Strategies To Build A Great Flexible Workplace With A Focus On Training

8th April 2022

A new and transformed workplace makes its way amidst the pandemic-fuelled burnout and the Great Resignation, more companies are realising that they can’t continue with the same rules anymore; if they are willing to retain employees. 

The increase in hybrid working has already changed the ‘location’ of the work, and is gradually changing the ‘time’ as well, as many organizations offering flexible work schedules. For instance, companies like Kickstarter, Shopify, Unilever and Shake Shack have all experimented with four day workweeks with various results. Others are trying to rotate hours or implementing flexible Fridays where employees have the option to disengage from work or to focus on work but be offline.

Although the idea of a 3 day weekend sounds amazing, a flexible work schedule is also posing new challenges. With employees as well as management trying to fit the equal amount of work in lesser time, rotating schedules are complicating team get-togethers where training can take a back seat which can be adverse for productivity, engagement, growth or for retention of employees in the long run.

If you are willing to lead the way with a flexible hybrid working environment in 2022, but isn’t sure where to begin with, a successful career in training might lead you the way.

So, the question is ‘what is flexible working’?

Flexibility is not about working 9-5 at the office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. Then, your perception of your team’s want vs. what your team actually needs may turn out to be a huge difference. And this is exactly where many companies go wrong.

The necessity for flexible work has always been there. But it got amplified during the pandemic. The lack of proper balance between work and family life, stress caused by working hard as ever along with looking after kids or sick family members, brought a big chunk of the workforce to the edge of burnout.

Flexible working hours and flexibility in remote work definitely have a huge impact on the wellbeing of the employees, thus allowing them to rest, spend more time with family and pursue their long-forgotten hobbies. That, in turn, has the potential to make them more engaged and productive when they work.

However, it’s not fit for every employee either. Validation can be harder to receive when there’s physically no one around to witness their hard work, and many of their efforts can be taken for granted. Team building and collaboration may also take a hit, as it becomes harder to bond with everyone working at different hours.

Focusing on training, even within a flexible work schedule, can solve all these problems. It can prove the dedication of employees and build up team spirit, while also showing the company’s commitment to employee growth. But the question remains:

How could training accommodate flexible work?

As employee training has changed drastically over the years, the transition to eLearning was the first step toward ensuring that learners should have access to courses irrespective of whether they worked from office or from home. But to accommodate flexible work, corporations will need to take it a step further.

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Centralize your training

Being certified in a Professional Diploma in Train the Trainer, you can as well prepare for a central hub for all your training content that is accessible by employees both from their phones and on desktop. It can be a lifesaver in such instances where everyone is working from different environments at different hours. Employees need to access their training materials easily, and a remote training LMS offers exactly that.

  • Add gamification elements

Adding gamification aspects such as scoreboards, prizes, and badges to your training will prove beneficial in any environment. But when employees are working in hybrid or remote settings with flexible schedules, they interact less with each other. So, gamification can strengthen solidarity and friendly competition.

  • Lean into VR

Apart from adding gamification elements, adding Virtual Reality features in employee training is becoming increasingly relevant; to the point that it’s become one of the top eLearning trends for 2022. VR can be a great organiser for group learning, irrespective of the location of your employees.

  • Rely on self-paced learning

Even though instructor-led training is vital and needs to be a part of every eLearning program, concentrating on self-paced learning can be of great help when employees are having a flexible work schedule. Allowing them to take the course/s at their own pace actually eliminates the stress of scheduling webinars when everyone can attend and offers more opportunities to catch up on content.

  • Micro-learning sessions

It can’t stressed more that micro-learning is here to stay, and for obvious reasons. Dividing the content into easy-to-digest chunks makes it easier for employees to complete their training, even when they don’t have a lot of time available to study.

  • Offer optional training course/s

Optional training may sound unreasonable when work is reduced to four days. Yet, it can increase the confidence level of employees and their commitment to the company. It’s concrete proof that they’re working for someone who’s willing to invest in their growth.

  • Make training a natural part of a workday

Training shouldn’t be an additional part of an employee’s everyday routine, but a natural/usual part of what they generally do. Particularly when on a flexible work agenda, your employees should engage with training not because they have to, but because it’s relevant to what they’re doing throughout the day.

Flexible work requires new skills too

By now it’s clear that transitioning to flexible work will need organisations to reconsider their training delivery methods. Along with which, the training content also needs to be revised.

Every change brings with it, its own share of uncertainty. And with your teams more spread out than ever before, time-wise as well as geographically, it is requisite for your employees to develop new skills to feel confident and perform well.

Revamping your training strategy for flexible work

Flexible work is a lucrative idea with several benefits, but it should not associate to “more hassle, less training.

Professional Diploma in Train the Trainer is something that you can think about! The career development of employees is important (for them and the future of the company) and it shouldn’t be sacrificed for them to work faster or more. If you want to have the desired results from your flexible work strategy, your training strategy needs to be at par with it.

Written By: Sonal Agrawal      

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In academic collaboration with:

Pebble Hills University  London School Of Teaching and Training City College Birmingham Cambridge English AAHEA AAHEA TQ