The pandemic has brought about major changes in the way we work, and training and development has been no exception. In certain industries such as legal and banking, this shift to remote work has caused some clients to question the quality and value of the service they are getting, given that training has been completely remote. This raises the question: how do we solve this issue and get training back to the level it was before the pandemic?
With hybrid working becoming the new norm, informal mentorship opportunities have become harder to come by as people are not in the office at the same time and so there has to be a conscious effort to improve structured training. The shift to a virtual or hybrid way of work has left a skills gap that needs to be addressed in order to ensure the continued growth and development of employees. While some organizations have started requiring full office attendance, others are still navigating the new world.
One solution is to dedicate time to in-person sessions in a way that was not done pre-pandemic. While remote training has its benefits, there is still value in the structure and face-to-face interaction provided by in-person meetings. In-person training allows for a more immersive and hands-on learning experience, and can be particularly effective for skills that require practice and demonstration. Try switching things up too - have junior staff deliver training sessions and use delegation to your advantage to help develop skills.
In addition, in-person training sessions provide an opportunity for networking and building relationships with colleagues and mentors in an informal way, which can be especially valuable for junior employees. Note however, that these employees might need guidance on how best to make use of the informal, in person time.
From a team perspective, Off-site or team events can also help build rapport and provide a natural forum for the exchange of ideas. These events can take many forms, from team-building activities to industry conferences, and can be a great way to foster a sense of community and collaboration within a team.
It is also important for junior workers to be more vocal about their need for training and development. Leadership should encourage open dialogue about training needs and gaps, and create an environment where people feel comfortable speaking up about their training needs. This can be achieved through regular check-ins and performance reviews, as well as providing resources and support for employees who are seeking to develop new skills.
Overall, while the pandemic has created a different environment for training and development, it has also presented an opportunity to find new and innovative ways to thrive. By dedicating time to in-person sessions, encouraging open dialogue, and leveraging remote technologies, leaders and HR professionals can ensure that training and development continues to meet the needs of our workforce.
While it may not be possible to completely replicate the pre-pandemic training experience, by adopting a blended approach that combines in-person and remote training, companies can ensure that their employees are receiving the support and development they need to succeed in this new working environment. By investing in the growth and development of their employees, companies can not only improve the quality of their services, but also foster a positive and supportive culture that promotes retention and engagement.