COVID has accelerated change at a pace we could never have thought possible. And, the change happened almost overnight, adjusting to a new way of working that was thought to be for the others or to come at some time in the future. For years Companies of all shapes and sizes have been threatening to adopt, bit by bit, some of the trends in learning. Now, unbelievably it is the norm, with it being tagged as the ‘new normal’.
The world of work is disrupted as we speak – from physical presence at work to working from home, meeting clients to closing sales virtually, building networks through conferences to remote networking, and the list goes on!
Is this change temporary or here to stay? Will we go back to where we started and forget that COVID ever impacted our lives, our workspaces? Customer and employee behaviours have changed already! And it is not only the technology that has taken a leapfrog.
New skills have emerged through this crisis situation: Resilience, Compassion and Agility to name but a few – and more are still to come to
the fore. These skills are being learnt not through classrooms but experiences, amidst the time crunch and time lag that the pandemic put us through.
This means that learning is lifelong – a continuous process like change. Some implications of what we are seen are:
Learning must be seen as a continuum: Organisations have had to revisit fundamental aspects of their business and must be ready and amenable to change with the right mindset and new skills to keep looking and making sense of what exists. Organizations will have to continuously sense the changing market dynamics, evolving customer behaviour, gain insights out of those and seek the best way to reach and service.
Focusing on building and driving performance through Resilience: This skill is critical for all going forward – more so than ever before.
Virtual Skills will be imperative: Be it selling skills, networking/ influencing skills, all as were happening in a face to face medium have, and will continue to change to virtual which means a different way to approach customers, gain their trust and sell the products. COVID has indeed accelerated the move to digital and online mediums. And learning will need to evolve to cater to a larger digital world that has more players to compete with and more markets to explore.
Purpose-driven learning is what will be needed: An overdose of Webinars is what Corporate Learning is experiencing. What created excitement early on, is now creating fatigue and saturation. Learning has to link to a purpose, an objective, a need.
Use of design thinking in L&D interventions: In the highly volatile and changing dynamics, a linearly designed structure of learning programs and ecosystems will be redundant and less impactful.
Virtual distribution of learning is here to stay: Technology has enabled learning in a big way! And the present situation has only catalyzed the adoption of technology effectively and one can see more usage of the online delivery mechanisms, that will bring inclusion in whether be it of people in remote places where it took days to travel for a training program or more women inclusion in with more work from home options available.
Microlearning: Attention span is limited and sharper, shorter content will take it all! Instead of long training hours, with the same effectiveness, companies will have to look at content that is byte-sized, effective to capture the employee’s interest and keep people glued.
It’s the time to Reimagine, Reinvent and stay Relevant from business models to people to technology in order to manage the now and stay FutureFit! This is the best time to invest in people, build capabilities, develop leadership with learning interventions being need-based using user journeys, content that suits the audience and learning that makes an impact! After all, people are our competitive edge and the driving force behind every business!