The current pandemic has left organizations to rapidly adapt to new ways of working. With remote working becoming the new normal, business goals and priorities are undergoing a paradigm shift. Organizations need to assess and figure out innovative ways to keep their employees productive. With the new normal in motion, Learning and Development too is facing its own set of challenges. As per a report by Brandon Hall Group, 56% of companies rank determining upskilling and reskilling priorities as one of the most important business transitions as the pandemic evolves.

One of the most evident challenges that the current health crisis posed the L&D function was the need to quickly pivot from instructor-led classrooms, which was the primary mode of training, to virtual classrooms. Organizations were quick to adapt, however, in the process of transforming to the new learning mode, the learner experience was gravely unsatisfactory as live content does not always lend itself to a virtual training or webinar. Besides, an effective ILT trainer might not have the required skill set to deliver a successful virtual session. Organizations were quick to internalize these shortcomings and have since resorted to digital solutions to conduct online training to cater to the dispersed remote workforce.

Changing Landscape of L&D
Owing to the pandemic and remote work, the adoption of digital learning has seen an exponential rise. It is not just how the learning is delivered but there has been a paradigm shift in what learning needs to be delivered to the employees. As businesses are realigning their goals to stay relevant and agile in these unprecedented times, developing multi-functional skills, fostering inter-team collaboration, nurturing high-potential leaders are being prioritized. Honing leadership skills such as emotional intelligence is also given importance as organizations require leaders to navigate their workforce through these unprecedented times and beyond. 

The Road Ahead
For businesses to build a productive and future-ready workforce, it is crucial to appraise the current L&D strategy. They need to determine what the learning outcomes will be and how learning will be delivered. With digital transformation disrupting the business world, L&D needs to reassess the learning-technology which is employed or needs to be employed to deliver the right tools needed to meet business goals. To help companies drive business success, L&D can shape successful employee upskilling and reskilling strategy through some of the following key considerations.

Honing Digital Skills:
Thanks to the remote work modus operandi, the adoption of digital and virtual tools increased exponentially and this way of operation will continue to dominate for a long time. Digital native companies have employees with the required digital-savvy skills. However, digital immigrants need to upskill in order to keep up with the digital transformation wave. Employees from all generations need to develop basic digital competency skills, be internet research, managing data, or digital troubleshooting required to drive performance.

Considering Employee Well-Being: Transitioning to the new normal still remains a daunting and stressful activity for many employees. Having to develop new skill sets in no time to stay relevant and aligning to the changing business objectives can take a toll on one’s mental health. The business ecosystem might still go through numerous transitions as companies recover from losses and steer into a new direction to shed the effects of the pandemic.

Preparing for Continual Remote Learning: Till the pandemic struck, most organizations heavily relied on ILT as their default mode of training. However, post-COVID-19, there was an exponential rise in digital learning. To adapt to the new mode of training delivery, instructors need more orientations and preparations to develop and transfer their training skills to the digital format.

UpsideLMS and Plethora in association with SHRM recently held a thought-provoking roundtable discussion – ‘L&D: Next 2 years!. Amit Gautam, CEO of UpsideLMS, and Vijay Gogoi, Executive Director & Lead at KPMG Academy along with other industry stalwarts came together to discuss, deliberate, and distill their rich knowledge on learning content, the tech stack, and the entire ecosystem – its current state and the end goal. View the full recording here.

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