The past generations approached learning conventionally. Learning or corporate training was delivered inside a classroom conventionally.
The approach to learning is becoming more unconventional, lately. We moved out of classrooms, went to corporate retreats, had outdoor sessions as part of evolution of corporate trainings.
Millennials and Gen-Z have a different relationship, expectation, and approach to learning. Learning now must be micro, mobile-first, innovative, beautifully designed, relevant, and on-demand to meet the needs of the next generation. These evolving expectations were the primary driving force behind the other learning and development shifts with the changing face of workforces in the corporates and also the fast growth of digitized culture.
The way we work, train or learn has evolved and still continues to change every day with accelerated technological developments. Everyday new learning apps are launched, AI is becoming popular as the future of how businesses work and also to ease our lives.
All this became fast track as the business ecosystems felt the heat due to the COVID19 crisis and nations being locked down for the safety of humankind. The human resources and L&D departments were found shifting gears towards remote facilitation and corporate training.
Remote learning comes in handy when the learner, the facilitator and the resources of learning are separated by time and distance and cannot be together physically. In such a situation, the learning material is transmitted via technology. This transmission could take place through any digital platform like email, video conference, google classrooms etc. Such technological advancement saves a lot of time and money as it reduces the need to be physically present for the training or meetings.
In the past, the Y2K glitch problem demanded extensive use of Indian software engineers, leading to the tripling of employment-based visas granted by the U.S. Fixing that bug enabled Indian engineers to establish their credentials, and catapulted them as world leaders in addressing technology problems. Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, and Adobe are all headed by India-born engineers today.
Similarly, right now the corona-virus outbreak is generating an extensive and widespread need for remote learning as people are practicing social distancing and complete lockdown in some areas. This pandemic is going to cause many substantial changes in our society as well as business. The face of corporate trainings is going to change but the challenges for trainers and facilitators will remain same as far as human interface and learning capability is concerned.
With schools and colleges being locked down due to COVID-19, educators across the country are moving to virtual classes via digital portals to ensure learning never stops. Such remote learning not only enables teachers and students to connect over video-enabled remote classrooms but also provides a host of interactive and collaborative tools on a single platform. Similarly, the industry is fast moving towards online learning sessions, digital town halls and webinars. But when it comes to corporate trainings, the alignment of training delivery with learner’s preferences is going to be a challenge.
The L&D teams would need to work extensively with the trainers as per the learner capabilities for various programs.
While the change is slowly taking space, employers and employees are fast realizing the benefits of the same. Working remotely or work from home is already being seen as the new normal.
Though it is still in the nascent stage, we can say that remote learning is advantageous in many ways even if not the most appropriate for all situations. Some of the advantages as seen currently include,
- Affordability, even during the scale of economies. Technological advancements have made the costs really low as compared the costs involved in infrastructure.
- Offers flexibility of hours as well as place.
- The medium of the facilitation can be decided on the basis of their program requirements.
- Offers, conferencing, face to face discussions as well as digital town halls to larger audience size.
- Easy to reach beyond geographical limitations.
- Opens wider opportunities by providing easy access to the learning materials in different forms and even at a click.
The digital offerings and communication technologies in our lives are shaping the future of remote work. People are shifting towards web conferencing, team meetings on video call etc. Remote corporate trainings for employee development and online work boards are fast adopted for convenience, saving time and money. Covid19 is working as an induction phase and productivity is high with adaptability.
Additionally, present day businesses are offering full-time “remote” work positions and employers are no more hesitant to do so because of the threat of decreased productivity.
With the above adoptions in business ecosystem, the face of corporate trainings is going to evolve too. The facilitators need to work on wider perspectives, new ideas and innovation to make the online learning & corporate training programs exciting, inclusive and productive at the same time.