Why Learning and Development?
The last two years have seen immense changes to our ways of work and our working environments in general. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns around the world necessitated a broad-based movement to new digital platforms and brought about somewhat of a digital revolution. Work from home policies reshaped the way that we interact with our colleagues and clients, giving rise to new digital tools that offered us the ability to remotely collaborate on projects in real-time. These digital platforms and tools have quickly become part of our everyday working lives, digitalising our procedures and methods, shifting us into a world where success is defined by the ability to keep up with change.
Learning and Development (L&D) as a function has not been immune to the theme of change that has swept across organisations. Suddenly, face-to-face facilitated sessions to upskill and grow employees were no longer an option. The need arose to find a solution that would allow for learning to take place remotely, without losing the impact and effectiveness of the content. While eLearning is certainly not a newcomer to the world of L&D, relying on it in the absence of facilitated workshops and sessions presented a new challenge.
In-person sessions have two key benefits that can be difficult to apply to eLearning formats.
- In-person sessions allow for facilitators to adapt their teaching style based on real-time verbal and non-verbal cues from the learners in front of them.
- Two-way, real-time communication and feedback can be provided by learners throughout the session.
To address this, learning practitioners have had to be innovative in their design and construction of eLearning offerings. Including content that can stimulate and grab the attention of auditory, kinaesthetic, and visual learners, supplementing traditional text-based content with videos, infographics, voice-over, and interactive games. Creating an immersive digital environment where learning feels more like the inevitable endpoint of a journey rather than a laboured chore. Learner check-ins, online workshops, and online coaching sessions can provide structured and productive opportunities to communicate with learners. The individual results of formative and summative eLearning assessments provide organisations with a consistent overview of how their learners are progressing.
Further to this, eLearning offers an unmatched level of convenience and longevity. Learners can access content from anywhere and at any time, no longer bound by the dates and timelines of facilitators. Content remains available to learners and organisations forever at the click of a button. If certain content needs to be updated, this can be done in a very short period and rolled out to the entire workforce simultaneously.
During these times of constant change, organisations around the world have turned to L&D experts to ensure that employees are able to keep up. Releasing content to train their people on the digital tools discussed earlier, update their policies and procedures, provide mental health support, and share health and safety best practices to combat things like COVID-19.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions and the subsequent opening of global economies, there has never been a better time to invest in growth and development. Studies have shown that organisations that invest in employee development see increased profits, a more efficient and engaged workforce, and significantly increased retention rates. Some of the most prominent benefits of investing in L&D have been noted below:
- Increased employee retention.
- Development of future leaders and ensuring internal succession.
- Employee empowerment.
- Increased workplace engagement.
- Improved workplace relationships.
- Improved adoption of new methods and technologies.
- Increased job satisfaction.
Don’t get left behind by an ever-changing world. The time to act, develop and grow is now.
Author: Maud Botten, Associate Partner, Business Unit Lead: Learning Solutions
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