Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, many disruptions occurred in the normal business operations of various countries. Companies who had never planned for such unprecedented times were forced to change their business strategies and try to survive in such market conditions. Those who had already undergone a digital transformation were among the least affected businesses during this pandemic.
Looking at an individual level, millions of people lost their jobs and others suffered pay cuts early this year. It made them realize the already growing need of gaining digital skills. Automation was already being considered as a threat to many traditional jobs, but the COVID-19 pandemic further amplified the need to upskill and become ready for the jobs of the future. Technology is already enabling various sectors to continue their business online and employees are expected to know how to use the dedicated tools. The current work scenario can be understood from Micheal Dell’s quote – “Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries, and continents.”
LinkedIn in its Workforce Confidence Index found that professionals across all the industrial sectors were committed to online learning, with 64% of the respondents agreeing to upskill themselves through eLearning. In other words, over three among five individuals planned to increase their time spent on online learning, establishing the fact that the quest for upskilling is real. Online learning is being sought for certifications like ITIL Foundation, PMP, CISSP, as well as gaining foundational knowledge of fields like Artificial Intelligence, Big data analytics, digital marketing, and blockchain technology.
Apart from the individuals, organizations too should focus more on employee training. When an organization steps up at a time like this, it is sure to build loyalty, commitment, and long-lasting teams. Companies can continue their onsite training initiatives related to leadership development, onboarding, sales training, and diversity and inclusion by switching to online methods. To sustain the Learning and Development (L&D) steps, a digital collaborative learning environment can enhance a company’s social engagements and other connections in these unprecedented times.
Companies can make their employee training more effective by incorporating virtual instructor-led workshops, group discussions, peer feedback, self-study sessions, and virtual mentor coaching and projects. For companies that can’t easily migrate to online training at scale, there is an option of collaborating with different eLearning vendors. A few online training providers, like Simplilearn, offer corporate training solutions in various domains like cloud computing, cybersecurity, project management, IT service management, and big data analytics.
With online learning, companies can not only help employees inculcate the desired skills, but also allow them to focus on delivering strategic capabilities. The goal of corporate training today should be to impart such job-related skills, knowledge, and experience that resonates with the organization’s long-term objectives.
A 2019 report by PwC already predicted that around 23.5 million jobs across the world would be using Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) for corporate training, meetings, or better customer service by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has further given the usage of AR/VR at home a strong push to the mainstream. VR-focused companies are witnessing a huge demand for their applications since the start of the pandemic. Corporates can effectively use VR in their L&D initiatives to ensure a rich learning experience for their employees.
To sum up, we can say that upskilling has taken a central stage and professionals are becoming used to digital learning. Professionals who have already utilized the online platforms to gain some valuable skills can highlight them through digital badges on professional networking sites. So, are you ready to take charge of your career and invest in developing the skills of the future?