With another year coming to an end, it is time to mark the start of the holiday season with Thanksgiving! And this time, on behalf of the whole CommLab India family, I would like to thank the entire corporate L&D community for their amazing show of resilience in one of the most difficult years in recent history.
2020 has been so tragically bizarre that it will be remembered for many years to come. With COVID-19 affecting all walks of life, from health regulations, economic struggles, to socio-political issues, it seems like there’s hardly anything to be thankful for. And what kind of Thanksgiving celebration can there be in the time of quarantines and social distancing where you can neither travel to be with your family nor get together with your friends, even those in the same city?
But maybe we have suffered and floundered enough this year. Maybe it is time to find the silver lining. And what better time to let go of all the negativities and show appreciation to all those who have supported us during this difficult time?
A Well-deserved Thanks to Corporate L&D
This year marked a weird milestone in corporate L&D. As disruptive as it was in the beginning (in March when there was an almost global lockdown), I believe L&D was one sector that actually braved the storm and came out smiling at the end of it. We had a long uphill battle when social distancing made all forms of in-person classroom training impossible. Suddenly all organizations, big and small, had to look for virtual training alternatives. This put tremendous pressure on corporate L&D, and I believe they really deserve a heartfelt thanks.
1. Instructional Designers and Developers
Instructional designers and developers have always been the unseen workers responsible for creating engaging and effective learning experiences for our learners. This year they really responded to the crisis and amped up their efforts to make the lives of our learners a bit easier. From creating mobile learning courses for remote learning, planning microlearning performance support, to building learning solutions with rapid eLearning development, instructional designers and developers have done it all. And while they worked long hours doing all the hard work, they never compromised when it came to providing engagement and motivation to learners through training.
2. Subject Matter Experts and Classroom Instructors
While SMEs and classroom-instructors have always been known for their reluctance to go for virtual training, the COVID-19 pandemic changed it all. During the past several months, SMEs across the board have done their best to ensure the smooth transitioning of training content from the classroom to virtual training. They shouldered extra responsibilities to make sure corporate L&D sailed through in these tumultuous waters.
And as for classroom instructors, they really helmed the corporate L&D ship these few months. They had a really hard time adapting to a virtual instructor-led training environment, and took on extra training to be able to train a virtual audience. And despite the technological barriers and lack of a visible audience, they shifted to virtual classrooms, bringing their A game to the VILT sessions.
3. Training Managers
Ah, to be a training manager in such times! I believe this story will be told for many Thanksgivings to come. Training managers across the world had a very difficult challenge and it wasn’t just about delivering training on time. They had to step up into the role of a true leader and manage the work, maintain a proper check and balance, keep up with the cost and timelines, and most importantly, motivate the L&D team as well as learners in a time when both physical and mental well being was at risk. And what a great job they have done!
I know there are courses to be designed, virtual sessions to be held, and more training sessions to be planned for in the coming months. The pandemic is not yet over and neither is the battle for survival. But this Thanksgiving is not just about getting a break from all this. It’s about looking back and realizing that sheer grit, determination, and hard work have won. It’s about the sheer audacity to hope that even this too shall pass. And most importantly, it is about saying thanks to all those people to have made our life worth living even in such dark times.
It is a time to give thanks to the millions of healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all essential workforces who are continuing to serve us even at the risk of their own lives. It is about giving thanks to the scientific community that has dedicated all their time and knowledge to create a vaccine that will in time rid us of this pandemic.
So, thank you all and a very happy Thanksgiving!