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Learning and development in the post COVID-19 world

Employees must be trained to learn, unlearn and relearn to stay relevant and remain competitive globally in today's digital world. MS Rao offers some tips to learning and development trainers to facilitate this

Learning and development in the post COVID-19 world

“Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents”  – Epictetus

With the rapid changes in technologies, learning and development has transformed tremendously. The roles and responsibilities of employees have changed enormously due to increased artificial intelligence (AI) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Therefore, employees must be trained to learn, unlearn and relearn to stay relevant and remain competitive globally. Additionally, McKinsey's research estimates that as many as 800 million jobs could be displaced by automation by 2030. So, it is time to adopt innovative tools and techniques to update the learning and development industry.

Training strategy

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training. The training strategy must be adopted as per the profile of the audience, size, strength, duration, and availability of resources. When you want to become an energetic trainer, speaker, and coach you must know how to mesmerize your audiences emotionally and effectively. You must have the right strategy and adopt unique tactics, tools, and techniques in your programmes and workshops. You must have great connections and a team to do your PR work. You must create hope in your audiences and ensure valuable takeaways to them. You must be an expert in packing, branding and marketing your programmes and events successfully.

Exploring innovative experiential learning methods helps immensely to ensure takeaways to the learners. Interactive training is essential to build energy and enthusiasm between trainers and learners. It engages audiences effectively and avoids boredom that prevails in conventional one-way training. Trainers adopt various interactive methods such as quizzes, group discussions, case studies, summarizing the essence, role-plays and active participation to engage learners. They can mix and match the interactive methods as per the programme, profile and size of the audiences.

There are several lessons the speakers, trainers and coaches must adopt to succeed, by taking away from successful trainers, speakers and coaches and customizing them as per their requirements in their workshops and training programmes. Conventionally, the trainers embrace a framework known as “70:20:10” in which 70% of learning takes place on the job, 20% through interaction and collaboration, and 10% through formal-learning interventions such as classroom training and digital curricula. It is essential to modify this strategy in the post-coronavirus world where online learning and training have gained more significance. Additionally, AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution have compelled the learning and development area to reinvent training strategies accordingly.

Training techniques

Here are some training tactics, tools, and techniques for trainers to consider adopting and customizing as per the type of the programme, topic and profile of their audiences. As a trainer you must have charisma, energy and enthusiasm. Your programmes must be unique and events must be inspiring. You must design unique events and programmes. You must have crazy ideas. You must adopt a positive body language. You must ask your audiences to raise their hands. You must ask questions and learn from them. You must have the energy and ability to engage your audiences emotionally and effectively to ensure takeaways to them. You must be an attentive listener and understand the psychology of your audiences. Understanding and applying Sigmund Freud’s ideas and insights can help you immensely. You must create positive vibes and elevate your audiences with positive psychology. You must be an expert in executing psychometric tools and techniques. You must share your personal stories, encourage your audiences to take notes, and implore them to write down their observations. Above all, you must lead your audiences from the front.

Dos and don’ts during training programmes

Here are some dos and don'ts during the training programme. Adopt innovative tools and techniques to ensure takeaways to learners. Speak in the language of the learners. Make your training session learner centric. Avoid taboo language. Add value to your audiences. Your mission in life is to make a positive difference, not to show how smart you are. Don’t worry excessively about your end result and feedback. Question yourself whether you are doing the best thing or the right thing. Emphasize doing the right thing to ensure longevity.

Training in the post-coronavirus world

Training has transformed from instructor-led and interactive to computer-based video training and e-learning training. Some organizations are using virtual training coaches who engage learners like real human trainers. Some organizations, including IBM and Cisco, started using virtual platforms to train their employees, and during interviews and meetings. The millennial employees are enjoying virtual avatars.

It is essential to adopt technology and customize training programmemes. Remember that technology cannot replace teachers and trainers. No machines can replace humans. Technology can add value to the training programmes. Therefore, trainers must harness technology effectively.

Learning and development must adapt to the changing times and technologies especially in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Trainers and learners must embrace uncertainty and leverage technology to add value to the learners.

Be passionate about training, speaking, coaching and mentoring to become a successful trainer, speaker, coach and mentor. Add value to your audiences. Ensure valuable takeaways to your learners. To conclude, update regularly with the latest training tactics, tools and techniques to excel as an excellent trainer, speaker, coach and mentor to inspire others.

Published 12 August 2020

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