February 12, 2021

4 Failproof Hacks to Upskill Your Virtual Workforce

From identifying startling new skills gaps, to creating contingency plans, conducting a skills gap analysis is key to effective resourcing.

Yet when it comes to addressing these skills gaps, it is generally far more cost-effective to look closer to home.

With the right programs in place, you can help your in-house talent expand their strengths and skill-sets.

Of course, achieving this goal with a virtual workforce requires a little more creative ingenuity.

So how can you upskill your workforce across multiple countries and time zones? Are there any proven methods for increasing engagement with training?

Here are four failproof hacks to cross-train recruits, sustain their momentum, and future-proof your firm from the get-go.

Failproof Hacks No.1: Tap Into the Pomodoro Technique with Bite-Size Chunks of Content

When it comes to learning new skills, sustaining initial momentum requires patience and persistence. Carving out time for learning can feel like an uphill battle – especially when current projects demand a significant chunk of your day. In this sense, the famous Pomodoro Technique offers a proven solution for learning. Instead of switching between different tasks, you set a timer for 25 minutes and work with laser-like focus until you hear the sound of the bell! For most people, these short sharp bursts of study make learning feel less foreboding and easier to add to their schedule. If you want to upscale your workforce while keeping stress levels in check, this is the way to go! Bite-size chunks of content are far more accessible for workers, allowing them to dedicate time to training within their existing schedules. To keep things engaging, try and ensure that each module is as interactive as possible. Quizzes, videos, and role plays are typically 25 minutes or less. By adopting this approach, you can sustain initial enthusiasm beyond the first few modules!

Failproof Hack No. 2: Invest in Multigenerational Learning with Reverse Mentoring Schemes

A diverse, multigenerational workforce is an asset for any firm. From experienced industry professionals to digital-savvy young upstarts, these contrasting strengths and skill-sets provide the perfect complement. Unlike most mentoring programs, where leaders mentor junior hires, reverse mentoring schemes upend the traditional model, with juniors teaching skills to seniors that positively benefit both parties. As juniors are generally digitally proficient, a reverse mentoring scheme enables them to pass on this knowledge to others and familiarise mature demographics with emerging tools and technologies. Of course, the overall success of these schemes comes down to how you match them. Along with availability, you should consider personality traits and learning styles when pairing potential participants. Ultimately, sharing these skills and insights fosters mutual respect and a strong sense of inclusion.

Failproof Hack No. 3: Improve Engagement with Training Through Learning Experience Programs

Whether you are looking to bridge new skills gaps or diversify existing resources, learning experience programs prioritise employee engagement. Unlike Learner Management Systems, learning experience platforms provide a refreshing alternative with increased personalisation. Featuring a broad range of tools and resources, this immersive training software is an empowering employee-driven tool that offers greater autonomy.  The flexibility offered by these platforms allows employees to call the shots, both in terms of the skills they acquire and the content they wish to receive. As part of this process, workers can share their insights with others and showcase their progress online to socially validate quick wins. Both micro and macro content form the basis of LEPs; podcasts and animations are interspersed with long-form e-books. By combining these various elements, you can ensure that training content is readily available on-demand and easy to share with others.

Failproof Hack No. 4: Leverage Multidisciplinary Learning to Quickly Cross-Train New Hires

The ability to cross-train recruits is the key to scaling your workforce and reducing the cost of recruitment. With this in mind, multidisciplinary learning initiatives are gaining traction in business as the antidote to workplace silos. For this approach, employees from different departments work collaboratively as a virtual “unit” to share their insights and experiences with others. Instead of working in isolation, you can form multidisciplinary “T-shaped” teams that facilitate knowledge transfer and exposure to new perspectives. Through leveraging these principles in practice, you can quickly cross-train new hires and help them expand their skill-sets beyond the scope of their roles.