This was an image that was floating across Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media few weeks back when different countries announced their lockdowns. And to a great extent, it makes perfect sense! Digital Transformation has been an industry buzzword for a while now, and while there has been talk about it in all offices, not all companies have shown enough urgency to act upon their boardroom discussions. Enter COVID-19 pandemic, and the global corporate world has been rocked with a disruption, unprecedented in scale and nature. And therefore, companies across the world have had to suddenly transform the very way they operated, just so that they could remain in operational. Among the various functions that have been forced to transform themselves digitally, a key one is that of Learning and Development. Here, we take a look at different reasons why a digital transformation of this function is a must in the current times.
Having to combat a pandemic that is so highly infectious means one can never really predict how quickly the lockdown will end. Even if it is temporarily lifted, you cannot be sure that the situation may not force its re-imposition. And during this time, you cannot put away your training plans for your employees for the future. In fact, in these times of reduced business activity, reduced wastage of man-hours due to commute, and so on, lies a great opportunity to emerge stronger and more prepared than ever. But how will digitally transforming the Learning and Development function help? The answer lies in the points ahead.
Using a Learning Management Software (LMS) you would be able to ensure that the content that you expect your employees to study as part of the learning sessions is delivered in a uniform manner. So everyone will get the same download, regardless of the time at which they choose to go through different modules, as opposed to classroom sessions, where the content that is spoken by the trainer may differ at different times.
In the past, it was common to hear employees crib about their employers not allowing the option to work from home at times. And a lot of it was down to the apprehensions of managers regarding whether allowing employees to work from home would compromise on productivity. However, as the lockdown situation has demonstrated, such fears are to a large extent unfounded. And that, with the right incentives, employees can work from home more efficiently. Therefore, the post-lockdown employers of choice will be ones who allow such privileges. Digitizing the training process, perhaps, is the easiest thing that an organization can do to ensure that their employees come out of the situation more equipped, more tech-savvy, and brimming with more transformative ideas for the future.
Conducting training over digital platforms is bound to be a lot more effective than what is conducted in classroom sessions for a variety of reasons. Firstly, when learning modules are available online, every employee will have the latitude to take them at their time of convenience. This is important because when a classroom session is conducted at a fixed time, not all trainees will be at their optimum attentiveness due to a variety of factors. Digitized learning modules, which an employee can access at a time of convenience and maximum mental alertness can therefore ensure greater retention. Second, a digital training module can be replayed multiple times, until the entire content is thoroughly understood and retained. Thus, differential pace of learning for different employees will not pose a problem, which can be the case during offline sessions. Third, when training modules are made available online, it is possible to refer to them during the course of regular work in case the need arises, just to brush up concepts necessary to handle a specific task at hand. Fourth, in case any specific content needs to be updated/modified, it can be done so a lot more easily when the training modules are available online.
As we see from the above, there are a plethora of benefits that are to be reaped should you digitize your learning and development function. And what better time to drive this digital transformation than now!