While we have hit the pause button on traditional face to face classroom learning, virtual learning has stepped into take charge.
In order to safeguard employees and practice social distancing against the Coronavirus, organisations have put all conferences, and in person trainings on hold. Ironically, when times are hard, be it a pandemic or a recessionary period, the first department to be subjected to cost cutting is learning and developmet; we need to ask why? The answer quite simply is because a lot of organisations consider learning to be a ‘’nice to have’’ and not a ‘’need to have’’. This culture and mindset needs to change completely! If you don’t learn, you don’t grow and there can be no debates about this. Instead of not learning at all, during periods of slower economic activity and in order to ensure that the organizational capability is uninterrupted and continuous, virtual learning is the way to go!
‘’Employee safety first’’ is the right thing to do, but business units and organisations must recognise how critical workplace learning is at all times. To continue the learning cycle, leaders must have a water tight plan to protect employees, adapt programs and delivery and launching and developing virtual learning. The digital and virtual learning programs were already on the rise before the Coronavirus erupted, and there has been a significant take up of such learning programs, which younger employees predominantly prefer. What we need to do now is to zone in on the strategies and tactics on how to ensure that the organizational learning is seamless.
There are several strategic measures, that managers can embrace and cultivate during this time of social distancing. The stronger learning capabilities that develop, especially in a digital world, could be the silver lining in these challenging times.
The following six best-practice actions, from the immediate and tactical to the strategic, can maintain the momentum and benefits that organisations can reap from workplace-learning programs. They can also help build a new foundation for effective virtual learning. These six actions are:
1. Form a learning-response team
Key stakeholders need to recognize the importance of continuous learning from an individual to an organizational level and ensure that all related resources are
2. Employee protection in-person programs
Social distancing is the new normal and while we adhere to all related guidelines, we need to protect employees while they learn.
3. Adapting delivery
Delivery needs to be conducive to the learner’s capabilities, skillsets, accessible and it should be enjoyable.
4. Sponsoring digital learning
Every change will only be as effective as long as it’s being promoted across the organization and sponsored by the senior management; if it isn’t, it will never take off.
5. Exploring different digital strategies
Question what you need to do, and explore, develop and customize the multiple avenues of digital strategies that are at your disposal. Create a story, develop your goals, develop your content strategy and calendar, plan your resources and continuously measure your progress.
6. Practicing and preparing for multiple results
Practice makes perfect and you can only manage what you measure. If there is consistent support from management, HR and learning and development teams, the learning culture is what will support employees and they will eventually excel at digital and virtual learning. Keep measuring the effectiveness of your digital strategies to keep checks and balances on your progress.
Oakwood International have introduced a blended learning platform called ”Workshop Without Walls” which supports our alumni, current and future student’s learning journey. Our Workshops Without Walls ensure that these opportunities are uninterrupted in these challenging times. To find out more, please visit www.oakwooddubai.ae/workshops-without-walls/
Thank you for reading.