All job functions and roles are expected to face challenges as businesses stare straight into the face of an economic slowdown across the globe. For some, it is about just sailing across what is to come, for others it’s about mitigating damages as best as they can. And for some, it’s about keeping everybody in their groups floating. In a time period with such turbulent conditions swaying the way businesses operate, L&D departments are certainly going to face some challenges in addressing everybody’s needs.

This article helps L&D professionals understand where to divert attention and energy during the ongoing chaos and how to successfully transition into a new working environment for the future.

Challenges Faced by L&D Professionals As Businesses Resume Operations

Possible Cuts in Training Budgets

The chances of facing budget cuts are high across all industries. The last few months have been rough, forcing organizations to rethink their spending. As a cost-center, training and development might see the first phase of budget cuts. Cutting costs by trimming the flow of funds towards the operations of a cost-center makes immense sense during a recession. But cuts in training budgets are double-edged swords as the lack of training and information due to an inexistent or bleak L&D body is equally concerning.  There are obvious benefits to maintaining a steady training and development schedule as we progress through 2020.

A strong L&D setup can benefit both health and safety of the employees and the economic revival of organizations. Regardless, it is wise to expect cuts in training budgets right off the bat, and L&D teams of some organizations have a huge task ahead of them. Especially the ones that once had astronomical L&D expenses that were very avoidable.

Dimming Scope of Traditional Training

The slowing economy is one of the biggest challenges faced by L&D professionals in 2023.

Although we are crawling towards resuming complete operations, a single mistake like overspending in one department can bring all operations to a stop, for examples paying for a mere day’s worth of in-person training. Hence, it is recommended that all training and development activities be switched to eLearning. To do this, L&D teams must develop a plan which strategically rations their limited L&D budgets to purchase the right eLearning technology at the right price. At the same time, an early move in the direction of virtual training could prove beneficial as well.  Moving completely to eLearning may seem difficult, but we have simplified the process in this blog: Introducing eLearning to Learners Comfortable with Face-to-Face Training.

Inclusion of Safety, Mitigation, and Compliance Training

Most employees never take compliance and safety training seriously. However, things have changed in 2020. Compliance and safety training ensure people maintain discipline when interacting with other employees and that all safety precautions are followed. Which basically means, it is now up to the L&D team to devise training programs and compliance courses to inform employees about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour within the workspace. To do this, the L&D teams will first have to study and understand the nature of the COVID-19 virus and accordingly devise health and safety regulatory frameworks for employees to follow within and outside the workplace. This is something that all L&D professionals must immediately focus on as employees start reporting to work.

Continuing The Training Journey by Budgeting Wisely

Cuts in budgets, inability to conduct traditional training and the need to ensure sufficient cashflow may put L&D off regular training activities. But this must not be the case. Regular training must continue, even if conducted in a limited format. If anything, the coming period demands that the corporate workforce be highly trained and ready to accept the challenges brought on by the global economic slowdown.  One move to ensure that training continues unhindered is to switch to affordable eLearning alternatives instead of the overpriced systems that organizations are currently paying for. There is no doubt that training will have to be streamlined to ensure only the most important topics are covered, given the budget cuts. This means, organizations that once relied on fancy over-the-top learning platforms with all the bells and whistles will suddenly find that over 50% of their LMS is not used. Which indicates that they are paying hefty yearly licensing costs to LMS vendors for a fancy LMS with limited usage.  You can conduct the same training on simpler platforms with affordable licensing plans. These LMS do not burn holes in an organization’s pockets, especially when the economy is in the rough.

Upskilling Teams

Cost-cutting is one part of a long list of challenges faced by L&D function. Other functions will face cost-cutting as well. Downsizing human capital is one way of cutting immediate costs and it is already in practice. Organizations are just not seeing the need to hire multiple people for multiple roles. The shortage of funds does not permit this. We are seeing more organizations stressing on upskilling existing employees to perform multiple roles. Upskilling and multi-role-fulfilment were concepts that eLearning already promised to tackle. However, not many people took notice until the start of the 2020’s pandemic. The stance has dramatically shifted since the start of 2020. Few people need to know more. The onus of achieving this directly lays in the hands of the L&D group. Training and upskilling people for a multi-role position is the way ahead.

Concluding Challenges Faced by L&D

An effective L&D plan to manage a possible economic slowdown will be one of your biggest investments. L&D teams are needed to tackle two very important functions, and getting it right is the key to success in the new world.

We are here to help tackle all challenges faced by L&D during this time of great need. If you’re looking to get started with eLearning or are unsure about how eLearning can fit into your organization’s training and development framework, reach out to us via email or fill a contact form and we’ll get back to you. Try our learning management system – Abara LMS free for 30 days.

Challenges Faced by L&D as an Economic Slowdown Looms

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