How COVID 19 Has Impacted the Training Delivery Methods for Employers

Research findings indicate that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on employee training and development, now that traditional-based settings are no longer encouraged. Besides, emerging trends indicate that businesses will have to change their previous employee learning and development strategies and embrace new technologies that power remote learning and training.

COVID-19 IMPACT ON TRAINING DELIVERY METHODS FOR EMPLOYERS

1. Repository of Digital Learning Assets

2. Restructuring Post-Training Support

  • While learning is not a one-off thing, to beat the forgetting curve, learning can be implemented at different stages, spaced over time, or repeated at regular intervals. Therefore, for learning to be successful, post-learning solutions are as effective as the initial training.
  • In the wake of COVID-19, the delivery of support for employee learning has been reconfigured to be delivered during the virtual learning journey and is characterized by “pre-reading, online discussion forums, and post-learning reflections.”
  • Likewise, employers can embed learning in their organizations’ workflows by offering digital solutions for performance support, as need arises. Once the initial training has ended, the organization needs to provide performance support to help employees improve their performance.
  • Training support materials can be offered in different ways, including giving employees specific digital assets they can rely on for a step-by-step guidance to help progress the learning. For example, companies can offer audio tours to support continued learning for employees.

THE FUTURE OF TRAINING IN THE CORPORATE OR BUSINESS SECTOR

Continued Growth in Remote and On-Demand Learning

  • Most businesses and corporations were reluctant to embrace remote and on-demand training solutions; however, the COVID-19 pandemic left them with no option but to implement this form of workforce development delivery. Statistics indicate that from 2017 to 2020, the use of online training has expanded from 27.3% to 39.2% in the healthcare sector and 14.6% to 27.8% in public safety.
  • While most professionals argued that these remote and on-demand training formats could not mimic the engagement of in-person training, they later learnt that the drawbacks of these online-based employee training solutions are not as bad as initially thought of.
  • In this regard, experts predict that companies that may have not been used to remote training ought to take the necessary steps in ensuring they can deliver 24/7 training and support for employees learning remotely.
  • Importantly, the approach should emphasize building a new culture of continuous learning and training. Moreover, experts assert that corporations and businesses need to have digital repositories for easier access of resources by employees. On that note, businesses should give employees access to different learning experiences and training aligned with their time, interests, level and expertise.

Increasing Usage of LMS for Tracking Training

  • The use of learning management software (LMS) was not widespread in the past, compared to how it has become more prevalent in the wake of COVID-19. In 2015, an estimated 33% of organizations in health and human services used an LMS, in 2017 the figure shot to 45%, before plateauing at 44% in 2020.
  • According to the report ‘State of Training 2020’ mild to major changes regarding the use of online learning were observed by 80% of health and human services respondents; however, it was found out that the use of an LMS was previously low when compared to other healthcare sectors.
  • Based on that finding, it is anticipated that going forward, the post-COVID-19 trend in online learning can significantly boost efforts to increase the use of an LMS to track employee training in health and human services.
  • In early 2020, about 47% of the healthcare sector used an LMS for tracking employee training, versus 39.7% in 2017. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 24% of respondents claim to have started using an LMS.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY THINKS WILL HAPPEN POST-COVID?

Innovating New Ways of Corporate Training

Rapid Evolution of Digital Solutions for Training Delivery

AI & VR in Employee Training

EMPLOYER & EMPLOYEE READYNESS FOR TRAINING DURING COVID AND POST-COVID

Increased Investments in Training Technologies

  • Before the pandemic, many companies in the U.S. had shown interest in training and upskilling their workforce. Over 20% of employers had anticipated to increase their investments in learning management systems (LMSs), eLearning, digital content solutions, social/collaboration tools, and training delivery platforms.
  • In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that may have not invested in learning technologies found themselves in need of additional technologies to match the demand from their employees.
  • Before the pandemic, over two-thirds of businesses said they were ready to provide new training solutions, i.e., hardware, software, internal expertise and resources.
  • The graphic below shows the outlook for companies anticipating to adopt new learning solutions.
Learning Solutions Outlook Survey

Employees Share Positive Sentiment Regarding Training

  • Employees have shown interest in remote working, a positive indicator of their interest in remote training, which often accompanies remote working. A PWC survey found out that 70% of employees were ready and working remotely and 30% had flexible work arrangements with their employers.
  • The interest in remote working and training is further confirmed by a survey on executives that found out that 30% were anticipating they would need less office space in the future because or remote work. On the other hand, 19% foresee no change, while 50% expect an increase in office space.
  • The survey also shows that the U.S. workforce is ready to try remote working two or three days per week. Meantime, companies are also restructuring to provide better collaboration spaces to optimize office time and space.
  • In a survey to determine what remote employee need to be more productive, 48% of the respondents suggested they be rewarded with new experiences, training, and learning. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to be prepared to embrace new and innovative digital solutions for training and working remotely, including a virtual-first mindset.

Remote Workers Demand Training, Technologies, and a Positive Culture

TRADITIONAL CLASSROOM SETTINGS IN THE FUTURE — POST COVID

TOP DIGITAL TOOLS FOR EMPLOYEE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic, only 17% of U.S. workers were remote five days a week; however, once the pandemic hit, the number jumped to 44% working remotely for an entire week. It also emerged that collaboration was their key challenge as they resorted to remote working.
  • While working from home, employees used different tools, with some proving more valuable compared to others. Based on a survey, the top five collaboration tools for U.S. remote workers were as the pandemic struck and usage statistics were Zoom — 36% , Microsoft teams — 19% , Skype — 17%, Google Hangouts — 9%, and Slack — 7%, as shown in the image below

Top 5 Collaboration Tools for Remote Workers

  • A PWC report revealed that 32% of all employees in the U.S. working remotely wanted better hardware, i.e., laptop, monitor, printer, chair, etc., to improve their productivity while working remotely.

Employee Engagement with Remote Working Tools

  • During May 2020, an estimated 109 million Americans were engaging with the above mentioned collaboration platforms, equivalent to 41% of the total U.S. internet audience, compared to 9.9% in 2019. The year-over-year increase is quoted at 322%.
  • During the pandemic, two providers emerged at the top in providing technology and communications to support remote working activities. The two platforms were Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which increased by 813% and 943% in unique visitors year-over-year (May 2019 vs. May 2020), respectively.
  • The graphics below shows the engagement levels of the top digital tools used for remote working during the pandemic

Engagement Levels for Collaboration Platforms

  • According to the report, Zoom and Microsoft Teams held the deepest user penetration; however, there is room for other collaboration platforms in the U.S. Interestingly, the report noted that 40% of Microsoft Teams clients also used Zoom.

TRENDS IN EMPLOYEE TRAINING DURING COVID-19

1. Designing Programs for Efficiency not Resiliency

2. Embracing New Technologies

3. More Emphasis on Social Learning Methods

DEVICES AND TECHNOLOGIES FACILITATING EMPLOYEE REMOTE TRAINING

  • A Statista report focusing on tools used by law firms to support remote working found out that 97% of law firms were using video meeting apps to facilitate remote working. An estimated 74% of individuals started using video meeting apps once the pandemic started.
  • 91% of law firms were using remote desktop software, 72% webinars, 46% used Team chat apps,32% collaboration tools, and 24% preferred live streams.
  • The graphic below illustrates the engagement levels based on the devices employees were using to access remote working technologies.
Platform Usage for Collaboration Tools
  • As per the graphic above, it appears that many remote workers prefer using these technologies on their desktops, except for Slack and Telegram that have the highest usage on mobile.
  • OKTA.com published a report titled ‘Business at Work From Home,’ which revealed that Zoom, Palo Alto Global Protect, and Cisco Anyconnect were the top three fastest growing applications and tools based on the number of unique visitors at 110%, 94%, and 86%, respectively.
  • More stats on the other contenders are included in the graphic attached below.
Fastest Growing Apps and Tools by Unique Users
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