How does workplace learning look like in the future? For L&D or Learning and Development, it certainly means that they may largely remain a virtual function. What does being a “virtual L&D function” actually mean and what tools do you need to fulfill this function? There is no need for shiny new learning platforms, rather it can be more about making good and effective use of the tools you already have in the house.
So here are some points L&D can learn from 2020 to take them into 2021 and beyond.
Make it short:
Live virtual training has taken off this year out of necessity, as L&D scrambled to deliver their offerings online. But many workers ended up with “Zoom fatigue” as they spent many hours in their day moving from web meeting to web training and back to the web meeting.
So, if there is a pressing need for a live virtual training session, then keep it short and sweet and as engaging as possible. But first, consider whether it is the best way to train your people. There are many other options as I’ll mention below.
To be responsive to organizational needs, it’ll also be important to keep things as simple as possible. So rather than creating sophisticated e-courses, the focus should be on creating resources quickly and in simple formats using standard Office tools like Word and PowerPoint. There’s so much you can do with them, and they are very familiar tools.
Work from home has given many people new freedom that they have not enjoyed before, i.e., the autonomy to carry out their jobs in a way that suits them. They may want to retain as much of this autonomy as possible as they return to the workplace, and they might not want to return to a regimented approach to training, they may want to continue to learn in their own ways.
So this does not mean personalizing learning for them, but supporting them to personalize the way they access and use resources – whether it be online/offline or on different devices, as well as use as much (or as little as they need).
It will be important to empower individuals to make decisions about their own professional goals and how they can address them themselves, rather than applying a broad and generic approach to company training.
Finally, look at the big picture. Every market is changing, the importance of L&D is only going to increase in the coming years. Maintaining your employees’ mental health and empowering their basic digital skills is going to be crucial for your organization.