Re-Thinking Strategies for Training and Development in a Post-Covid World – Mixed Learning, A Solution?

Well before our current pandemic and global economic crisis, data and intelligence driven companies have been asking tough questions about traditional approaches to training and developing their staff.  The early 21st Century fantasy of “all-online digital learning” has largely not played out, especially since some of the most important management competencies are best taught and learned in-person. 

2020’s entirely unexpected change closely followed by the remnants in 2021 are forcing all of us to rethink how we can develop and train our people and maintain and strengthen organizational capabilities and culture when we simply cannot get together physically.  Simply putting people-development on pause until we “get back to normal” is not an option, because we’re not going “back to normal” anytime soon, if ever. 

While it’s still not clear what “the way we work” will look like in a post-Covid world—the answer to that question will likely take a long while to figure out.  Focused organizations are actively digging in on how to invest in their people to develop skills (including new skills to lead change and stay resilient through this pandemic), fortify their cultures, and help employees execute and create value for all their stakeholders.

“Training and development is not just important to any company, it is vital.”

Training in a Social-distancing Workplace

Social distancing has become the norm in many parts of the world, impacting the way that companies operate from day to day.  More recently organizations are encouraged to create an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, which included addressing the need for social distancing, staggered work shifts, downsizing operations, delivering services remotely and other exposure-reducing measures. It also recommended minimizing contact among workers, clients and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework if feasible.

Why training is still important?

Training presents an excellent opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many employers in the current climate find development opportunities expensive. Employees attending training sessions also miss out on work time which may delay the completion of projects. However, despite these potential drawbacks, training and development provides both the individual and organisations as a whole with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.

So, what are the benefits?

  • Improved employee performance
  • Improved employee satisfaction and morale
  • Addressing weaknesses
  • Consistency – A robust training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent experience and background knowledge. The consistency is particularly relevant for the company’s basic policies and procedures. All employees need to be aware of the expectations and procedures within the company. Increased efficiencies in processes results in financial gain for the company.
  • Increased productivity and adherence to quality standards
  • Increased innovation in new strategies and products
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Enhances company reputation and profile
  • Help in addressing employee weaknesses
  • Improvement in worker performance
  • Consistency in duty performance
  • Reduction in supervision.

Mixed Learning, an answer?

Mixed learning is becoming more and more popular and as a company we have seen a definite increase in this method of training over the last year. Mixed Learning is the effective combination of online learning and classroom learning. Although many of Credo’s clients prefer their staff to learn on-site rather than attend off-site training programmes. Off-site learning programmes like the mixed learning approach allows Credo to train more people working across a larger scope. This makes it much more cost-effective and allows for greater process consistency.

The importance of training your employees – both new and experienced – really cannot be overemphasized.

ContributorGbenga Okunade (Programmes & Business Development Manager, Credo Consults Ltd

Reference(s)Mark Nevins and Mohamed Natar; Re-Thinking Training and Development in a Post-Covid World: A Case Study (2020)

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