The coronavirus crisis has driven global business to go remote, in a way facilitating a dry run scamper for working remotely at a global scale. And, as businesses abide by social-distancing norms and postpone/ cancel their workplace activities, employee skilling has become one of the hardest-hit initiatives across the world.
According to McKinsey, nearly half of in-person (learning) activities have now been postponed or canceled in North America, while the figure is almost closer to 100% in Europe and Asia. Whatever the case, it is clear that companies just cannot put employee development on the backburner, be it reskilling particular teams or achieve a company-wide skill transformation. While companies strive to ensure employee safety first, they simply can’t pull the plug on workplace learning.
As a good part of the global workforce will be working remotely for the first time ever, it puts unprecedented pressure on adjusting to a whole new work environment, and at the same time, maintaining the same levels of productivity, and more. Equipped with the right knowledge and awareness of remote working, employees are sure to adjust to the new norm. And, a major part of this is through effective courses and videos, both for the employer as well as employees.
Continuous Skilling for the Remote Employees
Given that in-person training session are a big no-no in these times, the best and the most effective option available out there is online learning through learning technology solutions like the learning management systems and online content libraries that boast a multitude of ready-to-use courses.
While it might be too early to predict how COVID-19 will affect the rapid adoption of digital learning, it is clear that employees’ safety takes precedence over cost as the major driver for digital learning. And, for L&D pros it offers a blessing in disguise to finally make a case for online learning and promote the adoption of learning technology and digital learning. It can serve as a reminder to employees that their professional development doesn’t need to stop in this crisis.
Speaking about the importance of providing continuous opportunities to upskill and reskill the workforce, especially in the face of constant disruption, Pascal Debordes, Director of Global Channels & Alliances at Cegos, one of Europe’s premier eLearning organizations, explains, “We all know that upskilling and reskilling are critical for the performance of any company. I would put the emphasis on the importance of soft skills in the extraordinary circumstances we’re experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re experiencing a huge disruption due to the impact of coronavirus on our lives and on our economies. Perhaps we’re switching to a ‘new world’ with deep changes to the way we live and work. Experts are predicting less globalization, less travelling, and more remote working, but there is no certainty about the impact at this stage. What we do know is that soft skills, like emotional intelligence or co-operation and teamworking will strengthen our resilience. In the coming months, companies will have to review if they have the right leadership and soft skills to cope with the changes they face.”
Furthermore, the COVID-19 crisis has also put more emphasis on digital transformation as a must-have to enable remote working. As businesses rapidly move to remote working environments, they will have to be ready to face the oncoming challenges of digital transformation to ensure business continuity by providing skilling opportunities in the form of courses and learning technology to their remote employees.
We discuss all this, and more, on our latest episode of TTalks titled ‘Continuous Skilling in times of Remote Everything’ with Pranjalee Lahri (AVP Marketing) and Mugdha Naik (HR Manager).