How do you train junior staff remotely?


With the new world of work from training to education, the way new staff are trained has changed completly.

Now there are two big shifts currently shaping the agency landscape for both bosses and workers. LLet’s see what these are and how to overcome the new issues CEO’s are facing.

With a very gradual return to offices in the US and UK, and a lot of hiring activity. While some businesses clearly hope for a return to a 2019-flavored normal, many are offering staff hybrid work set-ups of a variety of stripes – something many staff will welcome.

But there is an issue here, particularly for younger or less experienced staff. Prior to the pandemic, most training was done on the job, over the shoulder of someone more senior, which isn’t replicated so well by screen sharing. So what are agencies doing do persuade potential – and existing – staff of their capacity to invest in and develop their skills? And can that be done effectively away from the office?

How do you solve a problem like… training junior staff remotely?

We asked a number of bosses both in the US and the UK (Our largest readership areas) at MarkMeets.

The lack of learning by osmosis is particularly tough on junior colleagues and new joiners. So at the start of the pandemic we launched Leo’s Learns, a training program that sees staff deliver a learning topic to the whole agency on a bi-weekly basis. We even had our Axa client deliver a session on ‘good client-agency relationships’ and they have since asked us to deliver some of the sessions to their own people.

It has been a resounding success, not only because of the value in the content in itself but because the sessions bring people from different departments and account teams together, to learn, share and interact with each other as a collective. In many ways, the opportunity to bring people together for learning and training has been as valuable as the training itself. We’ll continue the Leo’s Learns series indefinitely, hopefully in person once this awful pandemic begins to recede.

All junior staff have a formal mentor to help them with their development, but we also have informal buddy systems and, of course, our employee networks.

We have a comprehensive learning agenda through our Academy, which has predominantly shifted towards online learning. Our apprentices are supported through our partnership with Bauer and peer networks to share learning. Our current creative Pipers have just been set a challenge which they’ve worked on together entirely remotely, with mentors available to them every step of the way.

With less time being spent in the office, trust is crucial to help develop the skills and career paths of junior staff. Our junior project manager has been given lots of responsibility, running her own clients since the start of the pandemic when her more senior colleague left. She has plenty of support to counter the isolating effects of remote working, with regular coaching and a mentor who she has a weekly chat with to help her grow into a more senior role. We regularly check in with clients to make sure they’re happy and our processes are working well. And I personally make time at least twice a week to be in the office with the team.

Hybrid working is a huge benefit for many employees, but it does mean that we have to be much more deliberate and structured around people development. At another businss they are extending availability of formal learning programs to more early careers staff, including apprenticeships which afford nationally recognized qualifications.

These give employees an opportunity to spend 20% of their time on their development, which can be completed remotely or in the office. Our teams are also working together to create ’team charters’, which clarify how, when, where and why teams will come together in person, including for the onboarding, reboarding and training of colleagues.

Author Profile

Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
Latest entries

Leave a Reply