Workplace Training During COVID-19

As we know, the pandemic has broken out for almost two years and hit all four corners of the world. Reacting first to the “unpredicted chaos,” and now to “the new normal,” companies across industries have seen a profound shift away from traditional ways of working to online workspaces. As a result, online training was in high demand, although assumed to be a temporary approach to the ongoing crisis. However, at the moment, since the Omicron variant is rewriting the COVID plan for 2022, the need for long-term online training plans is more urgent than ever. With that being said, rather than adapting training online, having a roadmap for online workplace training is a must.

A Shift To Reskilling Training

Companies have made a substantial move toward skill building throughout the epidemic. Situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, necessitate a shake-up in the skilling paradigm. To head off fast-moving and uncertain conditions, companies are approaching the end goal by different methods, including hiring, contracting, redeploying, releasing, and building skills. Among all these, skill building is the most commonplace, and more prevalent than it was prior to the pandemic.

According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, 69% of organizations are doing more skill building now than they did before the COVID-19 crisis. In 2021, the Great Resignation also witnessed more breakups between employees and companies than ever. Apart from the wish for an increase in pay, one of the most popular root causes recorded was the “desire to learn new skills.” Consequently, to tackle the current situation, companies are also considering skill development to respond not only to the COVID-19 crisis but also to the workforce crisis.

3 Skilling Trends That Are Anticipated To Accelerate

Since the business landscape has gradually transformed to digitization, chief learning officers may revitalize their learning organizations by developing digital training programs and forming an ecosystem of learning partners to generate and distribute digital material to a large number of workers quickly. They’ll need to grasp 3 trends to accomplish this.

1. The Distance Economy Requires Specific Skills

Despite referring to skill building in general, each sector needs to customize training programs to meet the new demands from the market. Regarding the healthcare system, clinicians must learn how to make distant diagnoses that are both effective and safe.

Take Intelycare, a company that provides training courses for nursing students, for example. When scaling its business from local to nationwide, Intelycare had to deal with training problems and the impact of the pandemic. By choosing animation as the creative approach and partnering with an in-field expert, Intelycare has successfully provided medical concepts without squandering too much money and time. Similarly, since there has been an increase in mortgage refinance applications, employees in banks were required to train in empathy as they had to assist upset clients in using digital technologies and new goods and services.

2. Imbalances In Talent Supply And Demand

While shortening physical interactions, COVID-19 has welcomed a variety of new home-based trends. In China, eCommerce shopping is becoming the most dominant way of buying during the pandemic era. Similarly, in the United States, retail and hospitality-and-food-service industries account for 42% of risky positions, but other industries, such as supermarkets, are adding 2 million to 3 million more people. This is why many companies are laying off massively, while a lot are struggling to hire new employees. On that, digital talent-marketplace platforms came to save the day, enabling businesses to bridge the supply-demand gap.

3. Changes To Supply Chains

As end consumers are longing for necessary and emergent gadgets, the crisis may force supply chains to be restructured. Businesses need to adjust to decide which skills are needed where.

The Recipe For The Right Skill Transformation

There are countless routes to the finishing line, but our approach to skill transformation includes 9 key practices which are divided into 3 main stages: evaluation, strategy building, and execution.

  • Evaluation includes identifying skill shortages, calculating supply, and gauging demand.
  • Strategy building includes designing a portfolio of initiatives, designing a tailored learning journey, and deciding on the learning infrastructure.
  • Execution includes launching a learning hub, delivering a skill transformation at scale, and tracking effectiveness.

These 9 steps that we’ve covered are the basics of getting the right training development plan. In the context of the pandemic, however, your company must consider your own skill-building challenges as well as the company’s budget first and then choose which stage of the model to put more effort into, both practically and economically. During COVID-19, older people are being forced out of labor at alarmingly high rates, which poses a great threat to many companies with a large number of older workers.

To engage the older workforce in the skilling movements, companies should make certain that these elder employees have access to the training and opportunities available to them. For instance, Microsoft took a unique step toward building an age-inclusive workplace. In March 2020, it organized a free virtual event called “Include,” in which leaders discussed the initiatives toward supporting older workers, such as flexible work hours, sabbaticals, and retraining. Keep in mind that implementing models in real business needs a lot of customization.

Adopt New Training Methods And Technologies Instead Of The Temporary “Zoom Meeting”

As mentioned above, the training scenario is taking place mainly in the internet environment. Instead of being dependent on Zoom meetings which face unstable connections and number restrictions, companies are investing more budget on technology trends. Here are the 5 most effective employee training methods Learning and Development (L&D) departments are going for that you may find helpful.

1. App-Based Training

The trend began with children’s learning applications that made it simple for them to learn new languages and improve their math abilities. As individuals became more aware of the high success rates and benefits of these mobile applications, it was only a matter of time before businesses decided to enter the app market to embrace learning and skill development.

Some optimized functions of apps include learning from anywhere and at any time and high scalability which allows an unlimited number of learners to join a training course at the same time. To illustrate, LGT SmartBanking was born when the private banking and asset management firm LGT sought to equip its employees with a mobile workforce app that allowed them access to corporate services and personalized information. Smart banking was able to interact with legacy systems and enable long-term expansion and growth as a flexible mobile workforce app.

2. Animation

The use of animation in eLearning is increasing and undoubtedly beneficial. The difference between normal training videos and animation-based videos is that animation can add a little extra to the content, luring learners to believe that they are binge-watching a series while still immersed within the learning environment. By creating training courses with good storytelling and relevant content simulating real scenarios, animation can increase learners’ engagement and knowledge retention.

3. Interactive Training

The third in this rundown list of the 5 most popular training methods for employees is interactive learning. This type of eLearning encourages learners to participate actively in their own learning through interaction. During training, employees must not only listen, read, or watch the presentations; they must also communicate, respond, and practice. By being focused and interested through continuous activities in interactive learning, it is easier for employees to remember and learn more efficiently. VR content, frequent quizzes, and gamification are great examples of interactive learning.

If you were ever obsessed with the interactive films on Netflix, you know what we mean. With the permission to decide the destiny of characters through your clicks, when the results came in watchers had to dig deep into their choices. If they redid their choices from the beginning, there would be different results, and now they had to reflect on the whole cause-effect. When applied to training, the expectations remain the same, which means if learners redo the courses again and again and receive different outcomes, each with their own reflection, they will remember the knowledge comprehensively.

To reduce onboarding time, Domino’s developed the Pizza Maker course, a gamified training course that uses simulations to engage, analyze, and reward employees throughout the learning process. The games helped new employees memorize the menu sooner and create more accurate pizzas faster by introducing incentivization that motivated them to attempt to better previous scores.

4. Experiential Learning

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