Human Resources

Top Training Topics to Keep Fully Remote Employees Engaged

Nov 21, 2021

Engagement is crucial for all employees, especially those working fully remote. Use these training topics to keep your remote employees engaged.

Andrew ConradSr Content Writer
Top Training Topics to Keep Fully Remote Employees Engaged

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you have managed fully remote employees and may need help with keeping your remote office workers engaged. After all, the benefits of an engaged and fully remote worker are crucial for job satisfaction, increased productivity, and work life balance.

But it's not always a walk in the park. According to our recent HR in the New Era survey of more than 900 U.S. workers (methodology below), remote workers indicated a significant improvement in work life balance and job satisfaction while working from home, but at the same time, indicated a significant decline in collaboration with team members and connection to company culture compared to in the office.

Key-stats-different-working-environments

Here’s the thing: Remote work is here to stay, potentially forever, and rather than waiting around for things to return the way they were before in order to boost employee engagement, managers must find ways to bring out the best of in-office employee engagement through remote work.

One way to approach this is through employee training.

It’s true that some types of employee training—such as compliance training—aren’t exactly enthralling for a remote worker. But a remote employee who is learning something new and interesting is an engaged employee. In fact, our survey found that 30% of respondents considered learning and development opportunities to be one of the most important factors in a job.

In this article, we’ll look at three training topics to focus on to keep your remote office workers fully engaged.

1. Soft skills

Your office workers—both those on-site and remote—want to develop skills that will help them, not just in their current role, but in their big-picture career. Soft skills, like communication, leadership, problem solving, are evergreen and will always be in demand.

Offering this type of training will not only keep your remote employees engaged, but also help you develop more well-rounded, effective employees, whether they’re in your office or across the country working from home.

According to Gartner (full report available to clients):

“When the world is uncertain, we seek stability and developing soft skills like compartmentalization—the ability to focus as other concerns are pushed to the background—allows employees to maintain continuity in their daily work. Such soft skills can serve employees well, not just during the current period of disruption, but in the longer term too.”

Gartner, Finding Opportunities for Soft Skill Development Through Disruption

Source: Finding Opportunities for Soft Skill Development Through Disruption

Here are some more examples of soft skills to target with your remote employee training, along with the challenges they address, according to Gartner:

Here are some more examples of soft skills to target with your remote employee training, along with the challenges they address, according to Gartner:

ChallengeSoft SkillTraining Type
Rising stress and anxiety in the post-COVID environmentCompartmentalization (the ability to focus on a task while under pressure)Work life balance training
Lack of direct supervision in a hybrid work environmentSelf-sufficiency and organizationTime and task management training
Inconsistent performance amidst constant changeResilience and flexibility (the ability to bounce back from disruption)Change management training
Ineffective communication across distributed teamsInterpersonal communicationsEmail, chat, and video conferencing tips and best practices
Impediments to teamwork and collaboration in a virtual workplaceCollaboration and team buildingVirtual teams building exercises

Want more tips on keeping your remote teams connected? Check out our guide here.

2. Role-specific skills

Offer role-specific training to give your remote employees the tools to excel in their current position and grow their careers.

According to our HR in the New Era survey, more than half of the respondents developed a new skill during COVID-19, and many of those skills were role-specific, from website and app development (25% of respondents) to IT security (20%), sales (17%), financial administration (14%), and marketing (13%).

Clearly, in uncertain times, remote employees are eager to strengthen their hard skills to make themselves more vaIuable. You can either help them develop these skills, or drive them away to another remote job that will.

Here are a few ideas for promoting role-specific training in your organization:

  • Industry-specific conferences. As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, in-person conferences are returning. But virtual conferences can also be effective and can save budget on travel and accommodations. Set aside a budget for each employee and let them research and propose which conference they would like to attend.

  • Local networking events and seminars. A local professional event or seminar is a good compromise between an in-person event and a conference on the other side of the country. Membership in relevant professional organizations can help you find these events.

  • Course reimbursement. While your organization might not be big enough to afford full college degree reimbursement, you can offer partial reimbursement, reimbursement for individual courses, or pay for specific certifications or boot camp style courses.

3. Digital and high-tech skills

Emerging technology is exciting and always in-demand, and your remote employees are more likely to feel engaged when they know they’re getting training in something that will not only help them now, but also five years into the future.

These types of skills can also help grow and protect your business, through training in topics like cybersecurity, business intelligence and analytics, and low- or no-code app development.

Teaching your remote employees technically advanced skills may seem like a daunting task, especially if your leadership team isn’t experienced in these areas, but just by working remotely, your remote employees have already demonstrated proficiency for digital and high-tech skills through their use of remote work tools. Take it a step further with online certification courses and boot camps.

If you’re unsure of where to start, here is a list of 29 valuable tech certifications, broken down by experience level and discipline, from cybersecurity to analytics.

We asked the experts for their tips on keeping remote employees engaged. Here’s what they said.

Take the heavy lifting out of employee training with an LMS

Just like you wouldn’t run payroll or keep track of customer interactions without technological assistance, you also don’t need to train your remote employees without a little help. A learning management system can make employee training a breeze with features like an online course library, progress tracking, and course authoring.

You can find a top-rated LMS for your organization’s specific needs by browsing our Category Leaders for LMS here. It features 15 top rated options based on verified user reviews.

GetApp-LMS-Category-Leaders

GetApp’s Category Leaders for learning management system software (Source)

Methodology

GetApp conducted the HR in the New Era survey in January 2021 of 922 U.S. workers to learn more about their experience and preferences at work. Respondents were full- or part-time workers at U.S.-based businesses with 2-250 employees.

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About the author

Andrew Conrad

Sr Content Writer
Hey there, I’m Andrew. I’m a Senior Content Writer at GetApp. I bring you insights about retail, eCommerce, and marketing. I studied at Loyola University Maryland and have more than a decade of professional writing experience. Home base: Austin. 2 things about me: I am a lifetime Baltimore Orioles fan, and I love walks in the woods. The tech trend I think you should keep an eye on: Mixed reality in retail. Trying on clothes will never be the same.
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