It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that the workplace has changed beyond recognition over the past 6 months. We’re working from home, staff are furloughed and for many, business is painfully slow.

We know – you’ve heard it all before.

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

Wrong, actually.

Even during a global pandemic, there is plenty that employers can still be doing, and 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’s more important than ever to invest in the professional development and engagement of your staff. Remote working training has become increasingly common, and businesses need to ensure that their remote workers are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to perform their jobs effectively.

Most employers are aware of the importance of training their staff on a regular basis. After all, your staff are your biggest asset and it stands to reason that investing in talent is absolutely vital to sustainable business growth and success. Investing in your staff’s professional development is also key when it comes to retention. Estimates show that 94% of employees staff longer in businesses that invest in their career development. In essence, staff want to feel that management values them, and training is a perfect way to do this.

Alongside this sits staff engagement. Traditionally done through staff surveys and appraisals, it’s essential for staff to feel that they have a voice. Moreover, that management listens to them.

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

Engaging and Remote Working Training through a pandemic

So, how does this work during a pandemic? Gone are 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 are here to stay, employers need to look at different options when it comes to staff development.

And this is where online training and engagement platforms really come into their own.

This year we’ve added two online options, which our customers have found 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 will find this invaluable in the current climate, particularly as furloughed staff can still do training courses. From time management to make a cup of tea, there’s 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.