There has been an explosion in online learning in recent months, but that doesn’t mean that direct learning is endangered. It is up to us in the R&D profession to shape the future of blended learning and ensure it provides what the workforce needs.

Part of organizational life is changing, adapting, and being agile. It is always important to work in new ways and ensure the transfer of training is as efficient and fast as possible.

Research highlights everything we experience for good hands-on online learning – it’s about being learnable and requiring performance – not about sending presentations
Several organizations have developed in-house skills to design and provide live online training prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has accelerated profound changes in how we work and learn, whether we feel ready or not. Simply put, we all have to adapt quickly.

The role of learning technology continues to grow

Organizations that participated in the health screening and had direct online opportunities had an average of 21 people on the L&D team, compared with only ten people on the team in organizations that did not have this opportunity. However, companies that on average form larger teams also spend less on training their employees in their companies. They spent an average of £ 614.40 versus £ 644.76.

These companies spend proportionately more on technology, but reduce their overall budget on training their employees. I don’t find it intuitive, but I do see that the technology in training allows a wider reach across the company and even with more people on the team, because other cost reductions offset the investment.

The relationship between training and implementation

Spending money on coaching and curriculum development for an organization is of course detrimental unless you get a performance-enhancing transfer of training. The Employer Skills Survey provided reasons for the skill gap, including “Employee performance did not improve after training (31%) and those who did not receive adequate training (25%)”. The report also shows that organizations that are more mature in their learning approach and have internal virtual / online R&D opportunities are:

19% are more likely to involve managers in shaping their learning decisions.
14% are more likely to say their manager is committed to learning.
They also reported that they could accelerate the implementation of learning.

These organizations demonstrated that they have a better overall understanding of how training can meet the needs of people and businesses, and how to attract the right people to ensure it matters. The involvement of managers in their team development programs is commonplace for many L&D employees. This data underlines that companies doing this are more likely to do another good job of achieving overall positive results for their employees and for your core business.

Engage your employees to develop skills

The Emerald Works 2019 report, The Transformation Journey, explores the technology they are investing in and planning for future use. 93% of respondents said they would like to invest in online hands-on learning. As mentioned earlier, the Back to the Future report highlights that 91% of organizations have prioritized providing virtual classrooms / webinars.

Developing skills to work in new ways is mandatory. We’ve all attended webinars where the speaker didn’t know how to use the platform or live online sessions where the coach didn’t interact beyond the odd commentary in the chat. Clearly, excellent engagement and moderation skills are needed to encourage learning.

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