By Corporate English Solutions

24 October 2022 - 14:54

Implementing global skills plans in hybrid and remote teams

Does your organisation find recruiting and retaining talent particularly challenging in the current environment? Many companies are addressing this through global, cross-border recruitment, hybrid and remote working and upskilling initiatives. Implementing global learning plans in this context has never been so complex. Discover 4 valuable tips to help you create and implement an effective learning strategy.


Reading time: 6 minutes

Arjun loves a challenge. It’s one of the reasons he enjoys working as an L&D Manager for an expanding tech company. But recent changes in his company’s recruitment practices have increased the level of challenge he and his team face.   

It has become more difficult to recruit and retain talent in key markets. So, his company now conducts country-agnostic recruitment. And the new teams are a mix of on-site, hybrid and remote cross-border, cross-functional employees. 

Sound familiar? 

The rise of hybrid and remote work is creating more opportunities to attract talent from all over the world. And frequent staff changes have increased the need to upskill this talent quickly. Particularly important are the key skills for effective global working: intercultural, interpersonal skills and teamwork.

However, 58% of employers say that attending workplace training can be disruptive to day-to-day operations. What’s more, the average employee only has 24 minutes a week for “formal learning”

These combined make implementing global learning plans more complex. 

Arjun is keen to support his company’s vision to become a leading global organisation and knows that both current and new employees need to develop these global working skills.  But he doesn’t know quite where to begin. What are the best ways to effectively implement training in the workplace, and upskill globally dispersed, hybrid teams who have very little time?

Read on to discover how it can be done.

1. Implement learning in the flow of work

Remember the early days of eLearning, self-directed learning and talent platforms offering ranges of courses to select from? While these could better reach globally dispersed learners, there were some significant challenges. Like navigating the confusing range on offer, personalising pathways and proving the impact of learning on performance. 

Now, technological advances such as multimedia tools, AI, and machine learning are allowing global organisations to implement learning strategies and employee learning plans more effectively to remote and dispersed teams. 

Employees receive machine-driven recommendations and adaptive learning based on their performance, removing the confusing choices. Personalised, micro-learning tips, recommendations, suggestions, and tools needed to help them perform a specific task in their jobs upskill them quickly. Online books and videos can provide answers when they are stuck.

And by incorporating micro-learning into platforms that employees use every day, such as Salesforce, employees can easily access tips at the moment of need. Platforms now give opportunities to practice micro skills and even get feedback from peers, engaging employees and encouraging regular learning. 

This learning in the flow of work blurs the lines between learning and work, integrating learning into everyday tasks and minimising disruption to everyday operations. 

2. Foster learner autonomy 

While learning in the flow of work can quickly upskill employees, it relies on the individual to be proactive in their learning. Something that employees unfamiliar with learning while working may struggle with.

By including micro-learning tips on how to use platforms and technologies, as well as how to practise and self-assess, your teams will be better able to maximise their learning. For new staff, be sure to include these in onboarding programmes.

3. Create learning communities

Learning while working offsite can be a lonely activity. For hybrid and remote workers even more so. They can feel disconnected from colleagues, leading to lack of engagement in learning. 

Set up learning communities, where learners encourage each other, share tips, answer questions and practise skills. You can opt to integrate these into the learning platform or use everyday communication tools such as Teams or Slack. Consider which option will best engage learners and result in maximum contributions to the community. Set aside time in team meetings to connect and learn together: through creating a shared sense of purpose, teams will develop a culture of learning that extends beyond meeting times. 

4. Evaluate training and adjust your learning plan often 

How often do you report on the effectiveness of your learning solutions? Evaluating traditional training courses at key stages and post-programme has become part of our regular tasks. But how does this work when the training never ends?

Make use of the tools your learning platform provides. Dashboards can provide easily accessible data to give an overview of engagement levels, learner progress and performance of learning content. Set alerts to provide you with high-level information on a weekly basis and perform an in-depth review monthly so you can track trends. Carry out quick, simple user surveys that can be completed in one or two minutes to gather regular user feedback. 

Identify low-performing content and remove, replace or edit it. Set up a rolling learning content creation calendar and engage staff to produce regular bite-sized videos and short articles to supplement or replace existing content.

Learning in the flow of work in action

Remember Arjun? 

British Council worked with him to develop global skills competency matrices and learning plans for priority teams in the three fundamental areas: intercultural skills, interpersonal communication and collaboration.

We partnered with his organisation to create an assessment framework to benchmark competency levels. Then, we curated a mix of blended learning modules and microlearning content so that learners could easily access tips, tools and advice.

And we supported Arjun’s team to get key business stakeholders actively involved. Team members created short videos to demonstrate core skills and competencies. We also organised drop-in clinics to answer specific employee questions. And informal storytelling became an integral part of team meetings.

What were the results of all these learning and development initiatives? The average competency scores of participants in the learning programme improved by 25%. Performance against KPIs rose by 5%. And employees reporting feeling an increased sense of belonging and engagement.

Next steps

Using these four tips can enable you and your team to effectively implement learning plans in the flow of work. However, this is still a relatively new area for many L&D teams. Review your own team members’ skills and provide opportunities and support to develop their skills in developing and implementing learning plans for hybrid and remote teams. 

With over 80 years’ experience of partnering with organisations in over 100 countries in 6 continents, we have unrivalled skills in building global organisations. Our range of learning solutions supports your global, hybrid and remote teams to develop the skills they need to succeed. 

Find out more >

Find more valuable tips by reading our blogs: