No matter what sector your business is in, encouraging the remote workers on your team to continue building their skill set is a win-win for everyone. Letting them know that, as a leader, you sincerely care about their future. This, in turn, will help build confidence, boost team morale, and add value to your business. You don’t need to invest a ton of money if your business simply can’t support it. Let’s explore some easy ways to support continuing education on a shoestring budget.
Start Small, Pick a Few Soft Skills, Grow the Program
It doesn’t take much to implement a continuing education program for your remote team. But, the return on your investment of time (and money) will be exponential. According to a Forbes report, one of the most common reasons employees lose interest in their job is a lack of growth opportunities. Additionally, 87% of millennials say professional growth and development is very important to them.
Investing some time now to make a plan and prevent or reverse a high turnover rate will save you a lot of resources in the future. Implementing a continuing education plan can be as simple as compiling resources and devising a simple incentive plan according to your budget. Here’s how to get started:
- Determine the skills your team wishes to improve upon. You can do this by sending out a survey and compiling the responses into an actionable list. Include soft skills such as public speaking, writing, personal skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and others. But, also include more prominent skills that may include options for a change of career. This will also help you gauge how fulfilled your team feels and where they want to be in the future.
- Once you’ve compiled the responses, gather a list of free resources to distribute to help guide them toward information on how to obtain the skills during their free time. But, don’t stop there. Set aside an hour or two per week to work with them on these skills. This will inspire those who didn’t even realize they wanted to improve certain skills with the added benefit of being a part of a team-building exercise.
As your efforts begin to pay off, you can reinvest some of the money saved and grow the plan to provide even more opportunity for employees.
Don’t be afraid to encourage your employees to spread their wings and fly. Tell them you want to see them in a better career and you want to help them get there. If at all possible, offer opportunities for promotion from within if they choose to pursue greater education. And, if you can, offer to help pay for all or part of that education. Here are a few great ways to build their (and your) skills without breaking the company bank:
- Bootcamps – Coding bootcamps can help your virtual assistant or sales manager rise in the company to the chief web designer or cybersecurity manager with only a fraction of the time and money needed for a traditional degree program. In fact, there are tons of free resources to get your team members inspired!
- Certificate Programs – Similar to bootcamps, certificate programs are accelerated learning opportunities that have a much wider range of advancement opportunities. If your company has a need for skilled labor that isn’t technology related, certificate programs could be a good incentive for your employees to work toward.