As the layout of the workforce continues to evolve, seeing an increase in remote and hybrid workers, as well as an influx of new technologies across industries, the ability to increase employee engagement has become more critical than ever. An inability to keep workers engaged has been growing for some time, becoming so ubiquitous that it spawned a new term in 2022, “quiet quitting.” However, this act has gone by other terms, including “lying flat,” and will only increase its impact on organizations.
A recent Gallup study found that only 33 percent of U.S. employees felt engaged at work and that active disengagement (“loud quitting”) was 16 percent. So, what does this mean for your organization? And as roles continue to embrace remote and hybrid offerings, how can your organization increase employee engagement while workers are physically separated from their coworkers? It turns out the role of virtual training is vital in boosting engagement.
Challenges for fostering engagement in virtual environments
Organizations face different challenges when operating in virtual environments rather than in person. Let’s explore a few notable barriers that must be intentionally overcome to create lasting success.
Just as educators found during the COVID-19 pandemic when attempting to manipulate web conferencing tools in virtual classrooms, organizations have discovered their learning communities struggle to succeed when pairing incongruent tools with the needs of their virtual teams.
Leveraging the power of intentionally designed virtual training platforms, your organization can increase learner engagement and improve communication and efficiency. Additionally, best-in-class virtual training platforms provide deep analytical insights that allow your organization to discover what works well, what could use tweaking, and real-time insights into process improvements.
Lack of virtual culture
Simply allowing workers to take part in their daily tasks remotely isn’t guaranteed to promote the same results or experience that may exist within your organization’s physical establishment. It becomes imperative to replace casual face-to-face interactions with communicative opportunities, not just in scheduled meetings but even in less formal, cross-departmental circumstances.
Virtual engagement encourages team members to not only upskill or reskill as a part of their training, but also to connect and interact with other workers in new and potentially innovative ways. Whether leveraging the power of breakout rooms, meshing synchronous and asynchronous learning modules, or even creating direct lines of communication to managers and other knowledge-holders, virtual training platforms can actually create engagement opportunities that might not be present in a physically constrained environment.
For organizations accustomed to in-person meetings that are less highly structured and provide opportunities for individuals to update one another on progress, project needs, or other check-ins based on informal run-ins, a shift to virtual training can provide two very beneficial evolutions:
First, creating formalized avenues of communication can add structure and consistency to the organization. By identifying meeting times, timetables for project update emails, or other commonly shared placements for all workers, regardless of location, to utilize, everyone involved develops a deeper understanding of their expectations.
Second, whether through recorded video calls, chat boxes, emails, or other digital channels, a record of these communications is created, increasing accountability and also an ability to check back in based on the history of communication around a given project, strategy, or other initiative.
Benefits of virtual training engagement
As seen in the last section, an effective shift to increased engagement for virtual and hybrid workers must be intentional; however, once these efforts are put into place, the pay-off is also quite notable.
Best employee retention
Creating an environment that encourages continuous learning via virtual training has increased motivation, job satisfaction, and commitment to your organization. In fact, according to Microsoft’s 2022 “Annual Work Trend Index Report,” 68% of employees claimed they would stay longer at their organization if it were easier to change jobs internally. The report also found that employees were 46% more engaged when developing skills that matched their interests.
Career growth and development
Not only does taking part in virtual training increase employee engagement and retention rates, but the actual training provides a wealth of career growth, learning and development, and skill diversification—all of which benefit both the worker and the organization. As technological integration continues to grow across industries, multi-talented employees are not only more likely to embrace these required upskilling and reskilling efforts, but their cross-organizational knowledge and experience can lead to more innovative and successful results.
Organizational objectives-aligned virtual training
Creating a culture of learning and development has numerous job satisfaction-related benefits, but also serves as a means to address skill gaps, targeted job performance enhancements, and proactively evolving to the continued changes and needs of your industry. Leveraging the analytics, scalability, and connectivity of virtual training platforms, your organization can lead within your industry, rather than constantly playing catch-up to shifting trends.
Shifting from reactive to proactive
The evolution of the workplace toward the role of virtual and hybrid employees can serve as an impetus for organizations to embrace the types of organizational shifts that separate successful organizations from those lagging. Increasing employee engagement via virtual training motivates workers, heightens retention, upskills for next-step technologies and strategies, and creates opportunities for data-driven insights.
Are you ready to see how your organization can boost employee engagement through a virtual training platform? Reach out to a Class team member today, and let’s take your organization—and its employees—to the next level.