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Last updated: 15.09.20

VC Roundtable Write-up: How can we tackle the current L&D challenges?

Our last four virtual Roundtable events have, naturally and inevitably, explored and addressed COVID-19 related topics. Our attendees have looked at lessons learnt, shared personal accounts on how they have adapted their training and discussed the new aspects and challenges of work that we now have to consider.

We have had a wealth of experience at our events and the insights have been both thoughtful and exciting. Here are our most recent guest speakers and their discussion topics.

Guest speakers

Ross Stevenson, L&D Consultant: Employee Re-boarding Post COVID-19 – Top tips & advice for employee re-boarding

Wendy Stanley, Learning Technology Consultant at Virtual College: Measuring the Success vs Impact of Learning – Overview of an Impact Measurement Process

Rita Sookrit, Senior L&D Consultant: Lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic

Simon Booth, L&D Manager at WW: How we kept our learners engaged and what we learnt from COVID-19

The L&D challenges we’re facing

The L&D challenges we are facing can’t be ignored. Here are some that we have explored at our events, along with some useful resources that provide guidance and helpful insights.

Remote working vs office working

This is a challenge that many businesses are likely to be tackling – how to find a balance between remote working and office work. What will each look like? What do we need to consider? Every business will have its unique needs, so this balance will differ from business to business. But overall, you should consider what is best for the company and look deeply at how the business has performed in the last few months, asking yourself what has worked and what hasn’t?

For in-depth guidance, see our article How can we balance remote working and office work in the long term?

Re-boarding

This challenge follows on nicely from the previous one. Re-boarding is the process of re-integrating or re-introducing your employees or colleagues back into the business, and is especially important right now as we start to return to the offices.

The challenges people have been tackling is understanding what needs to be done and considered. In his talk, Ross Stevenson recommended looking at re-boarding as a process, not a one-off event, explaining that this will help provide employees with the time to adjust to the new office arrangements and working ways. To support the process, he suggested, amongst many things, putting a clear plan in place, and making sure to cover these key areas: employee wellbeing, business health and how you can quickly regain productivity and growth.  

To help you plan your re-boarding strategy, we have put together a helpful article: How to reintegrate employees into the business.

Upskilling

Upskilling is a useful consideration at the moment, especially whilst businesses are struggling to adjust to the current times, and are having to furlough staff or undertake redundancies. Upskilling, which is essentially providing staff with development opportunities to allow them to increase their skills, can help a business thrive, and can be good for employee wellbeing.

You can find out how to go about upskilling your employees in our article, Upskilling your workforce post COVID-19.

Choosing the right training format

We know that it can be difficult to find the right format for your training. This very topic was raised in some of our events, with companies admitting that some courses just didn’t work in a digital setting, and they had to revert to face-to-face training or a blended approach instead.

We realise it can be daunting to decide what is the best training solution, which is why we have put together a list of eight questions that you can talk through with any provider, discussing everything from the content, to the learners, to the delivery, in order to help you come to the ideal solution for your training needs.

Guide: Eight questions to find the right solution for you

The difficulty of stakeholder engagement when developing training

Stakeholders seem to have some trepidation or fears about moving to digital solutions – how much is it going to cost? Is it going to work? How long will it take? In Wendy Stanley’s session we spent a long time discussing how we can help reduce these fears and what needs to be done to build positive relationships with the stakeholders, and ensure that they know what is expected and understand all aspects of it – the timescales, the process, and what the aim of the project is.

As this is an area many of us struggle with, we have put together various resources to help:

How to engage colleagues in digital training projects

Tips on how to engage with stakeholders

Checklist for engaging with stakeholders

Why L&D teams need to develop themselves digitally

It’s important that we keep in touch with the times and the many technological and digital developments that there are. As these developments can have positive impacts on digital learning solutions and help create the best possible training, we need to know what is available. Not every development may be suitable for your training needs, but ensuring you develop yourself digitally and keep up to date will at least provide you with options, even if it’s just to discard ideas.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

During Rita Sookit’s session, she said ‘We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and become innovative’, which we thought was a suitable quote to end on. Times are changing and we have had a taste of what is possible, therefore we need to strive forward and step into our discomfort zone, doing all we can to create and develop training solutions which will drive those desired behaviour changes and have a positive impact.

Our Roundtable events are held monthly, and are currently being hosted virtually. Take a look at our Eventbrite page to see what discussions are coming up, or email us at roundtable@virtual-college.co.uk if you would like more information. Or, if you would like to get in touch regarding any of these challenges and see how we can help you, please feel free to contact us.

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