Businesses are increasingly using remote employees as a cost-effective way to scale their workforce. But as the world of work becomes more and more complex, companies are realizing that to stay competitive they need to upskill their employees. Here’s why it’s time to rethink employee development programs and consider investing in remote learning and see how we can help with your training needs.
Employee Training Is A Must If You Want To Succeed
The remote workforce is here to stay. According to a study by PWC, over half of employees (55%) would prefer to be remote at least three days a week once pandemic concerns recede. As a result, companies throughout the world are investing significantly in the skills of their workforce. Companies are actively thinking about how to preserve culture and perform at a higher level of productivity. And many leaders are concerned about how to maintain the level of creativity and collaboration needed to do just that.
There are many things that we have gained being remote. But the leaders and human capital teams have to make sure that the things that we have gained are not outweighed by the thing we have lost.
For entrepreneurs, we all know that passion, grit and a good idea are not enough. And that being a successful entrepreneur requires developing a series of skills across your growing business. Developing those skills when you are all in the same room is hard enough. Developing them when we are all remote is even more challenging.
Being in the same room with those key members of your early-stage team are essential to the foundations of your entrepreneurial venture. So while corporate America figures out how to upskill their workers, how can entrepreneurs manage a remote work environment in a way that they set the critical elements of their journey.
So the question is, what are those key elements we must preserve and how do we bring them to life in a remote working environment?
Finding Your Playground
Many times in the early days of a startup, the ideas crafted on whiteboards are the ideas of the future. They are the sparks that take a passion and turn it into success. When you are looking for that “playground where no one else is playing”, the back and forth among team members can often be the difference between an idea and a business.
And one of those most critical elements is a “playground where no one else is playing” – finding that go to market approach that makes you the only game in town. I remember so many times when we sat in a room helping a client and her small team find her playground. There was the nurse who was much more interested in providing financial counseling and coaching to the many that needed it than being a nurse. But there were tons of financial counseling programs.
Then we had her make a list of her top clients on the whiteboard. Something strange emerged. Most of her clients were nurses and doctors. So in that room we found her playground – she would specialize in providing financial counseling to medical professionals. And her business took off. She was no longer one of 1000. She was now 1 of 1 – and the only game in town. Doubt that we would have discovered her playground if we were not in the same room.
You have to find a way to replace this dynamic remotely. Set up a two-hour virtual meeting just to “find your playground.” Present your (limited) team with the challenge ahead of time – “how do we define our business in a way that makes us the only game in town?” Have them come to the meeting with the ideas they want to explore. And encourage them to think as far out of the box as they can. In fact, tell them it can’t even be a box.
All of the normal “foundations” that exist in a larger company don’t exist in early-stage ventures. What keeps it all together is the belief in a vision and the energy that comes from that belief. With all the challenges that exist in our entrepreneurial venture, this energy is the glue that keeps it all together.
Seeing and feeling the excitement around something new and inspiring is the oxygen of an early-stage company. Without it, it often seems that we are trying to do so much with too little.
In a virtual environment, you have to maintain that in the ecosystem of the company. You have to make sure that everyone has that oxygen to plow through the challenges of building something. How do you do that in a remove environment?
A few things. Remember to celebrate the successes – even if they are small. When the wins come, jump on a zoom and talk through how the small but mighty team won a big deal.
And when things don’t go your way, set up some virtual time where your team can see your face and your determination that this is just one step of the journey.
Process to Drive Performance
Whether you are in the same room or across the globe, having regular processes and metrics to drive performance is essential for us entrepreneurs. We have limited resources which means that every resource we do have has to perform at its best. The part time MBA student. The marketing firm. Your right hand.
We have to learn to put in place the processes that can regularly measure performance. Every week. 10 am. Sales meeting. Did we hit our goal of sales to ten customers? Why? Why not?
We need the metrics and the processes in place to ensure that they scarce resources of an early-stage company are performing at the highest level. And when we are not in the same room, this skill is critical.
Here are a few more insights on process
For entrepreneurs, communicating in the chaos is a full-time job. It’s even harder when everyone is remote. So break out a few techniques. Send out a weekly one-page summary to everyone in the company. No more than one page. Challenge yourself to be more clear and concise in your messaging. How many 10 paragraph emails do you read?
Here are a few more hints on Communicating
I mean we are all lonely entrepreneurs – but we didn’t mean literally alone. But in some cases now we are. While corporate America teaches workers how to improve their skills, let’s make sure we are preserving those key skills we need as entrepreneurs to help us turn our passion into success.
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