L&D in the midst of COVID19

Without doubt COVID-19 has created huge levels of worldwide business uncertainty which has cascaded into all our lives, leading to self-doubt, anxiety and most likely a teensy tiny element of fear.

The world just isn’t the same anymore and as we turn the corner towards a new normal, those with the responsibility of designing and delivering Learning & Development will have noticed the rules of the game have already changed.

If you work in L&D you already know that pink and fluffy training already had its day and if you aren’t able to prove some form of return on investment it’s unlikely you’d be around for that long!

That leads us to now. Halfway through 2020 and recent research shows that while up to 40% of L&D professionals have been furloughed, 38% of people still working now have more time to learn than ever before. New ways of working has allowed for some self-analysing and people are realising they don’t have the internal skills need to achieve their goals. What’s that cry from the front line…? “L&D, we need you now!!” 

We think that there’s a few simple things you can do to help the business you work with see the benefits of Learning & Development now. You’ll also find out why we used a butterfly as this blog’s cover photo.  

Have a little faith

You got where you are because you have an innate ability to help others learn. It’s okay to have a mini crisis in confidence (who doesn’t have these?) but you need to get all Taylor Swift over it and ‘shake it off’. Remember that good leadership comes from those who believe in and continually develop themselves. And even those need some help to do that for themselves and for their teams. 

Get into the data

Now’s the time to get your head into the data and start shouting about the impact you’ve made. Data rules the world and right now budgets are being slashed so you must be able to remind those holding the purse strings what L&D can do in this time of need. Think about promotions, retention, feedback, compliance, engagement, coaching, mentoring and the power of onboarding and inductions. Get feedback from leaders from your last programme and quotes from your managers demonstrating how your initiatives added strength in their workplaces. L&D helped make all those things happen.

Everyone loves a quick win

Everyone at work will have similar challenges and concerns now so have a think about the quick wins that help people to remember the value of L&D. Your job here is to help people with the skills they need now like remote working, wellbeing, mental health, virtual skills, 121’s and coaching. This doesn’t need to be War and Peace. Think bitesize, eLearning or micro learning instead. 

Build trust and recommend 

Being present and available as L&D support can help to build trust and confidence in you and your role. Listen carefully and make recommendations that you think will equip leaders, managers and their teams to be the best they can be in the current climate.

Adaptation is essential

Your old content might not hit the mark anymore. Don’t be a stick in the mud. Review it. Refresh it. Adapt it. Make it fit the world we are in right now and show that you’re forward thinking, not recycling old materials and hoping for the best. 

Usher in the new

It’s often the job of L&D to help your company learn to trust new delivery methods – from the influx of new virtual communications right through to the implementation of new styles, models and programmes. L&D always brings change and they need you now. 

Use all your learning methods

For most companies there is naturally a huge swing towards virtual training now. Embrace this revolution (many of you will have been fighting for this anyway!) and use your skills to take what you have and use it in a different way. 

This doesn’t need to be in isolation. Too many are sticking purely to digital innovations. Encourage people to use traditional methods as well! Pre-read an article, listen to a podcast, read chapters of books (yes, real, old fashioned paper books) and discuss, get on YouTube or set up a discussion forum.

Face to face isn’t gone forever, it’s just in ‘hibernation‘.

Use this time wisely and consider where and when it’s essential, desirable and heaven forbid, perhaps even not required at all anymore.

Be like an L&D caterpillar, take some time now to change and grow and come out as a brand-new shiny butterfly when you’re needed the most. 

Don’t go it alone 

Reach out. Talk to your peers, friends, colleagues and contacts and get a well-rounded view on what you’re doing. Advice from these people is free and will help you see the full picture for your recommendations. There’s tons of useful data out there about L&D and the impact from COVID19 so just get searching to expand your horizons. 

Trust in your suppliers

If you need additional support and skills from external suppliers, then reach out as they’ll want to help you too. Ask them what they’ve been helping other clients with and what they can do for you. It’s worth a video call to get inspired and if you do need to spend money it’s important to make sure it’s going to return a result. 

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. 

Unfortunately for you, the world isn’t under your control and whilst L&D are often expected to have all the answers, we don’t have all the power! Focus on everything you can do, including looking after yourself so that you can help those around you learn and develop. You’re doing a great job. ?? 

At Well Prepared Training we can support you and your businesses and are happy to help. To reach out for an initial chat click here to start the conversation. 

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