The workplace changed beyond recognition during the lockdown period. We were working from home, staff were furloughed and for many, business was painfully slow.

We know – you’ve heard it all before.

What could companies do to keep staff engaged and motivated during this difficult time? After all, all opportunities for staff training and engagement exercises had ground to a halt, right?

Wrong, actually.

Even during a global pandemic, there were plenty of things that employers could still be doing. As the North West’s leading outsourced HR Consultancy, People Matters HR explain how.

The importance of remote working engagement

In today’s rapidly changing work environment, it was more important than ever to invest in the professional development and engagement of your staff. Remote working training had become increasingly common, and businesses needed to ensure that their remote workers were equipped with the necessary skills and resources to perform their jobs effectively.

Most employers were aware of the importance of training their staff on a regular basis. After all, their staff were their biggest asset, and it stood to reason that investing in talent was absolutely vital to sustainable business growth and success. Investing in staff’s professional development was also key when it came to retention. Estimates showed that 94% of employees stayed longer in businesses that invested in their career development. In essence, staff wanted to feel that management valued them, and training was a perfect way to do this.

Alongside this sat staff engagement. Traditionally done through staff surveys and appraisals, it was essential for staff to feel that they had a voice. Moreover, that management listened to them.

In the current climate, both these things were more important than ever before. The great news was that staff who went on furlough were still able to undertake training and engagement exercises. Rather than sitting at home twiddling their thumbs, they were able to keep their minds engaged. Thus, they could maintain a sense of purpose and team.

Engaging and Remote Working Training through a pandemic

So, how did this work during a pandemic? Gone were the days of a day at a conference centre with a never-ending supply of pastries and fancy coffee. With many larger businesses still working remotely and restrictions looking like they were here to stay, employers needed to look at different options when it came to staff development, including remote HR services.

This was where online training and engagement platforms really came into their own.

We added two online options at the time, including Improve and WeThrive, as part of our suite of remote HR services. Our customers found them invaluable over the lockdown period.

Improve and WeThrive

IMPROVE online learning provides a wide range of online learning courses designed for SME businesses across a wide range of subject areas with over 40 courses currently available and another 50 on their way. Businesses found this invaluable in the current climate, particularly as furloughed staff could still do training courses. From time management to making a cup of tea, there was something for everyone.

IMPROVE online, puts classroom learning on your laptop, tablet and even phone. It’s accessible 24/7, staff can start and stop at any point and they even get course handouts and a certification of completion when they pass the knowledge check at the end.

WeThrive is an employee engagement tool, which assesses an organisation by which going beyond the traditional employee engagement survey. Its cutting-edge software is designed to delve into the employees subconscious to uncover factors that are often hidden but lie at the root of common workplace issues. This enables line managers to take control of employee engagement with easy to read coaching plans, supporting resources and post-survey action tracking.  It gives employees a real chance for their voice to be heard – and employers an invaluable insight into what drives their business.

Our advice to businesses is to act now. Use this time to show your staff they are key members of the team, that you give a damn and that you are just as invested in their development as you always have been.