How to upskill your team while working from home

According to the World Economic Forum, 54% of employees will require upskilling by 2022, in an effort to fill gaps in industry knowledge and ever-changing job markets. And if, like 79% of CEOs, you too are concerned that your team’s lack of essential skills is stunting the development of your business, you’re probably eager to change that through training programmes.

These not only allow employees to develop their skillsets, but also add variety to their schedule, encouraging empowerment, and providing additional stimulus, which can improve staff retention levels and boost career development. However, as many companies are still working from home, and face-to-face training is no longer an option being able to upskill your team is difficult.

upgrade and upskill your teamFortunately, it’s not as hard to train staff digitally as you might think. Here we’ll look at some of the best ways you can provide opportunities to upskill your team while they are still working from home.

Enroll your team on an online course

Enrolling your team on an online course allows individuals to learn at their own pace, which may make them better-suited to some employees’ learning styles. The content can be accessed from anywhere, so it’s perfect for staff working from home, and training programmes can be personalised to fit your business requirements. Management training for remote teams is important with MTD Training pointing out that “managers need to be equipped with the skills and tools necessary to lead a team, ensuring employees feel part of the team by using communication, collaboration and project management tools.”

What’s more, since the start of the pandemic, the popularity of online training courses has skyrocketed. According to the OECD, searches for terms such as ‘online learning’ and ‘eLearning’ had increased fourfold between March and April 2020 alone, not only in the UK, but France, Italy, and Canada as well.

Create a learning culture

An organisation with a learning culture encourages team members to actively seek ways to gain knowledge and upskill, while also providing training when it’s needed. Fostering this in your workplace can inspire your employees to not only work, but learn from home, which in turn will improve productivity.

Offer your team access to a library of relevant resources, such as old training documents or presentations, or encourage them to use any of the numerous free online learning tools available, including FutureLearn, Coursera, and EDX. You could also boost collaboration and learning by asking team members what they want to learn, and set up a work-based group chat where team members share links to helpful learning aids.

Invest in personalised development plans

Setting up a personal development plan for each employee — which includes things like goals and objectives, training schedules, milestones, and a timeline — can help you upskill your team while working from home. Arrange one-to-one video calls with every interested member of staff, which can help you understand their learning style. For instance, some may prefer group environments, while others may get more from individual study. Discuss what they want to achieve, and collectively determine the steps they will need to get there, then formalise this discussion into a training plan that motivates them to reach their full potential, which will also strengthen the whole team.

Offer mentorship

Mentoring programmes are being used by many successful businesses — including 70% of Fortune 500 companies. Allowing your employees to be mentored by the most skilled and experienced team members can help you develop talent, increase staff self-esteem, and encourage a greater understanding of how the company operates as a whole. However, this might be a challenge while working remotely. To overcome this, your mentoring programme needs to follow some kind of structure or format, while also making room for flexibility, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. You should also set clear expectations, and outline to the team that mentoring isn’t a direct path to promotion.

Mentoring also gives employees reasons to connect to each other socially while working from home. Not only is this good for upskilling but can also boost morale in the team, helping them feel connected and purposeful, as well as preventing loneliness.