Corporate Training in the Wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What does coronavirus outbreak mean for corporate training? Read to understand how this outbreak might affect L&D.

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Coronavirus and its Effect on Corporate Training

What is the best thing to do in times of crises? Simple, hold on and let the storm pass!

Easier said than done, do you think?

Right now, the world is going through a huge crisis with the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic, with around 153,517 confirmed cases worldwide and 5,735 deaths across 141 countries as per the situational report of 15th March, and more cases have been reported since then. Amidst this chaos, it is quite understandable to panic and feel helpless, but that’s not a solution to the problem.

With everyone trying their best to find solutions, what’s most needed at this time is support, even in corporate communities. If you are among the vast majority of people concerned about the future of your business and employees, here are some tips I’d like to share.

Tips for Preventing Coronavirus Infection

1. Take a Deep Breath, Don’t Panic 

If you’re feeling desperate looking at the rising number of cases, don’t! International organizations like WHO and CDC are working around the clock to control the outbreak, provide the right information and develop a vaccine against the virus. Keep up with the latest updates from recognized health organizations but beware of falling for fake news.

2. Take Care and Follow All Preventive Measures

Prevention is always better than cure, especially now when a cure is not even available. Here are few precautions you and your team can follow to avoid exposure to the virus.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 40 seconds or more, especially after you have been to a public place or a washroom or after you have sneezed or coughed. Don’t forget to wash your hands after traveling by public transport, even cabs, after touching door handles or the seat belt! If soap and water is not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and hair.
  • Avoid crowded public places. Postpone your travel plans for now.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. Distance yourself from other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. Avail the work-from-home provision to reduce the threat of infection.
  • If you feel sick, self-isolation is the first step. Avoid coming in contact with others. Use a tissue while sneezing or coughing and put it in a closed bin immediately. If the symptoms persist, contact the nearest COVID-testing center and get tested.
  • Wear a mask if you’re sick or taking care of a sick individual. Avoid wearing masks if you are not sick or exposed. Facemasks may be in short supply and should be saved for caregivers.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects like mobile phones, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, desks, countertops, etc.

Coronavirus and Corporate Training

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many international borders are being closed, travel is being monitored, conferences are getting canceled, and more and more companies are vacating their premises and allowing employees to work from home. Since it might take some time for the outbreak to be controlled, many organizations are either already using or preparing to use virtual platforms for work.

Here are few things you ought to know about the impact of Coronavirus outbreak on corporate L&D.

1. For Organizations that Use Online Training 

Organizations that have online training in place don’t need to be too concerned. But there are few things you should be careful about.

  • If you use a blended learning strategy with both online and offline resources, you can readily convert your ILT materials to eLearning using Rapid eLearning.
  • This is not the time to make your employees go through long eLearning courses just because they are working from home. They still have their job responsibilities and targets. Go with the regular training plan and space out learning.
  • Since the business world and stock market are suffering because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a real chance that training budgets will be cut, affecting L&D in the future. Plan for such eventualities.

2. For Organizations that Don’t Use Online Training

For organizations that do not have online training in place, now is the time to take the leap and switch to eLearning. But before you do, here are few things you should keep in mind.

Avoid indiscriminate buying of licenses for every off-the-shelf course available online. Take a step back, analyze your immediate training needs and then go ahead with a plan. A few off-the-shelf training courses (e.g. compliance and safety) may be useful for immediate use and can be downloaded. But not all one-size fit courses will meet your training requirements.

Differentiate between online resources and online ‘training’ resources. There are many instances where organizations simply upload every online resource they have – PDFs, PPT decks, etc. – to their company’s cloud or LMS. Such poorly-thought-out actions will in no way help your employees. Not every online resource is a training resource, and it is very important to understand this fact.

Opt for Rapid eLearning. If there is a training strategy that can help you the most right now, it’s Rapid eLearning – for immediate results within a limited budget. There are many available resources from which rapid eLearning courses can be developed. You can take out those old webinars and seminar videos from your archives and convert them into eLearning courses. You can also integrate video clips of your instructors and SMEs with old PowerPoint presentations and roll them out for your employees in no time.

The best course of action is to start planning for online training to avoid such situations altogether in the future.

Summing it Up 

Crises like these test our strength and perseverance. What is most important right now is to stay safe and make sure others stay safe. More than any business goal, it is time to show support to your employees. Stay healthy, stay safe. Refer to WHO and CDC websites for more information.

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