The pandemic has changed traditional learning paradigms. In this article, I outline how you must evolve training strategy responses to deal with this new world and how the expertise of an eLearning solutions provider can help in this transformation.
How the Pandemic Has Redefined the Workplace and Expectations from L&D Teams
The pandemic has changed workplace dynamics to predominantly work from home (WFH). The gradual reopening of workplaces has added an additional change to back-to-work (BTW) strategies. All indications are that we’re unlikely to see a predominantly in-office working model for a while yet. It’s very likely that a hybrid workplace model – part WFH and partly BTW – will be the norm for the foreseeable future.
Given these changing workplace dynamics, what are the asks from L&D teams, and what challenges do they face in managing what remote learners expect?
- New Challenges and Focus Areas – Learning teams have had to evolve how they deliver training as a result of new business models – from the gig economy to Zoom training and from office hoteling to hot desking. Learners want in-the-workflow learning, learning on demand, and multi-platform (tablets, smartphones, desktops, laptop) enabled learning, and easily digestible content. A multi-generational workforce has added to those challenges, sophistication, and complexity of learning solutions.
- The Need to Reorient and Innovate to Make It Work in the New World of Work – Because of these challenges and new focus areas, no longer is it feasible for L&D teams to either let the status quo prevail or use traditional approaches to training. Organizations must innovate and reorient their training strategies – just as they’ve pivoted to embrace new business models – in order to make training work in the new world.
- What the Future Dynamics Require – It might be an overstretch to expect existing L&D teams to immediately redefine themselves to deliver in this new paradigm. In-house L&D teams can no longer support all aspects of training to deliver learning in the new hybrid workplace model.
One way for businesses to position themselves for a vaccine-levered recovery is to leverage the expertise of an outside eLearning solutions provider and eLearning consultants to seamlessly match performance with new expectations.
What Organizations Seek and What Factors Drive Corporate Learning Strategies
Organizations today are looking not only for a robust learning strategy but also tools to support the execution of that strategy and the ability to establish a value proposition from delivering their learning strategies. Some compelling factors that drive improvement to organizational learning strategies include:
- Improve Learner Engagement – Learner engagement is the key to knowledge transfer and its application in the workplace. Prevailing training strategies must evolve to improve learner engagement.
- Create a Stronger Link Between Learning and Performance – The ultimate goal of training is to improve performance – individually and on an organizational level. To validate a training model requires that L&D teams are able to demonstrate strong links between learning and resulting performance improvement.
- Better Measurement – While the corporate LMS does provide valuable metrics – enrollment, retention rates, drop-out stats, completion rates, and so on – they also collect a lot of data that might not be relevant. It’s vital to know what to measure and why and what those measurements will tell us. New business models require better data and measurement criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of training strategies.
- Technology – The right training tools and technology can be a significant change-enabler by impacting a company’s core practices, workflows, and other critical business practices. While delivering a competitive edge to training, the challenge for learning organizations, however, is assessing technology readiness, including the ability to support it and ensuring technology doesn’t have a deleterious impact on training.
How to Empower In-house L&D with an eLearning Solutions Provider
It is unlikely that in-house L&D teams have all the expertise and skills to quickly and effectively pivot and respond to the new era of corporate training needs. One way to respond and benefit from the best of two worlds – in-house knowledge and additional experience and expertise – is to empower in-house teams with industry partnerships with an experienced eLearning solutions provider. Here’s how:
- Identify core services that you want to retain in-house. Only do what you do best and leverage an eLearning solution provider’s expertise for the rest.
- Discuss and debate what you should let go. Not everything that was done earlier is important now. Doing so relieves in-house staff of non-value-add tasks, which time they may then redirect to value-enhancing functions.
- Identify areas of leverage – triage the services you can scale (do faster and better) with a strategic L&D partner. Their (eLearning solutions provider) broad-based industry experience coupled with in-house teams’ proprietary knowledge is a willing recipe for success.
- Build strategic relations with L&D partners. Leverage the expertise of the partner to address new challenges and focus areas. eLearning consultants bring exceptional value in critical L&D functionality, including demonstrating value for effort, improving remote employee engagement, training impact measurement, and developing an org-wide learning culture.
Value of Working with an eLearning Solutions Provider
Partnering with an eLearning solutions provider is a matter of delegation and not relegation. Outsourcing your eLearning needs is a great solution to not just support what’s required now, but to also prepare your organization for what’s to come in the immediate and foreseeable future.
- Your L&D team will spend months learning to pivot to address the training needs of your company. Partners can help accelerate that transformation and address the needs of the new work world.
- As your in-house needs grow, adding more L&D staff might be difficult and costly – and may not be the right answer. Partnerships provide instant yet cost-effective scalability.
- While your partners shoulder most of your L&D responsibilities, take that time to reinvent and refocus your own in-house teams to better deliver core services and support priority areas.
- Get a head-start by addressing challenges and issues that you haven’t encountered yet – but your partners have already solved those at other businesses.
- Leverage your eLearning service providers’ global and cross-industry experience and expertise. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Bypass the costly experimentation cycle and benefit from mature, tested processes.
- Drive training innovation. Benefit from industry-leading best practices in launching and running L&D programs.
- Access end-to-end lifecycle support. This spans the entire training workflow, from concept and creation to rollout, evaluation and measurement, and result-improving optimization.
The global health crisis has dramatically changed how we work, from primarily in-office to predominantly virtual, to now an evolution into a hybrid model. As a result, the asks of L&D teams to support the learning needs of the new hybrid model have also changed. No longer can in-house teams “do it all” – they’re increasingly relying on eLearning solutions providers’ experience and knowledge.
I hope this article provides the requisite cues on how L&D teams can use the expertise of an eLearning solutions provider to create effective learning programs.
- eBook: Creating Value Through Outsourcing – How L&D Teams Can Leverage Strategic Partnerships to Meet the Enhanced Expectations from the Business
- 3 Microlearning Strategies to Promote Learning in the Flow of Work
- Planning for Success: Focus Areas for Training and Development Strategy in 2021
- How to Identify the Right Training KPIs for Your Learning and Development Programs
- How to Create Learning Journeys that Deliver Engaging Remote Trainings and Improve Employee Performance
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