When business is on hold, learning doesn’t have to be

You might already have had to change up how you work over the last couple of weeks. But even if you haven’t yet, there’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge effect on businesses. Working from home is becoming the norm, and we’ll all see more coronavirus cancellations in our calendars as non-essential visits get paused.

The Writer runs a lot of international training. So we’ve already had to think on our feet to switch up plans at short notice. Our clients are asking us how they can still get the benefits of a carefully thought-out language learning programme without the risks that come with travelling and face-to-face contact.

Here’s our view.

Now’s the time to take advantage of digital learning  

 

We’ve long been fans of digital learning. How else could you get a hundred people together across a dozen cities, all brushing up on turning numbers into stories? Most of the training programmes we recommend will always have a digital element – whether it’s video conferences, pre-recorded lessons, or interactive e-learn modules.

We do that firstly because it’s effective. Designed well, virtual training can be just as impactful and successful as face to face. And often, it’s the only way to get the job done when teams are spread out across different cities and countries. A few days ago, we trained over 700 people in dozens of countries around the world in just one morning. One of those Webex sessions had over 350 people (a personal best for us).

Secondly, digital training is digestible. Online learning sessions tend to be shorter, so you can squeeze them into your day and spend less time away from what it is you do to make the company money.

Last but not least, it’s sustainable. Digital training cuts down on travel expenses, and you can repeat sessions and share them quite easily.

We anticipate that in the next few months, most of the training we do will be digital. And we’re cool with that.

With a bit of support, online learning works out great

 

Face-to-face, in-person training will always have a role for us. Attendees get direct contact with our trainers, so they can practice their new skills right as they learn them, and bounce ideas off a professional writer there and then.

This isn’t possible on a pre-recorded video, or practical in a video conference with 200 delegates on the line. So when in-person training isn’t an option, we recommend supplementing any training sessions with some backup support for when attendees have had time to try out what they’ve learned. For example, we might suggest:

  • one-to-one coaching by video call
  • writing advice through a ‘virtual helpdesk’: tap our experts for feedback and we’ll write back to you in an agreed time
  • drop-in clinics (or ‘office hours’ for our American colleagues) – where teams can get feedback on their writing in real time, and learn from each other’s experience.

 

Your business might not be working as usual over the coming months, but that need not disrupt your training plans. If you’re looking for creative and novel ways to share learning while your staff are working from home, talk to us.

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