Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

How hybrid work is reforming career development

31 March, 2022
5 mins

In today’s market, as organizations continue to steer through the Great Resignation, they have to ensure that they leave no stones unturned to keep their employees motivated, engaged, and committed to their roles – and this primarily means investing in the career development of your employees. Below we’ll take a closer glance at how hybrid work is shaping career development and how your organization can continue supporting the growth of your employees – no matter where they are working from. 

hybrid work is reforming career development

Source: pexels

Career development has become more of a necessity and less of a perk to retain your top talents. In the last two years, organizations and industries have undergone a dramatic change, and consequently, organizations have shifted to a hybrid work framework – with some employees operating remotely, some working in an office and some dividing their time between both. This is a huge reason that today the career development strategies that were valid for an onsite team would not be as effective in the hybrid work framework. 

Career Development in the times of the hybrid work model 

The covid pandemic and the consequential shift to remote and hybrid work models have hindered employee career development to a huge extent. The majority of the remote workers experienced their career development get negatively influenced right from the initial stages of the pandemic. A lot of the employees all over the globe experienced pay and promotion freezes as a result of the pandemic as well. Despite getting their career progression stalled in multiple cases, employees are working harder than before. Employees now put in extra hours, volunteer for extra projects and responsibilities, and even work on their off days. As a result, employee burnout has been on a tremendous rise. The combination of all these problems is the reason that a huge amount of employees is quitting their jobs on a daily basis. As per the data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), a record of 47.8 million employees quit their jobs in the year 2021. This trend is very likely to continue in 2022 as well – especially for those sets of employees who feel that they are not developing in their respective careers. 

In such a landscape, prioritizing your employee’s career development is extremely vital if you want to keep to retain the top talents of your organization. Following are a few ways to do reform the career development of your employees in a hybrid/remote work mode. 

5 ways to reform career development for hybrid and remote employees

1. Provide a learning and development stipend

When your workforce is physically present in one place altogether, providing learning and development opportunities is a relatively explicit process. Organizations often hire an outside consultant to provide sessions on industry trends or even have a career coach visit their organization to work with the employees on an individual level. But offering such prospects to a hybrid workforce can be quite problematic. In order to support the career development of your hybrid teams, you have to think outside the box. Rather than creating learning and development prospects in-house, be flexible and allow your employees to choose the best options for themselves and then provide them with a stipend to cover the entire cost.

2. Establish competency matrices

When your employees operate from an office, they often have a picture of what will it take for them to progress in their respective careers. However, when they are operating remotely (either partially or fully), they can miss out on that picture and may not be familiar with what skills and competencies will it require for them to excel in their roles and progress in their careers. This is the reason that competency matrices are significant for the career development of the teams functioning in hybrid and remote frameworks. A competency matrix works to clearly outlines all the skills required to excel in a particular role or project. Your employees can review this matrix, use it to reflect on their own skillset, and identify the gaps they need to cover for achieving their career objectives. 

3. Have individual development plans

When competency matrices lay out the skills your employee might need to grow in their career, having individual development plans will help you to establish a roadmap for how they are going to get there. This individual development plan works to clearly illustrate your employee’s career development objectives, and outline precisely actionable plans they have to take to attain those objectives. With such a plan in place, the employees get a clear picture of what needs to be done in order to attain their career development objectives and as their leader, you have a clear direction on how to best support them. It is especially more important in hybrid work culture. It ensures that you are on the same page with your employees on how they want their careers to develop and what is to be done for them to get there. 

4. Prioritize remote visibility

The fact is that the majority of the employees who operate remotely struggle in hybrid work culture, especially when it comes to visibility. Employees tend to feel that remote work makes their contributions less visible and this lack of visibility serves as a drawback in their career development. Talking about employee development and growth, remote work can bias the procedure against the ones who are present in the office less frequently. This can foster unequal opportunities for the employees who work remotely and can ultimately hinder their career development. Hence, you have to make sure to prioritize that your remote workforce gets identical visibility and opportunities to the ones who tend to spend more time in the office. For this, you can have weekly all-hand meetings where your remote workforce can present what they have been working on or have such a policy through which your new projects are evenly divided between remote and in-person workforce. 

Supporting the career development program of your employees can be tough when they are operating in remote and hybrid work culture. However, being familiar with the above-described ways will enable you to navigate the challenges that will come your way. Contact us for all of your concerns regarding employees, organization, and performance management