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Tips For L&D Leaders: Supporting and Engaging Remote Workforces

Article by edX For Business

Whether by design or circumstance, more and more organizations have at least some portion of their workforces working remotely.

Especially for those who have suddenly found themselves in this uncharted territory, we’ve put together a collection of key considerations and tips for navigating the shift to remote work and delivering learning that keeps remote employees productive, engaged, and moving forward.

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A Moment for Learning Leaders

As a learning and development professional, how can you help steer your company through a shift to remote work and learning, especially when changes must be rapidly implemented?

While challenging, L&D leaders have the unique opportunity to adopt an adaptive mindset to support organizations in using this moment as a tipping point for digital learning, communication, and engagement. Clear and thoughtful leadership and action now will help you build lasting resiliency and agility that will set you and your programs up for success down the road.

Consider opportunities to leverage and implement learning strategies in every corner of your workforce, including but not limited to:

  • Supporting and reinforcing critical ongoing learning for professionals working in disciplines that require constant refreshment and exposure to the latest knowledge and technologies
  • Building pathways to skill sets relevant to navigating, safeguarding, and innovating during economic shifts, from soft, “power” skills like communication and teamwork to the workforce wellbeing and cybersecurity
  • Arming leaders with skills in organizational communication, managing disruption, and emotional intelligence
  • Considering solutions for roles don't translate well to at-home work and are at risk
  • And more

Keeping Learners Supported, Engaged, and Motivated

Supporting employee engagement and wellbeing in times of disruption and uncertainty is paramount. Arm learners with the tools and support they need to continue progressing and sharpening the skills that matter most in their jobs, while remaining empathetic to their own challenges with shifting to remote work.

Be thoughtful in transitioning any in-person learning to online: For some employees, this may be their first time engaging in online learning and training. Make a good first impression: Without significantly delaying progress, take some time to be sure you’re going virtual in an effective, engaging way, whether prepping your speakers for virtual presentations or augmenting your edX course catalog with additional helpful resources.

Be mindful of at-home challenges: Be mindful that workers may have children at home and be considerate of workers who may not be able to attend every online meeting or training.

Share tips and celebrate success: Encourage and facilitate the natural sharing of learning. Collect and share tips and success stories in internal channels like Slack or an email digest, and celebrate wins. Recognition and motivation go hand-in-hand. Even the smallest acknowledgements help to support learner engagement.

Consider creating designated learning time: We see a positive relationship between workday learning and course completion rates, but working from home means hours are different than a day in the office. Think about ways to message or establish when your employees can make time for learning.

Keeping Teams Connected

Foster communications and avenues to keep teams connected and on task.

Host video learning office hours: Make space for questions and “face-to-face” social mentorship and support.

Encourage and facilitate social learning: Establish internal chat rooms in programs like Slack where learners can share their experiences in courses. Identify successful learners who are motivated to present on how the course has informed their work through meaningful lunch-and-learns.

Lead by example: Arm managers with ways to support and encourage their teams and highlight how leaders in the companies are using learning to develop and sharpen their own skill sets.

Open For Business and Here to Help

We know no two organizations are the same. We're ready to listen to your unique challenges and develop a flexible, customized solution for your team. Learn more about working with edX to ensure your remote teams continue to learn, progress, and contribute in the ways that are most impactful for your company.

Custom Solutions, Curated Learning Pathways