Throughout history, there have been many crisis which have changed the way we live – a new way of life results as a result. Often, new innovations are a by-product of people’s responses to changed lives and circumstances. Similarly, the Covid 19 Pandemic has compelled many businesses to shift gears and respond to the needs of the market. Due to the demands of the Pandemic, the demand and markets for certain products are massive. And therein lies the opportunity for those who are willing to accept change. Many distilleries and pharmaceutical firms have shifted production – they are now manufacturing sanitizers. Textile manufacturers & producers are also producing masks for the people- and as the market evolves, they are adapting the product as required. Herbal products companies are producing herbal hand-sanitizers & masks from herbal raw materials.
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically impacted and continues to impact the way people learn, work and respond – this is a global phenomenon. Since a lot of work is now done from home, in WFH mode, companies have realised that to sustain learning during the pandemic, newer learning approaches are required. Globally, across companies, the L & D (Learning & Development) function across companies is changing gears – digital solutions are being deployed to engage with a remote working force.
As a function, how has Learning & Development across businesses responded to the Pandemic challenges? Organizations that utilise digital platforms have moved easily to virtual learning: while bigger, larger organizations who are used to instructor-led classroom are making a slower transition to online learning. Quite a few companies have rapidly put in place effective WFH programmes, mental health and well-being modules to focus on positive thinking and alignment. As more and more people are at home, they want to leverage this phase to learn about the crisis, their jobs, and things they can do to stay ahead. Already, thinkers are opining that the existing way of learning will not be the only way – the ongoing phase of innovation, experimentation and synergistic collaborative creativity will definitely evolve some lasting changes. Perhaps the reason why a compliance businesses like LegalWiz.in started up with the Partners’ Platform to offer instamojo discount code and other partner benefits to SMEs in the ecosystem.
Josh Bersin staunchly firmly believes that the Covid 19 pandemic has given impetus and momentum to one of the biggest business transformations for many organisations. Undoubtedly it is an economic and health crisis but for many organisations, it is also an incredible opportunity to transform. Bersin has categorically emphasized, “L&D is one of the heroes of this crisis.” A few key takeaways for the L & D from the pandemic:
The New Normal is all about Learning:
As per a survey by the Training Industry, 29% of organizations were planning to increase their budget in e-learning during 2019-20. As remote working becomes the norm and a sizeable segment planning to continue WFH, the investment in e-learning can only go one way – Up. Virtual learning will become the norm. The pandemic has further lent momentum to the need for reskilling and upskilling. Technology increasingly being leveraged means that staff will need to operate it correctly for efficiency. With pandemic’s impact on bottom-lines, team-size will shrink and collaborative working, project-based tasks will become mainstream. What can emerge is a new culture of continuous training and learning.
An interesting L&D trend that has emerged due to the pandemic, is how people are using social learning methods. Social learning does not depend on the traditional framework learning – it is based on new behaviours developed by imitating or observing others. Organizations willing to develop newer approaches in L& D will adopt social learning methods during the WFH phase, tabulate their effectiveness and rework their approach to L&D.
Revise the Learning Methods:
It is a great opportunity, amidst the pandemic, to transforming learning – this will help to work effectively in the new normal. Coaches, L&D practitioners view this as an opportunity to try and experiment with newer approaches for developing people. Because of the constraints of the new normal, digital learning is gaining traction, even making inroads into traditional companies. As expectations and the very nature of work changes, so must approaches to learning. Organizations must harness these opportunities – when people are willing to learn new ways to cope and are receptive. Technologies are available and new methods are upon us – it is for organizations to seize the advantage to instil a pro-learning culture.
Digital is the way of the future:
WFH and remote working have accelerated the pace of digital transformation – indeed, regardless of industry, technology in one form or the other will be there. Collaborative tools that facilitate seamless interaction and shared projects, virtual conferences, video conferences, etc…are common including the passing of resolution by circulation amidst the pandemic. Maybe not all technologies are relevant – business leaders should identify those which are useful and take it forward from there. Digital is the way forward and companies would ignore it at their peril.
There is no telling when the Pandemic will end – this is precisely the time to seize the opportunity to experiment, innovate and implement that which works. Approaching these changes with an L&D mindset can help transform for the better. This can well be L&D’s moment in the sun.