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Last updated: 26.10.21

Learning in a Hybrid Working Environment

The pandemic brought about a remote working experiment for many organisations, and they have now moved towards a hybrid way of working, combining remote and on-site working schedules. Many businesses have also opened their offices full time and are encouraging staff to work from the office again 5 days a week. 

But what does this new way of working mean for learning and development? What does the future of L&D look like in a hybrid working environment?

Content Curation for Teams and Individuals

Content curation empowers to staff to learn at their own pace and encourages a culture of learning, and as a concept, it is gaining traction in the workplace. In fact, in a survey conducted by Capita, 48% of HR professionals say that helping learners find the right content to meet their personal needs will be a top priority. This is reflected in the industry, where many organisations are now putting content curation higher up the L&D agenda.

As many businesses are still working remotely, content curation is a great solution to encourage self-guided learning. However, it can come with it’s own challenges. There is a conversation around how businesses control what their staff are learning and if the material they are consuming is of the right standard and quality. Many organisations are still offering formal training with the option to build knowledge and skills further through curated content provided by the company. Managing learning experiences can be different for every business and finding the right balance between curated content and formal training is key to empowering your learners. Here are a few questions to consider.

  • The aims. You need to understand the aims and the outcomes
  • What type of content will best meet those
  • Where it’s going to be housed
  • How the learner will access it, how it’ll pull together so it works.

Blended Learning

Hybrid working has changed the way we view learning and questions what we can do virtually and face-to-face. Jez Anderson, Visiting L&D Consultant at Virtual College says that blended learning is now about creating a learner experience. So how can blended learning be used in a hybrid working environment?

One example of an online blended learning programme is a project Virtual College have worked on for WRAP. VC supported WRAP’s surgery sessions that were held via Microsoft teams, by creating digital resources and e-learning to help the hospitality industry reduce food waste. Blended learning has historically meant a blend of face-to-face and virtual learning, however post-pandemic, it can mean solely online learning with virtual interaction with peers.

Consider what blended learning means for your organisation and map out the benefits of both blended and non-blended approaches to training.

Considering what the learner wants

The pandemic has brought a new meaning to “work-life balance” and we have seen more of people’s everyday lives than ever before. It’s changed the way we communicate, and has highlighted just how important communication with staff is. This is key when it comes to designing training, as, after all, with the need to become learner centric, we should really touch base with the learner and consider their needs.

As well as the mandatory training that must be completed, employees should be asked what skills they want to develop and knowledge they want to gain and then how this can align with the company values and business strategy.

When training is being produced, consider varied content options in different forms to cater for different audiences. This will keep staff engaged and inspired to learn more. Content types can include podcasts, e-learning modules, learning games and more. Keep the learner in mind when planning and creating content as they are key to how successful training programmes are.

Whether businesses are adopting hybrid working practices, remote or on-site schedules, learning and development is very different to what it was. Embracing digital technologies, new content options and being “learner centric”, will be key to a successful learning and development programme.

Our Learning Training Consultants are helping many businesses with their re-boarding and digital transformation plans, if you would like to talk with them, contact us at hello@virtual-college.co.uk.

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