How L&D can foster engagement in a remote workforce through online learning courses

Amit Gautam
Amit Gautam September 23, 2020

The 2017 Gallup State of the Global Workplace report had revealed that 85% of global employees were disengaged at work which meant that while they were giving organizations their time, they were not necessarily putting their best foot forward when it came to performance.

Three years later, in May this year, came another study from Gallup which surveyed 4,724 employees and revealed that the percentage of employees who are “actively disengaged” is at a ten-year low and that the ratio of highly engaged to disengaged employees is at an all-time high. Surprising that employee engagement should shoot up this way in three years, especially, considering 2020 has been a year that saw one of the biggest upheavals the corporate world has ever witnessed because of the pandemic outbreak.

Soon after, in June, another independent study also buttressed the fact that employee engagement was skyrocketing despite the trying times. The second study published by Quantum Workplace concluded that employee engagement increased by 11% this year, again reaching an all-time high.

These studies come at an opportune time – a time when employee engagement is one of the most critical aspects considering that a large number of people are currently working remotely across organizations. A Gartner, Inc. survey of 229 HR leaders in April had showed that nearly 50% of organizations had reported that 81% or more of their employees were working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. The survey had also shown that several workers were planning to work remotely more often in the future.

Going back to the earlier point - how did the numbers on employee engagement become so encouraging, especially during a difficult year? The most evident answer could be that organizations and HR and L&D teams realized the ardent necessity and supported employees in these times of disruption and uncertainty with personal and professional development opportunities in the form of online learning. Most are trying various ways and means of employee training to arm learners with the tools they require to continue advancing and honing the skills that matter the most in their jobs, even while working remotely.

It goes without saying that from now on, as more organizations will likely have remote workforces, L&D teams will have to pull up their sleeves to help steer employee engagement in this new corporate environment. Although challenging, L&D teams have the chance to leverage this unique opportunity to foster an adaptive mindset to foster digital learning, engagement and communication.

Luckily, there is an array of online learning courses that are helping L&D teams reinforce critical learning for the remote workforce.

One of the most important aspects to maximize learning in these current times is for L&D to invest in the right e-learning courses. While there are several courses in the market, it is important to choose the right options and invest in a comprehensive suite of e-learning tools. By doing so, L&D can ensure that all of their remote workers have anytime, anywhere access to a similar set of training resources. These tools are available to employees irrespective of their geographic locations. Also, they can take the courses at their own pace and their own time according to their specific schedules.

Moreover, these resources can be combined with an organization’s own LMS or other videoconferencing or real-time chat softwares to allow remote learners to derive optimum benefits of a classroom-based learning session. The collaborative features of these courses make it possible for remote employees to work together with their colleagues or even instructors just as they would have done in a regular in-person training session.

This is also a great opportunity to look at options like off-the-shelf (OTS) and ready-to-use courses that offer more payoffs. OTS courses are readily available in the online learning ecosystem and help meet urgent learning requirements. These courses are also compatible with any LMS and offer hassle-free and easy deployment to enable employee training. Besides, they are tried and tested solutions, developed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and offer the highest quality in terms of relevance and design. While being economical and cost-effective (as compared to curating customized learning content), most of these courses come in a host of options like videos, microlearning content, HTML5 designed etc and L&D can choose as per the needs of their employees. Almost all of them offer mobile-friendly or mobile-first delivery.

Here at Plethora, we offer a wide range of only the highest-quality courses and videos. Having partnered with leading learning content providers across the world, we aspire to connect L&D and HR managers with a limitless library of proven-effective and high-quality ready-to-use eLearning courses. Our courses span a host of topics including leadership, HR, communications, customer service, IT, sales skills etc and can boost engagement by empowering the workforce with skilling opportunities for both professional and personal development. 

At a time like this when remote working could easily be a regular norm in the coming future, L&D needs to leverage advanced online learning and eLearning courses to pave the way for employee engagement, thus building a strong learning culture. There is so much that online learning courses can offer in terms of engaging a remote workforce given its reach, affordability and innovations. It is important for L&D to ensure that the choice of online courses is such that the content is effective to provide the best possible learning experience for the remote workforce.

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