When your workforce don’t stay still

Managing L&D When Your Workforce Isn’t Office-Based: 7 Suggestions for Success

By Bridge

There’s a very silent elephant in the room when it comes to learning and performance management: how do you do it when your workforce isn’t sitting nicely at a desk, in one place?

How do you manage learning and development and performance management when your workforce is on the road, remote, and possibly doesn’t even ever sit at a desk? How do you manage L&D and performance when your workers are factory-based, in the field, or not where you last left them?

Learning and Performance Management Still Matter

The specific pain points that leaders face of disconnected, misaligned, and disengaged workers are only exacerbated in these situations. It’s easy to think it’s impossible to truly engage and develop these workers because of the logistical difficulties.

But it’s not impossible. Sitting inside every worker’s pocket, and perhaps even already used as a work tool, is a smartphone. And with that, you have the power to do remarkable things to connect, align and engage your workers.

Connect, Align and Engage – Wherever They Are

First, let’s look at what you need to focus on. Then we can look at how you do it.

Some of these aspects apply wherever your workforce is, but all are particularly important to a mobile or fragmented workforce:

  • Set Goals and Objectives

Individuals need personal goals that give them a sense of purpose within the overall objectives of the company. They need to know how they contribute to the greater good and how this is relevant to their development as an individual.

  • Give Clear Feedback

Just because a worker is mobile or remote, they need to know how they are performing. Feedback can be verbal, but it needs to be clear and planned.

  • Have Regular Conversations

When there’s no bumping into each other in the office, conversations between leaders and managers with their workers need to be deliberate and intentional. These conversations need to be regular and structured. This gives insight into everything from how a worker feels to their ideas about how practical tasks can be done more efficiently.

  • Go to Them

You don’t necessarily need to head over to where they are physically, but meet your workers where you can through different mediums. If they have an onsite cabin, or factory break room, use it to convey unified messaging from senior staff dropping into posters on the wall.

  • Give Time to Down Tools

Mobile workers and those not office-based must be given dedicated time when they can ‘down tools’ and come together to discuss things, evaluate their performance, and undertake learning and development

  • Unite Them

Whether through socialization, unified delivery of a particular course, or team activities, consciously develop a team atmosphere amongst these workers. Your attention on these workers needs to be deliberate.

  • Make Things Clear

Whether through socialization, unified delivery of a particular course, or team activities, consciously develop a team atmosphere amongst these workers. Your attention on these workers needs to be deliberate.

How to Make This Happen

The above list of requirements may seem like a tall order. However, as with a lot about organizing non-desk-based workers, it comes down to having the right tools for the job. A valuable Learning and Development Management tool, combined with a Performance Management platform, which can be accessed and used easily on a smartphone, is the answer.

Bridge puts all the tools you need to manage these workers effectively into their palms and the palms of their managers. When a culture of using apps like this develops, your workforce becomes more joined-up, engaged, and focused on collaborative connection and progress

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