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8 Practical Ways to Help Remote Employees Develop Their Skills

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8 Practical Ways to Help Remote Employees Develop Their Skills

Professional development benefits both employees and employers. It equips both parties with the necessary skills for their roles so they can become more confident, productive, and efficient. Learning new skills and having more knowledge also help workers grow and get new career opportunities like promotions, incentives, commissions, and the like.

Encouraging career development in the workplace raises employee retention rates. To put things in context, 70% of employees want to jump ship if their current workplace has little to no opportunity for professional growth. Hence, professional development should be an organization’s priority.

Supporting an employee’s career growth also expands employers’ competence. Some firms will hire professionals with industry-related qualifications, such as a marketing certification. Otherwise, prospective employees will apply to other companies that value their expertise.

If your company is fully remote, promoting professional development at work can be challenging. You may be asking, “How can my firm help people advance their careers?” That said, we’ve listed some strategies you can use to support the professional growth of your employees.

Determine the Best Learning Opportunities for Your Employees

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Image Source: nappy on Pexels.com

Regular meetings with team members are an excellent way to discover which learning opportunities suit them. During these meetings, ask your employees what tools or training they need to be more efficient with their tasks. Align with their goals and find the best program for them to meet those targets.

You can take the following steps to help employees choose the right learning opportunities:

Assess an Employee’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Supporting a team member’s career development starts with knowing their needs, strengths, weaknesses, potential, and skills. Consider requiring your managers to assess these qualities with a basic tool like a SWOT analysis. This framework can help identify an employee’s:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

In turn, team members will know themselves better, and managers will see an employee’s current trajectory and the potential they have.

Specify Goals & Expectations

Once you’ve identified an employee’s knowledge or skill gaps, give them clear, attainable, and measurable targets. Be sure to devise a career development plan that managers can lay out for employees and their short and long-term career goals. This can also help managers learn which experiences their team members must undergo at work.

As you plan an employee’s career path, talk to them about their current role and their ideal future. Develop the plan with their insights in mind and make it as clear as possible to motivate them. You can also create a personal action plan with defined steps that the employee should take to achieve their goals.

Invest In Online Training

Woman using a laptop while sat at a small round table

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The Internet is full of learning platforms where your employees can learn more about their field and develop their skills. These websites offer different courses on marketing, content creation, and other related topics and industries. More importantly, your employees can finish these courses anytime they want.

If you’re looking for online learning platforms that team members can use, try visiting the following sites:

  • MasterClass
  • Udemy
  • Coursera
  • Lynda
  • edX

Performance and learning management software is another option you can consider. It lets you assess employee performance and provide workers with the right training. This way, your employees can help your company succeed.

Encourage Networking

You can also have specific teams or individuals in your company join virtual networking events and conferences. Through these events, remote workers can learn a lot about marketing — current trends, strategies, and more — within several hours or days.

Furthermore, online events let employees gain insights from industry leaders and experts and connect with other marketers wherever they are. These events can even motivate employees back into action, especially if they’re feeling stagnant in their current state.

Find Mentors for Your Employees

Two people in an office looking at a laptop

Image Source: Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Sometimes, people may need a helping hand to perform their roles more effectively. Try asking your remote employees if they need guidance from their company seniors during your meetings. Then, find out who wants to mentor those individuals among your higher-ranking employees. Match the mentees to their mentors, set when they should meet and work together, and create opportunities for feedback.

Partnerships between your new team members and seniors can help boost career growth in the following ways:

  • The employees being mentored can refine their current skills.
  • Mentees become better communicators and leaders.
  • Remote workers can also learn new perspectives and feel that the company values them.

Large open plan office with rows of desks and people using laptops

Image Source: Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash.com

Go beyond the employee’s current tasks and test their potential with challenging duties. It’ll help team members build their skill sets and expand their knowledge at work. If your employees are learning on the job, make sure a manager or colleague is there to guide them.

Support Passion Projects

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Image Source: Samir Bouaked on Unsplash.com

Passion projects are activities that bring out your creativity and stem from any curiosity you may have. Many people do these projects whenever they get free time. But how exactly can passion projects help your remote employees grow professionally? They won’t only result in stronger skill sets, but workers will also become better problem solvers and productive individuals.

Schedule Regular Check-ins

Two smiling people having a video conference

Image Source: visuals on Usplash.com

Additionally, always check in with your employees with regular virtual checkpoints. These will let you know whether they’ve been training and working on reaching their goals. Remember to take and answer employee questions as well. And for more personal, genuine conversations in real-time, reach out to team members via phone or video calls.

Evaluate Employee Performance

People having a meeting over a table with a stone wall in the background

Image Source: Drazen Zigic on Freepik.com

Monthly, quarterly or yearly performance reviews can also help your remote workers further their career development. As we’re currently facing a pandemic, it’s best to emphasize your company culture and values rather than rate employee performance.

Compassion and empathy are more important nowadays. Make sure to meet with underperforming employees and discuss any challenges they’ve faced. Share how they can resolve those issues as well.

Finally, give your top performers recognition for their effort and wins. It can be as simple as saying “thank you” or acknowledging their achievements in meetings.

Make Room for Career Development in Your Workplace

Gaining new skills can turn marketers into more confident, productive, and efficient professionals while climbing the corporate ladder. Also, it can help keep employees around and make businesses more competitive. You can encourage professional development at work by finding the right learning opportunities, ensuring that everyone takes those opportunities, and helping employees work at their best.

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About The Author
Crissy Partosa is a marketing manager at Sprout Solutions, the largest homegrown B2B SaaS company in the Philippines, offering HR tech software with an ecosystem of solutions. Previously, Crissy has worked in advertising and managed digital campaigns for telecommunications, F&B, banking, and fintech industries.
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