As a business leader, you are probably thinking about how you can help your business negotiate its way out of this giant Covid-shaped hole that we all find ourselves in. Things are further complicated by the uncertainties that hybrid working might bring. But as the recovery gathers pace, one solution that offers more than you might dare to hope for is eLearning.
Working from home increased from 5% of the UK workforce before the pandemic to 47% in April 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics. More than half of US employees currently working from home say they’d like to keep their remote arrangements beyond the pandemic. In mid-September, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, urged staff to return to the office. And more recently, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, said he too wants his people back at the office. For most staff, these dynamics are likely to lead to a hybrid solution involving part of the working week in the office, part at home.
Your people need to take action
Keeping your people happy is a top priority. Real value and the real opportunity for your business lies with the bits of it that are alive (and I don’t mean AI). Your people are the biggest opportunity. Remember it’s not only your business that has suffered, it’s your people too. What better way to encourage the people around you than to provide an opportunity for self-improvement in the very business skills that are needed right now.
International corporates with strong budgets for learning and development have long invested in classroom learning. During the pandemic, this pivoted to remote courses – among them eLearning, a cost-effective, dynamic solution. Regardless of the size of your business, eLearning is the affordable activity that puts you on the same level as the global corporates. Essentially eLearning is your secret weapon. Here’s why:
1. Human choices are smart choices
The one asset that has the potential to grow can be super-charged by eLearning. Only your people can shepherd your business, your clients and your culture through these challenging times. Think how much more confident your staff may be if they were better able to tap into their emotional intelligence, boost their personal impact or negotiate with clients a little better. Maybe they are new to leadership and need to motivate their teams or have difficult conversations. These skills are not nice to haves, they are fundamental to the smooth running of any business. At times like these they have the doubling effect of not only boosting skills but confidence as well. Consider it a win-win.
2. Supporting people in a hybrid environment
For a year now, offices have largely been shut, people are working remotely. They can learn remotely too. Your people are completely plugged into the internet and everyone under 30 is likely to be a digital native. You may not have the resources to spend on large, wholesale development programs, but the world has changed and now the resources we need are available at the touch of a button. Whether in the office or at home, eLearning can be rolled out at scale for a fraction of the price of big face-to-face learning interventions, offering benefits such as ‘just in time’ learning.
3. Attention and engagement are learning gold
We don’t live in an analogue world any more, nowadays learners want instant, high quality bitesize visual learning experiences, delivered by experts, pumped straight to whatever device they are holding. Although attention spans have decreased, people thirst for the chance to become a better version of themselves. To hold their attention, it’s important to inspire people emotionally so that the ideas and techniques they learn have a positive, permanent effect on their behaviour.
What are you waiting for?
Martin Luther King once told people to embrace “the fierce urgency of now”. What fantastic advice. May I suggest you follow that advice and plug your staff into an experience that will improve not only their lives but also the prospects of your company.
Nick Smallman is CEO of Working Voices, a global professional skills training provider and the architect of Learnflix – a modern, professional skills eLearning platform used by international corporations around the world.