The coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses very hard. Many organisations have successfully transitioned to remote working to continue with business as usual. But for some, it has also meant putting part of their workforce on furlough. While furloughed employees can no longer work or generate revenue for their employers, government guidance suggests they can certainly continue with learning and development. There is an opportunity here for furloughed employees and their employers to use the current situation as a means to gain skills and retain talent. In this blog post, we analyse the importance and the means of enabling workplace learning in the time of a global health pandemic.
Importance of Continued Professional Development
Continued Professional Development (CPD) enables learning and development in the workplace and helps create a skilled, knowledgeable workforce while boosting the working relationship between employers and employees. A skilled workforce is also instrumental in building a business’s reputation among customers and clients as well as future employees. While many employers may be tempted to put a pause on professional development under the current circumstances, it is certainly worth considering the impact of CPD during a pandemic. During this sobering period, CPD can help with both upskilling and maintaining knowledge as businesses and industries adapt to new ways of working. So while CPD may not be on top of the list of priorities for many businesses and employees right now, it is important to not overlook it completely and enable some form of learning and development.
Keeping Engaged with Learning and Development
For employers, promoting a culture of learning and development is often linked to business growth – it helps employees develop skills, retain knowledge and boosts productivity. In the current situation, learning and development can also offer a means to keep employers and employees engaged. With the move to remote working, learning and development programs can be delivered in digital formats. Learning and developent can keep employees motivated and engaged with work. It can help them gain skills to better support their colleagues. This also holds true for employees on furlough. Even if they’re no longer working, they can stay connected to their workplace and can keep engaged with their professions through learning and development while gaining new skills.
Adapting to eLearning
Technology is already playing a key part in supporting businesses as they navigate through the global coronavirus crisis. From remote working to Zoom calls for meetings and socialising with work colleagues using the House Party app. For learning and development, it means adapting to eLearning to continue offering opportunities for training and development. eLearning offers a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional training and development programs. With the advent of learning experience platforms (LXP), modern eLearning is designed to be easily accessible, so employees can access their training remotely on whichever device that is most convenient or comfortable for them.
Despite the adversities facing us currently, it is important to continue to learn and develop our skills while in lockdown. With advances in technology and the use of eLearning, training and development opportunities are more accessible than ever. While the lockdown may have put a temporary lull on business plans and targets, the skills and knowledge gained during this time will continue to hold value once past the pandemic and holds the potential to refuel business growth in the future.