Training and Hybrid Work
Support organizations transitioned beautifully to remote work in 2020, and eventually moved to hybrid work quite successfully. Three years on, we are coming to the realization that in-office work created many opportunities for informal training–for instance through casual observations and on-the-spot coaching– that now need to be reimagined for the new normal that is hybrid work.
Here are 5 ways to organize training in hybrid-work organizations.
Provide a formal onboarding sequence
Most organizations provide some kind of onboarding to new hires, but hybrid work requires going beyond casual on-the-job training. Start with a detailed checklist to ensure that all relevant topics are covered and add formal training assets over time.
Structure training beyond onboarding
What happens after onboarding is often entirely ad-hoc and unstructured, leaving hybrid workers adrift, short of their potential, and likely demoralized. Keep up their skills and morale with a structured, ongoing menu of personal development opportunities, above and beyond just learning new releases or new products.
Make training social
Training is all about learning, of course, but social interactions count, too. Whenever possible, arrange individuals into group learning pods. It comes naturally for instructor-led programs but you can also organize cohorts to tackle self-study materials, using online forums or book-club structures. Get a little competition going with the camaraderie.
Use training as special events
Many support organizations find it difficult to attract support engineers to the office on a regular basis. Why trek to a central location when clients are remote anyway? A training session is a perfect incentive to bring everyone to the office, as long as it’s full of useful materials, presented by a knowledgeable facilitator, and full of interactive activities that simply cannot be replicated in a remote environment. It might be a better investment than a tasty lunch (or with a tasty lunch!)
Embrace certification programs
Certification programs have existed from a long time and many support organizations have mandated certification for technical skills within a certain window of support engineers’ start date. The benefits of certification include ensuring a consistent level of knowledge–even if the certification targets factual knowledge more than the hands-on, troubleshooting skills required for success in support.
Certification can also apply to support skills! We at FT Works are debuting our new Artful Complex Support Certification that allows to measure support engineers’ ability to work with customers in all kinds of situations. With our a vast question bank, you can test and re-test support engineers with the confidence that they won’t simply learn the right answers by heart. Contact me for more details.
How are you organizing training in your hybrid model? Tell us in the comments.