Rebuilding your learning strategy in uncertain times

n March 2020 the world changed, and with that came unforeseen workplace issues. The spread of Covid-19 has created the obvious business problems – staff safety, income, events and meetings have all been left in limbo. It has also presented L&D with new challenges to overcome. How, then, can you rebuild your learning strategy to meet learning needs, increase skill sets and support the business to achieve key deliverables against this backdrop of volatility and uncertainty?

Traditionally, when building a learning strategy, we would aim to gain a deeper insight into the business we are supporting by spending time with leaders to understand what the business wishes to achieve with regards to the development of its workforce. We’d then look closely at how this plays out on the operational side of the business, what challenges staff face and consider which learning solutions would gain support and buy-in from key individuals and teams.

Next, we would consider content, in collaboration with subject matter experts and explore implementation with the support of a learning professional. We would then assess, test, iterate and identify key metrics in evaluating whether the learning is having a significant impact.

That, alongside communications, would comprise the key parts of an L&D strategy, and with each iteration we would try new approaches, keep what was working and test new innovations across our performance benchmark.

Naturally, the global pandemic has had a huge impact on all of this and has forced us to consider how we can restructure this traditional strategy for the new conditions we live in. The biggest change has been on the technology side – remote working has forced everyone to press the ‘fast forward’ button on digital transformation. There’s also been an attitude shift with regards to the efficacy of home working. When working in offices in my previous roles, I sometimes heard people who were working from home referred to as having an ‘easy Friday’ etc. We all know now that this isn’t the case. Remote working is now being accepted as a sustainable way forward.

All of these changes mean that any new learning strategies need to fundamentally shift to accommodate these new ways of working.