- Nearly half of respondents to a recent survey said remote work has made learning and development more important to their success than before, according to a Nov. 12 report by Kahoot. Despite that finding, 66% said their companies did not improve workplace training since the pandemic-driven shift to remote work.
- Forty-one percent of employees surveyed said they would prefer to continue using remote learning after the pandemic, while half said they would prefer blended learning once offices are open and 13% expressed a preference for all in-person training. Respondents also emphasized the importance of developing a culture of learning.
- According to the report, connection with colleagues and engagement are weakening because of remote work. Of the survey respondents, 65% said team spirit is lower since the start of remote work and 29% said they are less engaged.
The pandemic has reshaped learning and development significantly for many companies. E-learning now makes up 21-40% of the median employer’s L&D offering, according to research from the Association for Talent Development, up from 1-20% a year ago. Nearly all (99%) of the organizations in that survey said they offered some form of online training. Demand for online learning providers increased “exponentially” in April and continued for many organizations through the summer.
"We know that nearly 85% of L&D functions have shifted their in-person training to virtual, and they have had to make significant changes to all of their programs and offerings — including onboarding, manager development, and HIPO and leadership programs," Sari Wilde, managing vice president in Gartner's HR practice, previously told HR Dive.
In addition to remote work, the pandemic has caused many changes to work processes and procedures on which employees needed to be trained quickly. For example, managers had to rebuild onboarding plans and workplace openings required new ground rules. HR leaders responsible for learning have had to be more agile than ever to respond to these rapidly-changing circumstances.
Given Kahoot’s finding that employees are placing more value on learning, employers may also be well-positioned to benefit from development. A recent study from McKinsey stated that employees are more trainable now than before because of their increased familiarity with videoconferencing and other digital collaboration tools. As a result, the consulting firm’s researchers said that this makes digital training a more scalable initiative that is worth significant investment.
Remote work can also prevent employees from learning from their peers, now that it isn’t as easy to quickly ask for help with an assignment or overhear a colleague struggling with a decision and offer advice. Employers that spoke with HR Dive shared that they have attempted to overcome this challenge by creating online channels for idea sharing and advice as well as formal development programs for managers and mentorship programs.