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Training Magazine

januari 05, 2024

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4 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Training Programs for Hybrid Employees

Hybrid work is becoming the norm as we move toward more flexible working patterns and digital solutions.

As hybrid workers split their time between remote and on-site work, training them isn’t as straightforward as training staff in an office. So naturally, designing programs for them requires a different approach. From timing and communication to engagement strategies, your program must accommodate the specific requirements of hybrid workers.

To set you up for success, this article will explore four major pitfalls to avoid when designing training programs for your staff and colleagues. Plus, we’ll share tips to help you create the best program for your budget.

1. Failing to Understand the Needs of Hybrid Workers

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Hybrid workers face a unique set of challenges compared to on-site staff and even full-time remote workers. They’re a unique blend of both and face their own share of challenges when switching between work environments.

For example, hybrid workers may not have a permanent workspace in the office or even set days they’re expected to come in. What’s more, without access to the right tools and platforms, they may also lack communication with team members or struggle to adopt new technology that the company implements.

To address these challenges, it’s important to ensure that your backend platform has the tools and features to support hybrid workers, such as seamless communication, collaboration, and access to training content.

Incorporating an Online Training and Coaching Platform into your backend system can greatly assist in addressing these issues.

These challenges can lead to hybrid workers being less productive, feeling disconnected from their team, struggling to speak up in meetings, and disengaging with work.

Solution: Carry Out a Needs Assessment

It’s essential that you understand the specific challenges your hybrid staff face before developing training programs for them. So before you begin, it’s worth carrying out a needs assessment.

By conducting such an audit, you can:

  • Establish the technical and behavioral skills hybrid workers need to be successful in their roles.
  • Highlight specific information hybrid workers will require.
  • Identify practical tools and knowledge gaps, such as a reliable internet connection and clarity around managers’ communication expectations, using AI at work.
  • Gather feedback from workers and their managers using surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews.

2. Providing Inflexible Training Delivery

By allowing your employees to adopt a hybrid work routine, you offer them great flexibility. However, ironically, many organizations fail to take the same flexible approach in their training delivery.

Since hybrid workers have unique schedules, they may not always be able to attend training sessions live or in person.

Solution: Offer a Variety of Attendance Modalities

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In order to accommodate the schedules of all team members, consider offering multiple modes of training content delivery. This can include the likes of on-demand training modules that are self-paced or live virtual sessions.

By being flexible in how, when, and where you deliver training programs, you ensure:

  • Sessions are accessible: Hybrid employees can choose the format that works best for their schedule.
  • Employees are more engaged: This increases participation in the training program, which can ultimately lead to better learning outcomes.
  • Teams are strengthened: Increasing interaction opportunities allows teams to form stronger relationships and practice their communication skills.
  • Individuals can learn at their own pace: This makes it easier for people to progress and reach their goals without becoming overwhelmed.

3. Not Fostering a Sense of Community

Hybrid employees working remotely on different days or weeks might struggle to feel like part of the office community. Lack of communication and involvement can make them feel disconnected from colleagues and the organization.

In addition, they may lack a sense of belonging in their team or department. We are social beings, after all. We need to be able to ask each other questions and work collaboratively, especially during training.

Solution: Incorporate Community-Building Activities

Fostering a sense of community through your training program can help hybrid workers to feel more connected to their organization and increase productivity during the training and beyond.

Consider incorporating community-building activities into your training module. This can look like:

  • Introducing virtual coffee breaks where people can chat and unwind.
  • Conducting team-building exercises that give your colleagues a chance to get to know each other in a structured but informal way.
  • Fostering group discussions and brainstorming sessions to tackle questions such as “What is data orchestration?” for those who want to dive deeper into training topics.

By introducing opportunities for hybrid colleagues to connect with the rest of the team, you can increase engagement with the training program and the organization as a whole. In addition, an enjoyable and social training session is more likely to be memorable.

As a bonus, this also boosts employee satisfaction and overall morale – it’s a win-win!

4. Forgetting to Measure Training Outcomes

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Much like any business operation, a training program is only as good as its effectiveness. That said, many leaders neglect to measure outcomes.

Without taking stock of how much people are learning, it’s difficult to figure out what is and isn’t working for your hybrid employees. For example, which skills are employees utilizing most one month after acquiring their data engineer certification? Has the new task management software you delivered training on been implemented effectively, or have employees reverted to using old systems?

Solution: Employ Metrics to Measure Effectiveness

By monitoring metrics, your training programs will naturally become more effective over time. With that in mind, collect and analyze data from real-world applications of your training programs. From here, you can implement necessary changes informed by the data.

Whether it’s quizzes before and after a training session or skills assessments one month down the line, it’s crucial to track staff’s learning and the impact on their work. You could even look to employ AI to help with measuring your training program’s effectiveness. AI capabilities have doubled since 2018, and they can help you design and tailor future programs for hybrid workers.

In addition to helping your training programs, you can employ technology to manage applications and automate certain stages of the recruitment process, thereby reducing the administrative burden on HR personnel and streamlining the recruitment process for all stakeholders.

To summarize

When designing training programs for hybrid workers, it’s vital to take a tailored approach.

Ask employees about their specific needs, offer flexibility in content and delivery, foster a sense of community, and monitor the effectiveness of the program over time.

In this way, you can increase participation, encourage engagement, and ensure the training is delivered successfully.

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