- Company leaders in survey results published Feb. 17 by performance management software firm Engagedly said their organizations are engaging in select learning and development processes more frequently during the pandemic.
- The list includes practices such as live online training, both from internal teams and external providers, as well as ongoing feedback, developmental assessments and online training from internal providers. More than 50% of the 267 respondents, who ranged from top organizational executives to vice presidents, said their organizations were using each of these items on at least a "more frequent" basis, per Engagedly's data.
- Engagedly observed a similar response when respondents were asked about performance management activities. More than 60% of respondents said ongoing check-ins were occurring more frequently during the pandemic, and more than 50% said the same of reviews and assessments generally. A majority, some 74%, said they anticipated such changes would continue after the pandemic ends.
The term "acceleration" has been frequently used to describe the impact of COVID-19 on L&D. Observers of the space had long noted trends toward concepts such as upskilling, on-demand learning and the continued growth of digital learning formats, ranging from online courses to interactive virtual reality simulations. As organizations adjust to the reality of flexible and remote work operations, those existing trends may be amplified in 2021, sources recently told HR Dive.
Take the e-learning space as an example. The Association for Talent Development found that e-learning made up between 21% and 40% of the median organization's learning portfolio last year, up from between 1% and 20% in 2019. Over a period of five years, the association found 99% of surveyed organizations offered employees access to e-learning, up from 76% five years prior.
Organizations are also finding new ways to creatively inject virtual learning elements into training that may have been conducted on-site before the pandemic. PepsiCo is using video game Minecraft to perform Lean Six Sigma training, an idea based on the suggestion of an employee's son. An official at Uber Freight previously told HR Dive that the company has adapted tools such as Zoom to organize group learning into breakout sessions that can facilitate group learning discussions.
Despite enthusiasm for online learning, L&D teams still may be dealing with familiar problems as they respond to the challenges caused by the pandemic. Even prior to 2020, employers struggled to organize digital learning content in an intuitive way, while others faced concern that learning investments were not leading to the results promised by vendors and training organizations.
Engagement also is a persistent area of uncertainty. A recent survey by ThinkHR found 91% of employers said they had trouble ensuring that employees complete training.