Embracing Workplace Learning and Development in the New Normal

online learning for employees

Learning and development (L&D) remain a priority in the workplace. The new normal heightens its importance, as employees work to stay relevant and connected despite the distance. Modern organizational leaders need to develop creative and engaging ways to keep their employees focused despite the absence of a physical classroom. 

Establishing a Workplace Culture of Continuous Learning

Employers should emphasize the importance of continuous learning and improvement as a core company tenet. While there will be novel challenges that arise during the digital transformation, it is essential never to lose sight of training needs. 

Routinely trained staff tend to stay engaged and loyal to their organization for an extended period. Learning and development should not be confined to staff alone – leaders can serve as benchmarks by actively participating in learning and growth programs. 

The only way for companies to stay competitive in the modern workplace climate is for leaders to set and maintain a workplace culture that prioritizes learning and development. Leaders should promote learning in various forms, from hard skills like programming to soft skills like communication and decision-making. 

According to the Deloitte report titled, “Leading in Learning,” employees in continuous learning environments experience a 37% increase in productivity and 92% more likely to innovate in their daily operations. The bottom line is for employees to maintain the momentum of learning and development, despite the shifts in operational structures. 

Optimizing Collaboration Tools

Google documents and Slack are two of the most popular collaborative tools in the market. These dynamic platforms enable co-workers, managers, and leaders to maintain clear and effective communication. Collaborative tools provide a real-time channel for learners to share concerns, ideas, and tips without the need for a physical congregation. 

Modern companies should look into the feasibility of investing in premium subscriptions of collaboration tools that offer a more comprehensive array of features that enhance the communication process. For example, an upgraded Google drive plan provides organizations with unlimited Cloud storage and access to Currents, a highly interactive communication platform. 

Rather than leaving learners to their own devices in remote learning (with minimum involvement), leaders and managers can check in on each employee’s progression to recognise and improve their individual experiences based on feedback. 

Leaders and managers can keep employee morale high by keeping themselves in the know and retaining an interest in their learning outcomes. Additionally, collaborative tools offer employees the opportunity to share their learning challenges and learn from their peers. 

Leveling Up Digitisation

Every online learning program comes with its unique user interface. Learning and switching through various interfaces may cause frustration and significantly reduce the experience of users. Hence, leaders need to focus on developing a novel process known as digital adoption. 

Digital adoption is a series of practices that enable employees to understand and immerse themselves in their digital transformation fully. The transition enhances multiple aspects of the employee experience, including training and development. 

Through digital adoption, employees can utilize digital skills with precision, to reduce errors and the time required in applied learning in the online sphere. While implementing new technology is essential in keeping organizations relevant and productive, the employee experience is vital in driving that change. 

Employees can only reap the full benefits of online learning and development if they have the respective technical (digital) skills. A worrying statistic by managing consulting firm Robert Half Technology shows that employees spend an average of 22 minutes a day figuring out IT issues

According to Darren Russell, the Group Group Director of Management Consultancy Agency Mott McDonald, there are several proven ways to assist employees in their digital adoption

Russell states that it is essential to champion digitization throughout the company, without exceptions. The process will promote a culture of digital familiarity, so every employee moves forward without hiding in their comfort zones.  Another method involves friendly competition. Leaders can foster digital awareness among managers, staff, and departments through strategic gamification techniques and stimulating individual drives to succeed. 

Leaders can help promote the advantages and benefits of acquiring improved digital knowledge and utility – emphasizing the increased opportunities for growth, progression, and success. 

Learning through Interactive Workflows

The act of doing can dramatically improve the rate of learning. Hence, the time-cherished effectiveness of OJT (on-the job training). Online learning and development processes should follow a similar structure, with guidelines and tips offered along the way.

Organizational leaders in the midst of choosing an online learning platform should consider the integration of in-app pop-up guides and live chat features. These integrations can help accelerate learning by retaining interests in employees. A virtual assistant or real-time FAQ optimizes user experience by shining a torch on doubts and concerns during their learning journey. 

Learning and Development in the New Normal 

While nothing beats face-to-face conversations and classroom engagements, many experts believe that remote learning is here to stay. Most organizations, aside from frontline and essential services, have turned to increasingly remote operations. 

Remote learning and development eliminate the need for physical congregation alongside rigid timings or scheduling limitations. It also saves time and money spent on transportation. Additionally, a recorded lesson/seminar enables employees to make quick references or refresh their knowledge at any time and any place. 

On the whole, digital technology can significantly improve the productivity and performance within organisations. However, leaders can only achieve maximum results by preparing staff for the mass transition. 

Organisations should consider a digital-first movement among the paradigm shifts of the new normal. Many companies are starting to understand and care for employees’ personalised learning experiences, and is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. However, it is equally essential to ensure that each individual has the technical knowledge to keep up with the season of change to ensure no talent is left behind. 

StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients empower leaders throughout the region by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

Maalikka is the latest addition to StrengthsAsia’s team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix and cats.

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