5 ways managers can support employees with learning and development

In the face of a global pandemic, learning and development may not be at the top of everybody’s agendas as other more pressing and urgent matters take precedence. However, learning and development shouldn’t be forgotten about – it’s crucial for businesses as it supports an organisation’s growth, fills gaps and weaknesses, fosters innovation, and boosts employee engagement and satisfaction.

Keeping employees focused on their learning and development objectives, however, takes a commitment to recognise and celebrate their efforts, as well as giving them the tools and resources they need. At Achievers, we’ve compiled the below tips to help managers support their employees with learning and development during this current environment:

1.Promote the use of technology

Learning and personal development doesn’t always have to be through face-to-face sessions, virtual classes are gaining popularity. Technology unlocks a host of long-distance learning opportunities and should be encouraged by managers. There are some companies such as Coursera and Learner Mobile that are offering free trials to test out their online learning platforms, this is a great opportunity for you to trial some of these and see what works best for your workforce without having to make an immediate commitment.

2.Flexibility is key

It’s unrealistic to expect that all your workforce will have a copious amount of free time each week to complete online training. Therefore, managers should encourage greater flexibility for their employees to fit in dedicated learning around their usual work schedules. Whether it’s a 10-minute YouTube video or a 30-minute interactive quiz, you should encourage employees to block out set time in their calendar and remind others not to disturb them.

3.Assess your company benefits

Now more than ever before businesses will be scrutinising their outgoings and that will include benefits that they offer to employees. As a leader or a manager, it’s your responsibility to identify what benefits may be more important right now, and that means prioritising those that are supporting people’s skills and career prospects.  Have a look at your company benefits, are there some that could be put on hold? Alternatively, you could look at increasing benefits for online fitness classes and remote learning opportunities.

4.Create a strong learning culture

Another way that managers can both encourage and support employees with remote learning is through creating a strong learning culture within your organisation. Encourage senior members of your company to actively engage with learning and development initiatives, this will help to generate company-wide influence and ensure that learning and development is at the forefront.

5.Be understanding

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It’s important to remember that not all employees will be in the right frame of mind to take their professional development to the next level. Many will be trying to navigate these uncertain times and balance both their personal and professional lives. As a manager you should take the time to have regular chats with your employees and see where you can provide support and encouragement.

Click here to find out more about Achievers’ employee engagement platform.