An Employer’s Guide for Promoting Remote Learning

Lovely young business woman learning remotely in order to upskill

Virtual environments have highlighted many remote workplace challenges, both from a technological and employee standpoint. Some employees may not be as technologically savvy as others, whereas you may just not have the resources available to provide proper training on utilizing all the technology advances your company has invested in.

 

Here are some quick tips for employers to create and promote remote learning opportunities for employees.

 

Webinars

 

Webinars present an opportunity for working professionals to seek free or affordable trainings on industry- or position-specific topics. A great avenue of webinar resources is through your vendors. For example, if you have a marketing team that uses an email automation system like Constant Contact. Constant Contact offers informational webinars on how to navigate their system, tips and tricks for more effective email marketing, and other helpful resources provided through free webinars. If you’re in the nonprofit sector, you may find webinars on grant writing, fundraising techniques, and volunteer management that may improve your current processes.

 

For example, Human Capital hosts webinars with its Vensure Employer Services partners on relevant topics, such as sensitivity in the workplace (i.e., diversity and inclusion, emotional intelligence, cultural competence), real-time current events (i.e., COVID impacts to mental health, substance abuse, navigating the pandemic), and general PEO topics. This allows both clients and current employees to learn about topics relevant to their industry, as well as access to industry experts for best practices, tips, and resources.

 

Certifications

 

HubSpot Academy offers a wide variety of business certifications, such as:

 

  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Sales
  • Software

 

Coursera provides free and paid courses across a variety of industries, software, and skills delivered by some of the world’s most elite universities and businesses.

 

Some positions require professional certifications. For example, human resources offer numerous types of certifications, such as Certified Professional, Associate Professional in Human Resources, Professional in Human Resources, and Associate Professional in Talent Development Credential, among many others. Risk and safety management may undergo annual or other regular trainings on OSHA compliance and workplace safety courses.

 

Upskilling

 

A recent study reported about 60% of U.S.-based employers have job vacancies that remain open for 12-plus weeks resulting in more than $800,000 annual losses.[1]

 

Instead of terminating an employee who isn’t adequately fulfilling their job duties or spending time and energy searching for a candidate that checks all the boxes on your dream employee, try providing opportunities to upskill your employees. Upskilling has become more popular over time mainly due to digital advances and because the digital dynamics within businesses conventional jobs are transitioning into something dissimilar or dissipating entirely.

 

Upskilling is the act of learning new skills that are oftentimes focused on job-specific or digital technology. However, upskilling can go beyond technical or task-oriented responsibilities including soft skills like cultural diversity and awareness, emotional intelligence, understanding unconscious bias, and leadership skills.

 

Tuition Reimbursement/Assistance

 

Earlier this year, Michigan Governor Whitmer announced a Future for Frontliners program to provide full tuition coverage to essential workers as a thank you for serving on the frontlines during the COVID pandemic.

 

Eligibility requirements include:

 

  • Reside in Michigan
  • Worked in an essential industry (part-time minimum) for 11 of 13 weeks between April 1 – June 30, 2020
  • Required by employer to work outside place of residence for at least some time between April 1 – June 30, 2020
  • Not earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
  • No default on federal student loan
  • Complete an application by 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2020

 

One approach employers can take to assist employees is providing a tuition assistance or reimbursement program, where the employer pays for an allotted amount of credits or coursework that may be applied toward a degree. While only 2%-5% of eligible employees use tuition assistance programs, 43% of employees are aware of their organization’s benefit.[2] If you go this route, be sure to communicate and advocate for employees to take advantage of such program.

 

Another path is to partner with education providers that may offer more affordable options for continuing education and career development. For example, local community colleges may have online courses available that may be more affordable and relevant to your industry or positions that require continued education.

 

If you’re not sure which option is best for your employees, contact Human Capital. Our HR professionals can provide you the resources, guidance, and industry best practices to help you and your employees find the opportunities best suited for your industry.

 

 

[1] CareerBuilder

[2] Northeastern University

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