communicate to Build Trust
Communicate, communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more. In a face to face interactive session, the room for disengagement is narrow. But in a remote learning scenario, the abundance of privacy can hinder your employees learning behavior. So, regular communication takes center stage.
- Phone calls and Reminders: Keep in constant touch with your employees. Personal communication can help get your employees onboard. However, you don't want to come across as too pushy. So, generate mobile alerts and reminder emails to keep them on their toes.
- Break the E-barrier: In virtual learning, there is limited opportunity for nuances like the instructor's voice, expressions, and eye contact to grab your learner's attention. To make this experience more interactive, encourage peer to peer learning or blended learning, and reward your learners for their accomplishments.
- Show them you care: As a manager, your people must know that you care for them. Employ surveying tools to understand their personal wellness, family welfare, and work at home issues. Provide precautionary guidelines to avoid contracting the infection. Make sure payroll happens on time. These actions will earn their trust and influence their retention in future.
- Get them involved: Once your learners are on board with this new trend, let them decide upon their learning opportunities and goals. In contrast to a face to face interaction, your employees will feel less intimidated in raising their opinions and questions. Help them understand their skill gaps and take accountability for their performance.
Make your Content Engaging
Content is the vital source for success. But you need it to capture your people's attention to drive engagement.
- Enhance your content with storytelling: - Good stories have a great impact. Story telling can make your topic engaging and interesting. Make sure your content is relevant to instigate curiosity with helpful anecdotes.
- Curate your content: - As discussed earlier, getting your people involved, calls for various opinions. Now, if you can take time and curate your resources, you may find articles or videos that address your people's pain points.
- Recent and relevant: - Due to uncertainty times, staying a step ahead is a necessity. Make sure your learners are consuming information that is most recent and relevant. Be on a constant look-out for fresh updates and trends.
Allow for Asynchronous Learning
The asynchronous learning model ensures that learning content is available outside the constraints of time and place. Your learners can have access to resources wherever it's convenient for them, so the flow of work doesn't get interrupted. Not only does it enable your employees to learn at their own pace, but it also lets them interact with their peers. Emails, blogs, and discussion boards are a few modes of asynchronous learning.
Capitalize on Blended Learning
Blended learning brings the best of both worlds together to break the e-barrier. In this model, a part of education happens online and that can be extended further virtual instructor led training and live interactions. So, this facilitates an instant opportunity to collaborate and discuss as required.
Learning Modalities to focus
Ever since its inception, e-learning kept evolving constantly. We are yet to explore its full potential. Of course, remote learning is a different ball game. However, employing these modalities can drive value and enhance your learner's skills.
Microlearning: This model focuses on providing information to your learners in the form of small bite-sized chunks on whatever they need and when they need it. They are as simple as tips and crucial cues. Microlearning is a proven time-efficient method that increases engagement and address to the needs of the learner in a scenario.
Gamification: Gamification makes training more engaging by driving personalized experience for the learner. Introducing game mechanics like badging and leaderboards can provide your learners with the opportunities to compete with their peers while they are learning. It drives competitive spirit in your learners and keep them motivated. Also, the research reveals that the retention rates are high in these scenarios.
Mobile Learning: Mobile also plays a vital role in our learning landscape. Mobile learning has become a common practice in majority of the enterprises among the mobile workforce. You can have learners access podcasts, short videos, content and learning resources.
Invest in a Learning Experience Platform
Learning Experience Platforms or LXP’s help you drive your learner's engagement. It helps you curate and analyze your employee's learning history and offers a consumer style interface with recommendations organized based on learner interests. At this time of crisis LXP’s allow you drive more targeted learning to your learners enabling them to drive your organization forward once we pass this crisis and be more ready for more opportunities.
We are in the time of crisis now. Your employees have valid reasons to worry about their health and safety. So, don't push them too hard. Instead, drive their interests towards continuous learning options within your enterprise. As we overcome this crisis, enhancing the capabilities of our workforce allows us to drive impact and gear for new opportunities.