L&D principles for learning organization in the time of a pandemic
As organizations are moving into the digital model sector with the rise of automation, AI and advanced analysis, it is difficult for organizations to keep track with the latest technology. At the same time, the pandemic has escalated the demand of digital transformation, providing more Learning and Development (L&D), or learning organization issues for businesses to deal with.
These are several principles that businesses should follow in order to strengthen their learning organizations and keep the employees up to date with their best skillsets.
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Stay agile and adapt over time
The epidemic-induced disturbances have demonstrated how rapidly L&D demands will alter, which requires L&D teams to stay agile and adapt over time. L&D teams should leverage design thinking to create training programs, as well as learn from the input to make improvements. L&D may seem to be just a secondary among several concerns during the crisis. However, L&D is a tool for firms to restore their ability to face new problems. Thus, firm should invest in L&D to be constantly adapted.
Create personalized pathways for learning
Also, companies are shifting towards personalized learning pathways which represent the broader range of goals and responsibilities of individual employees as their roles in crisis response have evolved. This demonstrates a detachment from structured learner pathways, usually considering the standard baseline levels of capacity for all employees.
Many businesses have applied technological advances such as AI, Machine Learning, VR, etc. to personalize their learning programs. A popular example is the English speaking application ELSA Speak. With AI technology, it can analyse the user’s voice to detect and comment on mispronunciation, thereby developing a learning path based on the ability and level of each employee. Furthermore, the lessons of ELSA speak can be customized according to the company’s business sector or the specialty of the department in which the employee is working. Therefore, employees not only easily learn to speak English, but also can practice regularly by applying these lessons to their daily work.
Design training to adapt to changing circumstances
Economic declines will lead to budget cuts, and L&D is usually at the top of the list. This gives L&D teams to move from traditional event-based instruction to on-the-job learning process. Providing quick and crisp videos that are integrated seamlessly into the workflow will allow workers to become more involved.
Prepare necessary competencies for L&D teams
L&D practitioners’ skills evolve rapidly in comparison to those of the general workforce. The demand for digital and analytical knowledge has been increased, especially in terms of digital learning, virtual facilitation, and online content curation. This requires L&D team to acquire new competencies to stay updated.
Align L&D activities with strategic goal
Relatively few organizations actively prepare for the skills they will need. Good examples are the AI fields and automation. Findings shows that, while L&D teams were visible with business importance, these innovations were routinely disregarded in the pre-crisis era (probably due to substantial pressure to achieve short-term goals in combination with a shortage of resources).
Many companies are also building L&D strategies to highlight capabilities that have been significant in the past. However, leading companies are evaluating their future strategic goals, to identify the necessary capabilities and develop suitable L&D program.
For example, a European insurance firm forecasted increases in employment over the next 5 to 10 years in 2019 due to the effects of automation and other factors. It projected that 15% of the workforce of the firm was going to be removed from technology, while another 50% would be increased by technology. This review set a strategic road map for L&D activities, particularly employee retraining and redeployment. Some of these steps were conducted according to the strategic goal, however more urgently. For instance, in response to the pandemic, in departments such as claims management, the organization was required to speed up the transition to automated processes.
Assess employee skills and competencies
An assessment of the available talents and abilities should be carried out regularly. It allows organizations to evaluate the existing talents, recognize the differences in skills and take action.
Having an optimal learning organization not only requires businesses to clearly define their strategy goals but also consider the ability of each employee as well as understand the post-pandemic period. With the fast development of technology, businesses can apply automation, AI or digital methods to strengthen the learning organization model, helping businesses quickly adapt and be ready to face challenges in the new normal.