The world of business has changed drastically since the pandemic outbreak. The corporate world is adapting to a new hybrid work model that needs adjustment and compromises that anyone had expected. Few businesses are finding it difficult to adapt to the hybrid culture like the hospitality industry, while others like the IT industry are coping relatively well with this new model.
Amidst all this, the drive to upskill, evolve, and adapt has been overwhelming. And businesses are doing their best to impart these among the employees.
The learning and development department of any industry is also trying to reimagine the concepts and skills training. What was suitable a year back already seems obsolete in 2021. Therefore, a massive change is taking place and most industry L&D experts are encouraging technology adaptation to facilitate a remote work model.
How to Create an Efficient Hybrid Work Model in 2021
This is a new era of virtual, inclusive learning. Classroom training is getting replaced by e-learning modules. There are challenges and benefits in virtual training and in this article, we will explore how upskilling and reskilling can continue in this hybrid work model.
The corporate sector has always used e-learning modules to train its employees. However, now with classroom training being off-limits, e-learning is the only option available. In the hybrid work culture, even e-learning can be done in a hybrid way. It can contain recorded training by the trainer and PowerPoint presentations. E-learning can also be done in a game-based or story-based style.
To teach soft skills, story-based modules seem more effective. Game-based modules can encourage and challenge the employee to solve problems. This form of e-learning is never monotonous. It is fun and takes away the boredom of a training session.
It also helps to test the problem-solving skills of employees. Most employees seem to enjoy this. Most importantly, hybrid e-learning modules reduce the learning time by 40-60%.
Predefined Training Goals
What is the point of training without a set goal? The e-learning modules should have a clear objective and the assessments should match up to that objective.
If the objective of any training is that the employees would be able to identify certain inner traits or grow some specific skills, it should be clear to the learners from day one.
L&D teams have the constraint of doing everything online. They have to be proactive in their training strategies. They have to design courses that are ‘on-the-go’ as employees may not have the time to sit through an entire module. Most of the training materials have to be flexible. The training should be interesting as well as cheat-proof to ensure no one can skip the modules.
Focus on Reskilling
There is no denying the fact that many industries are going through a cash crunch. In such a situation the companies may look at their workforce and feel compelled to downsize. As the company downsizes, many employees may have to take up multiple roles. This is the time when the employees have to learn some new skills.
Taking up additional responsibilities will require them to extensively go through training sessions. The L&D department should consider creating training manuals keeping this in mind.
Emphasis on Soft Skill Training
With technology advancing at a greater pace, there is a genuine concern that technology would replace many skills. In such a situation, soft skills will be valued even more. Creativity and problem solving will be the backbone of a technology-based work model. Apart from creativity, a greater emphasis should also be on improving emotional intelligence. So, L&D efforts should focus on augmenting these skills in employees.
Upload Training Videos by Trainers
Ask the leaders in your industry or the top-level managers in your company to shoot videos imparting their knowledge. In a traditional work model, knowledge transfer (KT) has been an effective tool of training. In this new hybrid work model, KT becomes difficult due to a lack of face-to-face interaction. However, that should not be an issue. The trainers can shoot videos and then you can upload them in the Learning Management System (LMS) or the company’s intranet.
A Zoom call is the closest to a physical meeting. Employees will get an opportunity to interact during a zoom training session almost as much as they get during classroom training. Try to organize Zoom training calls for remote employees for a cost-effective and effective training solution. Request the employees to use the chat feature instead of speaking all the time. Ask them to keep themselves on mute. This will help avoid a chaotic situation where everyone starts asking at the same time.
The biggest challenge that the learning and development team may face is to get employees interested to take the training sessions. Employees may develop resistance towards online training as they may consider it unnecessary. Even if they take the training and appear for assessments, it is difficult to ascertain their actual learning.
In a physical training session, the trainer can have a one-to-one interaction, however, in a virtual setup even though one-to-one interaction is possible, often there are challenges.
One way to encourage employees to take virtual training sessions is by giving them gifts. Everybody loves gifts. Therefore, gifts can be a great incentive to encourage employees to take up the training sessions. Companies can send customized employee gifts to make them more interesting and personal. Along with e-certificates, companies can send some personalized gift items when an employee completes a course or scores well in the assessments.
L&D – The Eva Way
The pandemic has changed every aspect of life. L&D will also have to evolve in accordance with that. Technology adoption will be the first step to implement the hybrid model in the corporate workspace. Employees should get interested in learning through e-learning modules. Try to make them innovative and attractive for the learner. Soft skill training should be a priority. Provide incentives to employees in the form of gifts to get them interested in learning.