Learning and Development (L&D) centres around employee skills, knowledge and competence, taking a proactive approach to increase employee satisfaction. This is commonly done by providing tools for employees to learn on the job and chart their career path, but it’s also important to remember that for L&D to succeed, the human, personal and unique aspects of each employee cannot be ignored.
This is because no two employees are the same; some lead busy personal lives outside of work and love to socialise, whereas others may have young children who keep them occupied at all hours. Likewise, some employees may value their personal privacy, and prefer to work from home to protect their mental health. Either way, it’s important to understand and appreciate that learning will be different for each person, and as a result, keeping employees motivated to want to learn, needs different approaches too.
Remote and hybrid working makes employees feel trusted
According to the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, 90% of employees want flexibility in when and where they work, with 54% of employees stating they would consider leaving their job post-pandemic if they were not afforded some form of flexibility in their working location or contractual hours.
This is why, for employers, being flexible in working locations and hours is one of the most positive changes they can make, as this proves that those employers recognise the value that stable employees bring to their workplace.
This trust is crucial to employee retention, with HBR listing the 3 elements for workplace trust as being: building positive relationships, maintaining good judgment and expertise, and always staying consistent.
Managers can apply these elements to the specific challenges and opportunities of leading hybrid or remote teams. Since these teams are geographically distant, frontline managers must try to create a personal, positive, and consistent relationship with each team member.
For example, regular check in 1-2-1s, keeping a virtual open-door policy and assuring employees that they’re allowed to navigate their everyday lives without feeling pressured to be at their desks 9-5.
Acknowledging that mental health always matter
According to the landmark Mental Health in the Pandemic study, 44% of respondents had said that their mental health had declined due to changing workstyles and uncertainty about their future. What’s more, the CIPD 2022 Health and Wellbeing at Work survey found that management style is a main cause of work-related stress, serving as a stark reminder of the negative impact people managers can have on employee mental wellbeing if they’re not trained or supported to go about their management role in the right way. For example, micro-managing, allocating too much workload or setting unrealistic deadlines.
In contrast, good people management can help prevent employee stress and promote positive wellbeing.
However, whilst businesses have a duty of care to look after their employees, it’s also been proven that healthier and happier staff are more loyal to their business and are more likely to want to work harder. After all, a business is only as effective as its employees, and if employee wellbeing is suffering, their work suffers too and there is a higher chance of long-term staff absence.
Supporting working parents during busy holiday periods
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics found that for parents whose work was disrupted by the pandemic, 20% said this was at least in part because of having to work around childcare responsibilities, with 47% of working parents also reporting that home schooling had negatively impacted their job performance.
And yet whilst it feels like the country is back to some sort of normality post-pandemic, the summer holidays will soon be here, leaving those working parents looking after their children at home for 6 weeks.
Busy holiday periods can add even more stressful tasks to an employees’ already busy agenda, trying to balance professional and childcare needs. For L&D, ensuring each employee’s workload is manageable reduces the likelihood of stress, employee dissatisfaction and burnouts, and enables the working-parent enough time to focus properly on both their children and career.
Considering arrangements such as term-time working or annualised hours can allow businesses to plan their workloads to meet the needs of the business and working parents.
Online learning-based technology means everyone is included
In fact, Statista highlight that the use of technology-assisted teaching has grown in popularity over the past five years, with 71% of companies today using technologically assisted teaching such as online training courses. What’s more, 69% of L&D departments plan on investing more on this technology in the near future – a positive trend to continue to support all employees within an organisation, no matter their physical location, time-zone or working pattern.
When done right, L&D has the potential to improve workplace culture, and increase employee retention rates, all whilst keeping them engaged and motivated to develop their skillsets.
Employee motivation is at the heart of productivity and retention, and according to Gallup, businesses with highly motivated and engaged employees are 21% more profitable overall too. However, we completely understand that times are uncertain at the moment, and that can make building and sustaining a motivated workforce a tougher job.
This is because for far too long, organisations have led business decisions with a company-first mindset, rather than employee-first model, which sees a company’s purpose come before employee engagement and satisfaction.
As a result, organisations placing these business needs before their employees’ has been a leading contributor to the Great Resignation, alongside mental and physical health risks, economic insecurity such as the cost-of-living crisis, and other ongoing stresses related to the pandemic. So much so that even today as the repercussions of COVID-19 are still felt, employees are realising that they don’t have to stay with companies that don’t align with their values.
This is where BuildEmpire comes in; the platform provider to help implement practices and programs that effectively engage and motivate employees, every day, through every challenge, with support every step of the way.
Our goal is to deliver solutions that not only meet your learning and business goals, but exceed them, and as your technical partner, we’ll work with you to build an engaging learning environment that fits the needs of your business and learners, both today, and in the future.
To learn how to motivate your employees during these changing times and beyond, contact us today.