4 min read

Employee Training: A Retrospective Analysis to Prepare for the Future of Work

Employee Training: A Retrospective Analysis to Prepare for the Future of Work

With 2023 on the horizon, it’s awe-inspiring to reflect on last year’s accomplishments and, more so, how the way we work has forever changed since 2020. What started as a few weeks at home to protect employees from a new virus has revolutionized how we do business and employees approach work. In turn, employee training has shifted, and companies are adapting new strategies for the new year. 

The Changing Face of Training

In 2022, many employers replaced their traditional office space with the employee home office, and we have learned that remote workers are more productive than ever before. Employees are demanding to continue virtual work and are migrating by the thousands to more rural areas. They are learning to connect differently in a remote environment, and companies are learning to train their employees with video and breakout rooms rather than in traditional classrooms. 

In the process, employers notice that virtual training saves time and money, reduces travel costs, and minimizes employee time away from work. Furthermore, they realize that virtual training does not mean disconnected training. In fact, employees are learning to make new connections in virtual training environments that are often even richer than before.

A Look Back

History has shown that the way we train our workforce has evolved over the last 100 years due to technological advances and employee migration. This current shift, which I will dub the Labor Revolution, is in line with historical patterns. 

The American Industrial Revolution began in the 1870s and continued through World War II. The demand for manufactured goods soared, and unskilled laborers migrated to cities in droves to work in higher-paying manufacturing jobs. In fact, by 1900, 40% of the US population lived in cities, compared to just 6% in 1800 when most workers earned their livings in small agricultural communities. In this new era, workers were hired and trained in “factory schools” to use new machinery. This was the birth of manufacturing in the United States as the Revolution led to the invention of the sewing machine, the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, and eventually, the automobile. Companies that thrived invested and adapted in this new age.

One such employer, the Ford Motor Company, produced the first Model T in 1908, marking the start of the Age of Science and Mass Production. During this 30+ year Revolution, previous inventions were refined, creating the gasoline engine, and improving mass production. With the invention of the assembly line during the Industrial Revolution, companies needed to train employees in speed and efficiency while focusing on ‘more is better’. Factory schools continued but with much of the training done on the job rather than in classrooms. Once again, employers adapted to ensure employees had the skills to succeed.

The Digital Revolution took over in the 1950s with the development of digital systems and advances in computing power, and it continues to this day. Workers are required to be highly skilled and are expected to be educated prior to employment. With technical training already in place, employers have shifted to offering more soft skills training. Empathy and effective communication skills are at the forefront of many employers’ minds as they have proven to increase employee engagement and decrease attrition.

Training in the Labor Revolution

Though we were unaware at the time, 2020 marked the start of the Labor Revolution in the American workforce. Forced to do business from our living rooms and kitchens, employees persevered, despite many hardships. Like our predecessors, who abandoned their small plots of land in search of a better life, we soldiered on through economic hardship, technological challenges, and social change. We learned and grew; we adapted. 

For companies that weathered the storm, new challenges now lie ahead. The most significant hurdles include the following:

  • Keeping employees engaged in a remote culture
  • Providing managers with skills on how to manage remote workers successfully
  • Holding employees accountable in a remote environment 
Archbright offers courses to address these new workplace needs so companies can move full speed ahead into the new year.

To keep employees engaged in a remote culture, Archbright University recommends the following classes:

  • Building Interpersonal Awareness with DiSC®: After completing this course, participants will identify their DiSC® style and explore priorities that drive them. Acknowledging how each person’s DiSC® style contributes to the organization increases productivity and bridges gaps between employees in the workplace.

  • Emotional Intelligence at Work: Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and effectively manage emotions in ourselves and with others. In this course, participants will engage in hands-on exercises and proven techniques to connect with each other, reduce stress, and improve performance. 

To provide managers with skills to manage a remote workforce, Archbright recommends:

  • Stay Connected: Managing Virtual Teams: In this interactive class, managers and supervisors learn valuable techniques for managing virtual teams. Three key areas are covered to give leaders the tools they need to keep a team connected and productive: Communicate More and More Often, Manage Deliverables and Deadlines, and Nurture People and Relationships.

  • Management Fundamentals: After completing this course, participants will learn to improve communication with employees at all levels of an organization. An objective, results-based feedback template is introduced and practiced in interactive breakout sessions. This three-day intensive course also covers coaching, delegation, and teamwork.

Finally, to increase leaders’ abilities to hold others accountable in a remote environment, Archbright offers the following courses:

  • Holding Others Accountable for Great Performance: In this course, participants will learn a five-step approach for holding others accountable so that they can be counted on to deliver great team performance and results.

  • Time Management: Participants will take their “to do” list through a four-step time management process to clarify priorities, choose activities to build long-term success, do the right tasks at the best time of the day, and create a schedule that will result in greater productivity and increased personal satisfaction. They will also learn strategies for managing interruptions and overcoming procrastination. This course is recommended for both managers and   individual contributors.

Moving Forward

As we reflect on the last two years, there is much to mourn and much to celebrate. History provides insight into what’s to come if we persevere and adapt to the changing times. Providing employees with strong skills will ensure they are at the forefront of the new era, and with that comes innovation and engagement.

Discover other Archbright University classes at Archbright.com/store. For more information on our other courses or about hosting a private team training, please contact info@archbright.com.

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