HR planning

Mastering Remote HR Management - Learning and Development

September 27, 2021

The learning and development of employees are important for career growth. It’s more than just the money for most employees, they want to feel they are continually learning new things and be engaged in their role. Employees want to sharpen their skills and learn succeed in their careers. Employers that can provide the proper training and development opportunities have a better chance of increasing workforce productivity and improving retention. Keep reading to know more about learning and development while working remotely.

Online versus in-person learning

Fair to say learning and development took a hit over the last year or more amid the uncertainty of the pandemic. The new normal of working from home required organizations to steer towards full-time online learning. No longer would in-person training be viable. But is online learning the wave of the future? Well, sort of.

According to Canadian-owned research and analytics company Leger, two thirds of respondents said using online learning to deliver education to Canadian students will continue even when in-person classes resume. Expect this to be reflected with organizations, as it will be critical for them post-pandemic to ensure employee satisfaction and productivity continue to be met. But notice they didn’t say it will all be online learning.

Tremendous growth for the online education market

Since learning and development have been remote for more than a year, workers have come to enjoy the flexibility of learning at their own pace. If we go back just two years to 2019, vox.com estimated that by 2025, 70 percent of the workforce would be working remotely in some way. In light of the last couple of years, one can only imagine where those numbers stand now. Perhaps it took a pandemic to open our eyes to the future of learning and development.

While a shift towards more online learning was in the making pre-pandemic, this latest push has created unexpected opportunities and challenges for companies. Organizations need to continually develop their workers while recognizing online learning has become more of a default these days than a backup plan.

Sticking with just online learning brings limitations. Sure, the increased flexibility and cost-effectiveness are attractive. Still, a lack of proper structure, less social interaction, and a lack of consistency of an online-only philosophy should also be part of your considerations.

Learning is relationship-oriented. It needs to be creative, engaging, and captivating, with the learning tailored to suit the user’s needs.

Blended learning gets you the best of both worlds

While the pendulum seems to be swinging heavily towards online learning now, it does not mean it’s time to abandon in-person learning and development. We need to find the best of both worlds, which has organizations asking, ‘Where do we go from here?’ But it shouldn’t be team online vs. team in-person.

It’s about finding that happy compromise and embracing blended learning. Each can complement the other. A U.K.-based study found 73 percent of instructors said blended learning increases engagement; 82 percent of students prefer blended teaching to classic teaching environments. Engagement is much higher when techniques and methods focus on the employees’ learning interests and needs.

Most of us already know a great example of blended learning—getting our driver’s licence. You take a written knowledge test as well as a practical road test. Can you imagine one without the other? Not a great idea.

With learning and development, either alone has its limits, but together the success and growth of an organization can flourish.

Speaking of together and success, if your organization is wrestling with how to strengthen learning and development opportunities for your employees, HRdownloads can partner with you on that. Start by checking our six-episode animated training series Mastering Remote HR Management.

With HRdownloads’ training membership, you get UNLIMITED access to training modules on communication, leadership development, problem-solving, and much more! Contact us today to find the right HR solution and support for you.

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