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Businesses around the world are quickly adapting to new working environments during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many companies pivoted to online remote work to ensure business continuity while protecting workers from potential exposure. Conducting business-as-usual also means continuing to focus on employee development, not letting learning and development fall to wayside. For businesses shifting to online remote work, now is the time to use technology for learning and development opportunities.
Learning and development continue to be a key strategy to unlock employees’ growth potential. According to a report from Manpower Group that surveyed U.S.-based employees, learning and development are part of a holistic needs structure that leads to employee success. A report from LinkedIn revealed that this growth starts with leadership, where CEOs and managers should lead the way in learning and development initiatives.
When remote online work is a requirement to ensure employee safety, strategies that meet their L&D needs are crucial to continue their growth. The first strategy is likely a no-brainer: switch to online learning options. Scaling learning from in-person to online is an efficient way to reach audiences who may be used to the in-person touch. Using a mix of micro learning, virtual sessions, and simulations is a way to leverage technology to meet learning needs.
For online sessions, a strategy from McKinsey is to give online learning sessions the “in-person feel.” Proper technology tests and sending materials in advance before the session help smooth the way for the session when it begins. During the session, engage the audience through polls and chats, as well as virtual breakout rooms, keeping the learning going. Any hiccups encountered can be addressed after the session ends, but continue the learning with follow-ups and participant feedback.
Another strategy from ATD is to curate learning experiences that focus on soft skills, as emotions are running high during this time. Leaders can teach these skills, or simply focus on the need “to listen actively, show empathy, and meet the personal and practical needs of each person.” Business leaders can also consider taking a page or two from the teachers’ book. Strategies being used by teachers include providing clear communication to learners, providing robust learning that addresses clear learning objectives, and choosing to the right tools and sticking with them.
For the mobility industry , the Worldwide ERC® Learning Portal offers a collection of online professional development courses and learning options that enable mobility professionals to expand their industry knowledge, earn badges and pursue continuing education credits. Skill building is also available through an investment Worldwide ERC® has made in LinkedIn Learning for premium subscribers.
These strategies are starting points for companies who want to provide learning and development opportunities to their employees as they pivot to online remote work. Doing so boosts professional growth in a time of business uncertainty. And above all, it ensures that employees come out of this crisis stronger and more skilled to tackle new challenges when the global crisis comes to an end.
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