The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken organizations all over the world. No sector has been left intact.
They all have faced challenges to some degree. The training sector is no different. They were required to transition to meet the needs of the present scenario and perform better.
But, what impact did the novel coronavirus has actually made on the training industry, specifically?
This article will try and provide you with an answer to this question, sharing observations of experts on the information and solutions training professionals are currently seeking.
From the education industry to the employment industry, we already know that all have been forced to work remotely to contain the spread of COVID-19. This sudden shift is the need of the hour; however, several organizations see the advantages of this and are willing to continue this trend. This means that almost all staff needs to have the skills required to prosper in a remote working environment and get adequate training to cater to the world of technology. It will help them perform better and attain success.
With this "new normal," economies worldwide have realized that their supply chains and other business fundamentals are extremely fragile and need to be reexamined. Most have also been compelled to observe and restructure their business models. The increased reliance on remote-friendly solutions has also led to increased costing in bringing up innovative solutions. Companies have discovered they can gain or enhance competitive advantages by embracing some of the tools they initially adopted out of necessity.
All of this means that ultimately, the post-COVID workplace will require skills and abilities that may have been marginally important or even non-existent in the world before COVID-19. This will require a change in the 'what' for employee training.
Besides, for various reasons, many firms did not accept distance and on-demand training earlier. The common apprehension that these formats can't mimic the engagement of live, in-person training; could be a possible reason for that.
But with the world coming to a halt, organizations are forced to shift the training and other activities to remote and on-demand workings formats or else not have them. Many have begun to realize that these formats' disadvantages are not as poor as they might have feared.
This sudden shift has also brought in enormous opportunities for telecommunication technology providers. New and improved tools are being introduced and are likely to continue to be introduced into the market.
Also, these changes have proven that employees are in dire need to digitize their connections and communications with their colleagues, managers and others, who are at work to increase output while working remotely. As per the survey, nearly half (49%) of 900 employees have found a decline in their work performance while working from home. Conversely, 37% of employees indicated that regular communication with teammates and co-workers helps to increase production.
While another survey reported that about 40% of organizations opted for in-person classroom training before the COVID-19 pandemic and now find them in a training disaster, over 51% of organizations are still trying to migrate face-to-face training to other formats completely. Training budgets for about 43% of organizations have also suffered negative impacts.
The probable reasons for such disruption in training could be:
- High dependency on ILT or classroom training.
- Lack of proper infrastructure, including systems and bandwidth.
- Ill-prepared classroom trainers.
- Budgetary constraints.
- Lack of experience with remote learning.
- Students' inability to balance work and learning at home.
- Lack of familiarity with learning through digital platforms, etc.
Another pulse survey conducted by trainingindustry.com reported 58% of training budget respondents was impacted by COVID-19; around 61% of these businesses are spending more than before the COVID-19 outbreak. L&D professionals are increasing their expenses across many areas, including learning technologies, courses, learning services and customer education. It is found that learning technologies have the highest share of expenditures. Over 43% of respondents reported increased costs for creative tools, delivery, gaming platforms or learning management systems.
Furthermore, 37% of respondents spend more on learning services, including delivery, administration, content development, technology integration and strategy.
In addition to spending significant amounts of money on training employees, companies must also educate their clients. Their education includes technical training of end-users, certification or channel training, which has led to a 34% increase in overall expenses. 29% spend on e-learning classes, kits or libraries.
With virtually everything uncertain, organizations are exploring multiple digital formats to get their training back on track. Since we don't know how long this crisis will last, a shift toward digital solutions will undoubtedly be an intelligent decision. Organizations can choose to move the in-class training completely to online learning or go with middle-of-the-road solutions such as webinars and VILT sessions.
This will provide self-directed learning, which is critical at this time – both for management and for employees working remotely. Furthermore, you can offer better performance support to your employees with digital learning resources because it allows learning in the workflow.