If some of your employees work at home how do you help with their growth and development? You can send them to workshops and encourage them to stretch their skills, but without steady guidance from the home office they might very well put training on the back burner and we all know what happens when something gets stuck there. With email and online learning, however, there´s a lot more that can be done to help your at-home workers maintain their development.
If you´ve read any of my past postings you´ll know that I´m a big believer in creating libraries consisting of business books and other titles intended to help them grow. I´m not suggesting that people necessarily read these books from cover to cover, but they should be available for people to dip into when they have the time or inclination.
It´s important for your at-home workers to have the resources they need to not only get their jobs done but also to find new ways to do those tasks more efficiently. Speaking from experience, one of the hardest things for most home workers might be getting-and staying-organized. Without a boss or peer stopping in it´s easy to work amidst piles of papers, Post-Its everywhere, and other office hazards. Subscribing to an online newsletter that focuses on office organization might do the trick or sending around the occasional article on streamlining the office could be a good idea, too.
Someone I work with recently suggested that I look into some contact software that will help me with scheduling, etc. It occurred to me that he was exactly right, but I might not have considered it had he not made the suggestion. That got me thinking about all the other tasks I should consider, those that would help me run my home office more effectively.
So often, we think of employee development as something that companies must initiate. But I believe that for self-growth to truly take hold employees themselves must make the commitment first and then, in some cases, be the catalyst for their own change. Think about the people you know who simply wait for others to give them direction from how to use a piece of office equipment to learning the latest meeting planning software. Those self-starters who find time to catch up on trends in their area or take a class outside of regular business hours have a plan and are committed to their own growth and development.
For those working at home, that can be a challenge. Do what you can to help them along. In the long run it will enhance your company´s own growth and very likely the bottom line.