Upskilling your teams when traditional classroom approaches aren’t feasible

Published: May 15, 2020 by Andrew Gilson, Head of Training. Global Decision Analytics

woman taking part in training on her laptop

Over the past couple of months, every business, regardless of industry, has had to quickly find its bearings. This level of disruption is unprecedented; we may never see anything of this magnitude again in our lifetime.

While urgent, the immediate needs created in the wake of the global pandemic shouldn’t be met with one-and-done solutions. It’s imperative that the solutions you offer not only enable your customers to manage the immediate crisis but also help you support them as they assimilate into the “new normal.” There’s therefore this added pressure for businesses to equip their teams with the necessary tools and knowledge to continue serving customers in a dynamic environment. It doesn’t take long to get left behind with new solutions, and new challenges, emerging on a regular basis. You have to keep up with the times so you can adapt your response to whatever is necessary and retain your value to your customers.

How do you upskill your teams when traditional training is not an option?

As Plato put it well before the Covid-19 pandemic turned our world upside down, a need or problem encourages creative efforts to overcome the challenge it presents. Recent research shows that companies that may have deferred their intended investment in training, are now resuming that commitment in order to meet new demands in this increasingly digital ecosystem:

  • In an ILX Group survey, 51 percent of HR decision-makers said that ongoing digital learning has a direct effect on boosting employee morale, satisfaction, and longevity. ​
  • A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that microlearning makes learning 17 percent more effective, and Software Advice reports that microlearning engages over 50 percent of participants. ​
  • A study conducted by Brandon Hall found that digital learning requires 40 to 60 percent less employee time than classroom training. ​
  • The Research Institute of America reports that learning retention rates improve from 8 to 10 percent for face-to-face training to 25 to 60 percent for digital learning. ​
  • IBM research found that for every dollar you invest in digital learning, the result is $30 in productivity, mostly because employees save a lot of time through online learning and are able to resume work and apply the new skills faster. ​

Taking advantage of technology to make knowledge accessible at the point of need

As with the majority of our day-to-day activities, learning solutions now must be facilitated outside of a physical environment, such as the workplace or classroom. Having access to digital knowledge and training resources gives your teams enhanced flexibility to keep their skills up to date at their own pace, whether they are at home or in the office.

Over the years, we’ve seen that offering learners training in multiple formats improves the overall success of the training, including enabling greater flexibility – offering different modalities is more likely to meet learner’s preferences – work clarity and job satisfaction.

While your business may still be operating in a fog of uncertainty, ensuring access to the right tools and knowledge would give your team higher confidence in their ability to be of service, minimizing business disruption during this turbulent time.

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