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Empowering Professional Growth in a Remote Work Setting

Happy company team members

With its increasing popularity, remote work comes with a wide array of benefits centering around flexibility and cohesion with the human element of our workforce. It has also moved the needle for ways we think about productivity and talent development – namely, virtual learning. There are skeptics who believe that remote work impedes career development and upskilling. But at CRIO, we prove this wrong. We’re empowering professional growth in a remote work setting by providing a comprehensive program that thrives off a simple methodology: active learner engagement.

Interactive Trainings

Whether participants are new to CRIO or have been here for years, they know our trainings will be highly interactive and fun. We’ve done away with “death by PowerPoint,” where eyes glaze over as a presenter regurgitates information on slides. Instead, CRIO presenters use a variety of virtual facilitation tactics to drive home complex concepts and teach through a wide lens of different learning styles. Additionally, every member of Team CRIO has an abundance of opportunities to fast-track their career growth through supplemental trainings (learn at your own pace), individualized growth plans as a part of our bi-annual performance process, or bi-weekly 1-on-1s with their direct manager. How do we do this? By using remote work to our advantage.

Learning Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of remote learning is flexibility. Team members can learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. Instead of spending an hour or more in the car commuting to the office, we encourage team members to carve out that time to take courses that advance their current knowledge base. Additionally, we provide a full library of internal and external training materials to encourage collaborative knowledge sharing with other team members. Most of these are recorded sessions from one of the biggest learning initiatives of CRIO culture: Development Weeks.

CRIO Development Weeks

Development Weeks happen once every quarter and serve as an internal “virtual conference” dedicated to evangelizing knowledge from some of our top Subject Matter Experts. They range in topics from general industry trends to technical skills and are facilitated in a highly-interactive format. Participants have the opportunity to practice skills in real-time, answer fun questions in virtual polls and other activities, hold brainstorming sessions in breakout rooms, and even compete in fun learning games. Facilitators are trained on how to utilize various remote tooling to increase engagement throughout their respective presentations. The result? Collaboration. An overall raised baseline of knowledge. Decreased risk of critical knowledge loss. Career development.

Overcoming Challenges

We do need to address what are the challenges of remote learning. We believe the biggest challenge is the absence of on-the-spot job shadowing with the ability to ask questions. Can our team lean over the desk to pick the brain of their coworker? No. But we acknowledge this challenge as an opportunity to increase the lines of communication between instructors, SMEs and learners. At CRIO, we spend a lot of the day interacting cross-functionally on Slack and intentionally create forums to spark these types of conversations. We have pages dedicated to providing resources and fostering connection through discussion threads. We make time for these virtual watercooler moments, because we know how critical they are to continuous learning.

Final Thoughts

So, if you were to ask CRIO if working remotely hindered internal growth, we would wholeheartedly say no. To the contrary, the virtual world has opened the door to more opportunities for Learning & Development than in the legacy office environment.

by Jennifer Beattie Senior Director of People & Culture
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