All job functions and roles are expected to face challenges as businesses resume operations around the globe. For some, it is about recovering lost revenue. For others, it is about employee safety. In a time-period with such diverse requirements, the L&D departments are certainly going to face some challenges 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 in 2020
Possible Cuts in Training Budgets
The chances of organizations facing budget cuts are high across all industries. The last few months have been rough. Organizations are required to rethink their spending. As a cost-centre, training and development might see the first phase of budget cuts. But cuts in training budgets are double-edged swords. Cutting costs by trimming the flow of funds towards the operations of a cost-centre makes immense sense during a recession. However, given the nature of this pandemic, the lack of training and information due to an inexistent or bleak L&D body could be equally dangerous.
There are obvious benefits of 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.
No Scope of Traditional Training Settings
The inability to conduct traditional training is one of the biggest challenges faced by L&D professionals in 2020. Some of them are:
- The congregation of two or more people in a tight closed circulation environment
- Circulation of any paper-based assessments
- Travelling training experts and their sessions
- Travelling learners
Although crawling towards resuming complete operations, a single mistake like conducting a training session in a closed circulation environment can place the entire staff of an organization at risk. 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 health safety may put some 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.
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 before your organization opens its doors for business 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.