As we hit the one year milestone of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth pausing to evaluate how the pandemic has changed corporate training. New technology, new anxieties, new norms – will any of them stick once the pandemic is over?
From what our Learning & Development (L&D) customers are doing, we see three things that are here to stay. Read on to find out what they are and their implications.
1. Blended Training Model
Due to business shutdowns and social distancing measures, almost all face-to-face training had to pause. If you hadn’t already been hosting virtual training, you sure did in 2020. And according to the Ken Blanchard 2021 L&D Trends Report, 57% of trainers expect face-to-face training to only return within the context of blended training.
Here is what that might look like: to kickoff leadership training, you might bring all the company executives to one place for a day of in-person sessions. Then, instead of keeping them there for three days or making them come back every month, you use virtual meetings, pulse software, and digital training materials to carry through the course.
Why will blended training stick around? It boils down to budget and learner expectations. A quality digital course is resource-intensive, and it can be used over and over again with minor tweaks, making it far less expensive than regular in-person training. Plus, as corporate learners grow accustomed to working remotely and signing in for virtual meetings, their appetite for blended training that works on their schedule will grow.
2. Virtual Meeting Software
Since live, virtual training isn’t going anywhere, that means virtual meeting software is staying put, too. In fact, the market is only growing and projected to hit $41.58 billion in 2027. That means you need to build your virtual meeting skills (and stay nimble, in case your company changes providers or in case you change companies).
Trainers generally prefer web conferencing solutions that prioritize learner engagement, such as live chat, polling, drawing on the screen, and breakout rooms. If you’re looking to learn new software, check out Endurance Learning’s trainer’s guides to the major meeting softwares.
And if you are a small training business looking for an easy solution, check out our partnership with Highfive.
3. Printed Training Materials
This one is a little surprising, since the pandemic has forced so much business interaction into the digital sphere. However, our facilities produce and ship training materials every day, so we know firsthand that corporate L&D teams still rely on print.
The Ken Blanchard 2021 Trends Report explains why. Trainers report learner engagement as a top pain point in their virtual training, and a fair number are also concerned with how well their population understands technology. Providing printed training materials as a supplement to the virtual experience helps bridge this gap.
Most of our customers use print to engage learners beyond their screen. For example, instead of forcing the learner to switch between a Zoom window and a digital worksheet, the trainer refers learners to the physical workbook that was delivered directly to their homes. Of course, print is only realistic if you have a reliable vendor, rather than printing and shipping from your home office.
The corporate L&D world has gone through a lot of changes in the past year as it bore the brunt of swiftly changing organizations. While some developments – like social distancing – will hopefully fade into memory as health concerns disappear, others are here to stay.
Click here to learn how Mimeo helps trainers expand capacity with print, digital, and web conferencing solutions.