If you want your remote business to grow, you need to encourage your employees to learn and develop new skills. When we think about the amount of change and challenges employees need to face at work, such as keeping up with marketing trends, adopting new business models, implementing new technologies, it becomes very clear why it is important to keep employees motivated to learn.
Your company will gain more dedicated and more skilled employees as each of them grows on an individual level. And, no matter the size of your business, there are steps you can take to motivate your remote teams to learn.
Table of Contents
- 1 The First Step to Motivate Remote Teams to Learn: Develop a Learning Culture
- 2 Manage Accomplishments Instead of Activity
- 3 Offer Mentorship Opportunities
- 4 Understand What Drives Your Remotive Employees
- 5 Lead by Example
- 6 Rotate Employee Roles in Order to Motivate Your Remote Teams to Learn
- 7 Provide Career Paths
- 8 Takeaway
The First Step to Motivate Remote Teams to Learn: Develop a Learning Culture
The good news is, remote workers have better focus than office workers. But, if you want to tap into this advantage, first, you need to embed learning in your company culture. Developing a learning culture early one is one of the best ways to motivate remote teams to learn.
Set clear expectations both for your managers and your workers. Before you can expect employees to take learning upon themselves, you need to make an effort to create a solid team and organizational culture.
When interviewing candidates for a position in your company, you need to look beyond their expertise and experience. So that the new hire will continue to learn and progress within your company, and progress within your company, you need to make sure they have a growth mindset.
Consider meeting with your remote team once a week to discuss both professional and personal development. You can keep learning and development at the forefront of their minds if you schedule regular cadences for these meetings. This will provide you with a framework for better conversations on the subject. You can schedule learning sessions in the form of classes. The implementation of regular and constructive communication such as this will encourage remote employees to keep learning and keep those who are working from home in the loop and give them a sense of inclusion in the wider team. By scheduling frequent calls and video meetings for checking in with workers, employees are more likely to stay motivated because they won’t feel isolated by distance. Chat programs such as Hangouts, Skype, or WhatsApp are also great ways of keeping in contact with employees to keep them engaged in their work on a daily basis.
Manage Accomplishments Instead of Activity
Even though remote workers can have better focus, some of your employees still may be struggling with distractions at home. To keep their remote workforce on task, many remote business owners resort to micromanaging seat time. Not only is this ineffective, but it can demotivate employees to give their best at work—let alone learn and develop new skills. Employers who choose to police their remote staff through micromanagement not only negatively impacts on workers’ motivation but also harms their overall job satisfaction and creates a sense of distrust between those in charge and their employees. This feeling of distrust often leads to reduced productivity and is likely to leave employees looking for work elsewhere.
Instead, focus on whether the members of your remote team are meeting personal and collective performance goals. Rather than emphasizing activity, encourage achievement through accomplishment. This will help you keep the spotlight where it should be—on the contributions and value your remote employees bring to your business.
Offer Mentorship Opportunities
One of the smartest moves you can make as an employer is setting up a formal or informal mentoring program. It is a great tool for onboarding remote employees. Mentoring can benefit the professional and personal growth of your employees as well as the growth of your business.
Mentoring is a two-way street—it’s so much more than a transfer of knowledge from a seasoned employee to a less-seasoned one. Tenured team members can benefit from the technological know/how and fresh perspectives of up-and-coming talent while offering them professional guidance and hard-earned insights.
Understand What Drives Your Remotive Employees
Every employee is wired differently. Everyone has different drives and needs. If you want to successfully motivate remote teams to learn, you cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach.
To understand what drives your workforce, you need to understand key factors that determine workplace behavior. These factors are formality, patience, extraversion, and dominance. The following considerations may help you figure out what drives each employee:
Group learning may motivate employees that are driven by extraversion.
Opportunities to compete may motivate employees who lead with dominance.
When it comes to employees driven by patience, you may be able to motivate them to learn by helping them understand “the why” behind the action.
Employees driven by formality like it when things are done just right. To motivate them to learn, you may need to show them what’s expected.
Lead by Example
When you have growth and development meetings, don’t just talk about the aspirations and expectations of your employees, and don’t just talk about learning and skills that will benefit them in the workplace.
Take an interest in their hobbies as well as personal and professional goals. This can also help you with the previous step.
Many creative hobbies require certain skills, naturally. By encouraging your employees to talk about their passion projects, you can learn a lot about them on a personal level, and you may discover some of their strengths you didn’t even know they have.
However, don’t put them on the spot. Instead, you can start these conversations by talking about your own personal hobbies and interests.
Are you into trading stocks? Share how learning trading strategies and researching trading psychology has helped you improve your analytical skills, focus, self-control, and record keeping. This may encourage your employees to learn trading stocks or take up another activity that will help them acquire new, useful skills—skills that may end up being useful for the whole team.
Rotate Employee Roles in Order to Motivate Your Remote Teams to Learn
If you want to shake-up your employees’ daily routine and motivate your remote teams to learn, job rotation is one of the best ways to go. The human brain thrives on variety.
So that your employees will have an opportunity to learn new skills, allow them to work in different but related positions or departments. To facilitate this, you can set up a job rotation program.
Not only will it help them acquire new skills, but it will lead them to show more appreciation for their coworkers and learn how to overcome unexpected obstacles. By having a job rotation scheme in place, employers will not only benefit from learning new skills and having new experiences, but they will become more interested in your business and how it works. This increased interest will lead to employees asking more questions about your business and being more open to the learning opportunities you provide. Moreover, your business will benefit from having a more well-rounded workforce.
Provide Career Paths
You can effectively motivate your employees to learn by providing them with a clear end goal. Create clear career paths and make sure every remote worker knows what they are. Show them that dedication to growth will result in certain payoffs.
Your employees will be more incentivized to learn and develop new skills when they have a clear, potential career path. That path can be moving laterally within the company or moving up in the department. People learn much faster when they are compelled to do so. Investing in training courses for your remote employees that will help them along on their career path will also show them that you are an employer who cares about their ongoing development, making them feel obliged to learn more.
You can keep remote employees motivated by not only providing them with a clear and productive career path in your industry or company but by supporting their personal career choices as well. Gone are the days when employees stay in the same job or industry for their entire working life. As people live longer, they are working for a longer duration of time, which has led to some people choosing to switch their careers or retrain when they do not feel as fulfilled as they should be at work. The desire to have a rewarding and more fulfilling profession has contributed to the rise of second career nurses in the healthcare sector. Nursing, for example, is an excellent career path that gives people the variety and social interaction they often crave if working from home or in an office-based role. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, it is easy to retrain to become a nurse by taking an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, which can be completed mostly online.
If you want to motivate your remote teams to learn, consider employing some of these strategies. But, keep in mind that this is not something that happens overnight. Demonstrate patience and dedication, and you will gradually start to see results that will benefit both your business and your individual employees.