As Covid-19 takes its course worldwide, companies must reevaluate their operational structures for both the short and long terms. Remote work is becoming an institutionalized arrangement for a significant proportion of firms. These pandemic-driven disruptions unsettle employees as they adjust to uncertainty.
For senior management across sectors, employee training during the pandemic holds utmost urgency because of this one truth:
Employee training helps companies navigate troubling times.
With no sign of an immediate and comprehensive return to a pre-Covid normal, Chief Learning Officers must reassess their training modules and delivery systems. Trainers will have to adapt to the opportunities and challenges of online learning frameworks. As companies repurpose their training objectives and content, the following 5 steps can help ease the transition for employee training during the global pandemic.
Identify vulnerable sections in the workplace
Not all employee groups are equally affected by Covid-19. For example, the frontline staff of most industries face unequal challenges when compared to backend employees. For this reason, companies have to identify the most vulnerable groups and prioritize their training.
This might mean ignoring traditional workplace hierarchies in order to help those with greater needs. Employees may have to be batched across divisions, based on their degree of exposure to the disruptions.
Reassess the modules trainers create
The skillsets of the future might change from those of the immediate past.
Rather than living in the past, trainers can use this time as an opportunity to realign their modules to suit the demands of this newly emerging work culture. Cross-training, reskilling, and upskilling will have to be rolled out across specializations, in sync with the overall corporate objectives.
Behavioral support and training modules should be given special emphasis.
Accept asynchronous progress
As the pandemic has upended traditional workflow structures and routines, employee training progress may look different for now. As employees acclimatize to working from homes, their varying circumstances impact their learning styles.
While some may be able to maintain a rigorous learning program, most will demand flexibility. Online training programs that adjust to this asynchronous training culture will demonstrate the most efficacy.
Encourage lateral connections
Office connections have never been more important than during these periods of social isolation. Along with mentorship opportunities, trainers should encourage employees to make connections for mutual support.
Employees need to feel connected to their colleagues and realize that they are all in this together. Behavioral skill training can play a major role in shaping those connections.
Adopt mobile-first learning practices
Training staff in companies must implement and benefit from the advantages of digitization. Specifically, a mobile-first approach in corporate training has the potential to align with the altered working conditions of employees. It also gives them the freedom to be mobile, even in limited spaces.
Learning doesn’t have to stop during the pandemic, if corporate trainers can tailor their content and delivery channels to fit the new reality. Training is also an excellent tool to make employees feel connected to the organization. At an individual level, training can help them feel focused, confident and productive during these trying times. When companies get back to normal working conditions, a retrained workforce becomes an invaluable asset.