Agencies have long assumed allowing employees to work remotely would require lowering workloads, but it wasn’t until recently that they really recognized the value of a remote workforce. In 2020, predominantly virtual government workforces are not the exception — but the rule.
As employees settle into long-term remote work, some may struggle. HR leaders at every level need engaging, supportive ways to manage and develop their geographically dispersed talent.
Guiding virtual workforces does not have to be difficult, but employees need the right environment and support from their agencies, according to Steve Dobberowsky, Senior Principal Consultant at Cornerstone OnDemand. Cornerstone is a cloud-based people development software provider.
Dobberowsky shared three ways agencies can steer their virtual talent in the right direction.
1. Drive Professional Development
At home or in the office, employees crave fulfilling work that expands their skillsets. Engaged workers are more dedicated, productive and satisfied.
As a result, finding and closing skills gaps becomes critical for agencies. Skills gaps emerge when employees are unable to achieve their agency’s goals. According to Dobberowsky, remedying skills gaps requires a dynamic, intelligent talent management system targeting the specific skills agencies need.
“This is bubbling up to a priority level where you should be intervening and doing something in a way that makes sense for whatever efforts the organization is trying to accomplish,” he said of skills gaps.
Talent management platforms such as Cornerstone’s can help agencies locate skills gaps present in their current workforce and predict future needs. These tools also enable the targeted development and assessments necessary to fill those skill gaps.
2. Curate Engagement
Remote work upends workflows such as HR management. For instance, activities such as meetings and trainings dramatically transform when shifted to online only. Dobberowsky said agencies must meet their workforces using the structure and content that fits their current needs.
“If we go all online, the danger is we just convert everything that we want into our learning management system with no thought or concern about the user experience. We lose key opportunities to engage and develop our workforce,” he said.
In today’s post-COVID-19 reality, remote workers might ignore content that is not easily accessible or visually stimulating. Strong talent management platforms overcome these obstacles with features such as user polling, chat and gaming functionality that make virtual meetings more compelling.
3. Pick the Right Fix
HR managers have many options in their talent management toolkits. Recruiting draws fresh talent; reskilling gives existing talent new skills; upskilling teaches employees to use their old skills in novel ways. According to Dobberowsky, healthy talent management initiatives thrive when a platform can help agencies grow and develop the future talent they need now.
“All the pieces of talent management need to be dealt with collectively and holistically to create the kindling for creativity to flourish,” he said.
Embracing cloud’s flexible, scalable and on-demand features, agencies can foster innovation and meet the unexpected head on.