How Talent Development Can Empower Your Remote Workforce

Every organization would love to maximize its human resources. In theory, the best way to do that is to assign each employee to the role where they can perform best.

In sports, stars typically take on the scoring burden, while role players do the ‘dirty jobs’ like defending or making hustle plays. But not every team has the in-house personnel to do each task well. In pharmaceutical companies, this can mean handing over tasks like data analysis to experts like Pion so that your core of scientists can focus on the research itself.

However, the challenge of many organizations is making the most of their people during the new age of remote work. Virtual teams are generally less effective.

Part of that is down to communication, but it can also stem from not knowing your team well enough to employ them effectively. This is where a good talent development strategy can make a difference.

A new challenge

The pandemic has ramped up the adoption of remote working arrangements on a wide scale. Many companies have done so as a survival measure, having to overcome initial resistance in the process. But they have also realized that a remote workforce offers new opportunities.

Remote work allows companies to tap into a global pool of talent. The barriers you can overcome aren’t just geographical. Skilled workers whose lifestyles might require high flexibility are now available to the accommodating employer.

Yet with that opportunity comes a new challenge. How do you develop talent when you have never met people face-to-face?

Careers still matter

Talent development is critical in this new frontier because employees, especially younger ones, are worried about how their careers can progress.

This requires even greater efforts for transparency on both sides. Employers need to be clear upfront about opportunities for internal growth and policies on developing their people. In turn, every worker needs to communicate their desire to take that next step or head in a specific direction.

That can be harder for employees, so the concept of a ‘hybrid office’ can help. Many remote workers have expressed a desire to return to the office on a part-time basis. Those infrequent sessions can give you the face time necessary to have earnest discussions about career pathing.

working remotely

Using network analytics

A big reason why remote workers miss the physical workplace is the interaction. And it’s not just about making small talk. Workplace interactions help strengthen relationships, leading to effective collaboration, skill transfer, and expanding networks.

Those interactions may have diminished in the shift to remote work. But the available technology offers a solution by making it easier to do network analytics. Mapping the connections between employees allows you to unlock hidden potential and maximize results.

With online tools, you have greater visibility over interactions. Every meeting can be recorded, every chat and email thread archived. You can look up who was present, who actively participated, and which people seem to have an easier time communicating directly with each other.

Addressing gaps

Network mapping also alerts you to gaps where you can foster better collaboration through increasing interaction. You can find ways to be more inclusive, bring a greater diversity of experience and backgrounds into a discussion, and deliberately engage with people who seem to be left out.

Mentors can be assigned to aid younger employees in their development. Or you can give them one-on-one coaching and distribute online materials for their further learning.

Many jobs may have gone remote, but people still want to do well and go further in their careers. Create a strategy to enable them in this effort, and you can boost your results in the process.

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