E-learning: professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic

Companies are currently facing major challenges that can only be overcome if employees acquire new skills. That is why e-learning is more in demand than ever. It is not just the Corona crisis that forces companies to rethink employee training and development.

e-learning-professional-development

Social distancing could last for a long time. So the question arises as to what will happen to workforce training during and after Corona. The current study "The future of qualification in companies after Corona" provides interesting insights into this topic. The authors, Stifterverband and McKinsey & Company, surveyed 550 companies in Germany in August 2020 for this study.

Current challenges due to Coronavirus

e-learning during COVID-19Digital training or e-learning have become widely accepted. Before the COVID 19 pandemic began, 35 percent of offerings were available digitally; today, 54 percent are. The German economy has recognized the importance of qualification in times of crisis.

Unfortunately, due to the tight situation in industries such as tourism and events, budgets for further training have been cut in many places. In the Corona crisis, companies have to manage the balancing act between the need to save money and the increasing need for qualifications: On the one hand, companies are exposed to great financial pressure and it is easy to cut the budget for qualifications. Nevertheless, investments are urgently needed, especially during the crisis, because new skills and abilities are in demand right now.

For some employees, the combination of socially isolating remote work and lack of job security has turned into a mental health crisis. To reduce pressure in the current period of uncertainty, HR leaders must take concrete steps to actively engage employees, encourage social interaction, provide additional mental health benefits and support, and be transparent about the possibility of layoffs.

Future Skills lead out of the crisis

digital-trainings-future-skillsDeveloping the skills of your actual staff can help get you out of a crisis. Ideally equipped employees with the right knowledge and good skills are well prepared to meet future challenges and ambitious projects. In 2021, companies should encourage their employees to build their skills. Provide proper training to motivate your personnel for constant ongoing training.

Future skills in the pandemic increase the need for skill training. For example, the amount of training in key digital skills has increased by 75 percent since March.

Whether in retail, logistics or manufacturing, a new normal is emerging characterized by the increased use of digital technologies. To operate successfully in decentralized and digital work structures, employees need key qualifications. This primarily involves qualifications in the areas of "digital interaction," "digital learning," and "digital literacy."

The prerequisites for success in a new approach to continuing education are innovative learning formats, greater transparency with regard to the skills that are actually required, systematic evaluations of learning successes, clear business cases for qualification, and the establishment of an adequate IT infrastructure that supports decentralized learning. Qualifications must be successively integrated into everyday work in order to ensure the sustainable development of skills.

Don't forget soft skills

It is not just about technical knowledge: Make sure that newly hired employees and every person in the company receive training on diversity, integration and cultural sensitivity - so-called diversity management. Make this an ongoing process until a global mindset becomes the norm. It is also important to emphasize openness, curiosity, communication, empathy and compassion.

Courses on "digital ethics," for example, can teach people to critically question digital information as well as the effects of their own digital actions and to make appropriate ethical decisions.

HR must accompany people

In many industries, staff reductions are unfortunately unavoidable. Companies assume social responsibility and often accompany leaves of absence with qualification offers. Employees on leave who do not remain with the organization in the long term benefit from training and development opportunities. Even if it is difficult, companies should also give a perspective to those who no longer play a role in the medium-term strategy. In this way, companies make a valuable contribution to the development of a well-trained workforce and thus to the economy and society as a whole.

Future-oriented training

future-oriented training coronavirusBy clearly analyzing the skills needed in a company, tailored qualification offerings can be developed. Companies need to inform their personnel about which skills are important for professional success. It is crucial to get the people employed to take part in appropriate training and further education and to get them enthusiastic about learning. It must also be communicated more clearly to the outside world which skills different industries expect: potential applicants can thus already set targeted priorities during their studies or training.

The ecosystem for qualification offerings can be enriched through increased cooperation with strategic partners. Through close cooperation with external partners, companies can ensure access to future-relevant qualification programs. Didactic formats must be aligned with required qualifications and existing structures.

After training courses have been offered, they should of course be followed up and the success and effectiveness of the training should be recorded. HR software providers offer a range of tools for this purpose, such as recording successes in a target agreement (rexx management by objectives) or documentation via skills management.

HR experts demand digital programs

The trend toward digital trainings is welcomed by well-known HR experts: Heike Eckert, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Börse AG, explains, "Simply adapting old qualification programs designed for presence will not be enough - training must be rethought and adapted to the digital world."

Peter Fieser, Senior Vice President Head of Human Resources, Hensoldt AG, emphasizes: "Good qualification is only possible if the employee stands behind it. Self-motivation and voluntary training must therefore become the focus of attention. Qualification needs a clear business case over three to five years. Only in this way will its value become visible."

Claudia Klug, Member of the Management Board and Labor Director, Schwäbisch Hall Kreditservice GmbH, expresses a similar view: "During the coronavirus crisis, we switched almost all our training courses to digital formats. Employees recognized the need for qualification and used our learning services 50 percent more frequently. A surprising realization during the conversion to digital qualification was that intimacy can also be created in the virtual space that employees feel comfortable with."

rexx systems - your partner for digital training

rexx E-Learning offers the greatest possible flexibility. It is closely linked to rexx seminar management, guaranteeing smooth workflows and data exchange from registration to certificate issuance.

With the rexx e-learning software, you complement your existing training offerings, enable the implementation of modern blended learning concepts, and ensure effective and sustainable continuing education, including impact monitoring.

 

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19. April 2021

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