Encourage self-learning in remote working
Generally companies can simply group and "send" employees for training. This is impossible in Buffer's case. The team is spread over the entire planet and cannot do so, for obvious reasons of cost and culture.
How can employees' telework skills be developed with a very high level of autonomy?
Buffer has developed several methods to allow everyone to develop their skills independently from home.
Buffer offers a Kindle and unlimited unrestricted access to the Amazon library to each new employee
No instructions or limitations are given on the nature of the reading. The objective here is to promote autonomy in order to increase motivation in self-learning. And it seems to work, since in 2016, the Buffer team read 1,366 books on their Kindles (on average 17 books per person).
Offer a 20 dollar/euro apprenticeship ticket
Each team member can choose to spend his/her 20 dollars/euros to learn more about whatever they want. Thus, Buffer aims to encourage all types of learning: training on key skills, personal development, etc.
Buffer's stated objective is not to freely give a lot of money to their employees but to let people know that self-learning is important at Buffer and that it must be developed.
Create a HelpBoard
Buffer has created a page where each member can share their skill needs. This way, anyone can come up to help and facilitate the sharing of competences within the teams.
Buffer is experimenting with putting groups together to learn the same things. For example, Buffer regularly organizes a "Learning to Code" group.
Professional Development Fridays
Buffer allows its employees to reserve their Friday afternoons to develop their own professional skills (once the tasks of the week are completed).