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Undeniably, the coronavirus pandemic drastically affected our working lives in the last 10-12 months. The sudden and overwhelming switch to working and learning from home has been a challenge … but has actually presented some opportunity, too. Yes, that is kind of difficult to wrap our heads around!
Professional development and on-the-job training has not become any less important with the shift to remote work. A thorough approach to premier-quality training is more critical than ever, and it can still be successfully achieved!
Here are just some perks that have resulted from the worldwide shift to virtual learning, training, and professional development.
Virtual Training is Now “Normal”
The mindset of what workplace learning “should” look like has dramatically shifted in the last 365 days. The commonplace face-to-face (F2F) learning model has taken a big hit, which led to a natural reliance on online or virtual training solutions to save the day. While e-learning and virtual training have been very successful in the last several years, the idea of learning “online” still carried a stigma until recently. But rather than letting that become a source of contention … organizations and educational institutions have taken a deep dive into making sure virtual training can still pack a big punch and make a positive impact on learners.
Online training videos and webinars are also now more optimized than ever to attract and engage learners. Virtual training is convenient, can be done from the office or home, and can still be measurable. Plus, online training options are easy to update in real time to keep current with the everchanging job market!
Content Quality and Instructor Skills Have Improved
The goal of any instructor is to maximize results and offer a plethora of takeaways for learners to bring back into the real world. F2F learning offers an easier opportunity for instructors to pick up on cues and evaluate how learners are engaged. The instructor can make changes on the fly to accommodate learners seated in front of them. But since changes are done so quickly while the instructor is in “on the spot” … it might not be as effective for learners’ retention.
Virtual learning offers the time for instructors to thoughtfully make changes based off learner feedback. With virtual learning (with or without an instructor), there is now a huge emphasis on instructors constantly checking their courses for quality assurance to make sure the content is accessible and engaging to learners. Conducting surveys immediately after a course or grabbing real-time comments from participants are easy solutions for instructors to act on quickly. This results in winning webinars for everyone involved!
Enhanced Communication and Employee Wellbeing
Although shared physical spaces are limited with the widely adopted work-from-home model, organizations have made it clear that their employees’ learning and development can’t go to the back burner. Clearer and open communication and an emphasis on employees’ well-being is more crucial than ever. Without the reliance on in-person interaction, organizational and school professionals have taken a step back to make employee mental health an intentional and must-have focus in the professional setting.
This also applies to leadership development, which doesn’t stop when there is a pandemic! You can (and should) still be focused on building leaders within your organization. This means ensuring you’re working with high quality tools for performance development, online training and development, and emphasizing corporate values and culture in all communication. It’s no surprise that investing in employees’ well-being will no doubt result in so many positive outcomes.
Looking to the future …
While F2F training will make a comeback, online training and virtual learning are going to be even more commonplace than ever before. Reflecting on the last 10-12 months demonstrates that the shift to online interfaces and virtual training tools will continue to evolve and play a big part of every organization’s L&D programs.
Whether you’re navigating the move from F2F to virtual training or looking for custom training solutions to enhance your program, let’s chat—The Bob Pike Group trainers are ready to help! Contact us today.