Reimagine Learning in the Time of Pandemic

Author(s): Tamara Heimonen

We often talk about the impact of VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) times on our organizations, and the current COVID-19 pandemic is a test case like no other. HR leaders are tasked with simultaneously addressing individual questions and concerns while also evaluating alternate work arrangements and longer-term workforce planning impacts that may need to be explored to address the economic impact of customer and labor disruptions.

Given this scenario, the knee-jerk reaction may be to suspend all learning & development activities, as both a cost-cutting and risk management effort.

But what if the next few weeks are an opportunity to reimagine learning experiences instead?

Most modern learning management system (LMS) solutions and learning experience (LX) platforms offer the capability to quickly create virtual learning experiences as well as curate self-directed learning paths that employees can access from the comfort of their own homes. If you haven’t explored this opportunity in the past, reach out to your vendor partners and ask for a virtual walkthrough for your L&D team members. You might be surprised by the capability you haven’t been leveraging in the past and have a built-in business case for implementing it now.

Even if you don’t have an LMS or LX platform in place, consider the channels that are being used for virtual collaboration and information sharing in the workplace. Cloud-based collaboration services like Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Slack can all be used for virtual facilitation, content sharing, and peer-to-peer discussion.

Here are some questions to ask before jumping to the conclusion that now is not the time to focus on learning and development:

  • Are there eLearning courses available that cover similar content to classroom content?
  • Can self-directed learning paths be created and offered via the LMS or LX platform?
  • Can my learning content vendor provider help me source and curate content?
  • Are there other collaboration tools that can be leveraged to host learning experiences or curate learning content?

McLean and Company’s How to Curate Guide is quick resource to creating the best experience for learners, as part of the Implement Curated Learning blueprint, which offers guidance on the L&D transformation needed to support agility within organizations and allow learners to access and share the right content at the right time.

Finally, seize the opportunity for the HR team to further their own professional development through McLean Academy, a series of practical, outcome-driven eLearning courses delivered by experts in the field and eligible for HRPA, SHRM, and HRCI Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits.

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