The Ken Blanchard companies just completed its 2021 HR/L&D trends survey. Over a thousand talent development, leadership, and learning professionals took part in this survey, the purpose of all this was to identify the biggest challenges facing L&D professionals in the coming year. A proper understanding of the impact of COVID19 on learning and development efforts in 2020 was crucial for this matter. Like many of us may know, businesses around the world have shifted their focus to digital and virtual considering the risk of physical interaction amid a pandemic. However, this transition was not very smooth for many businesses. L&D companies are now heavily investing in virtual training, to make sure that the learners are not left behind. But, L&D companies that lack a proper framework for virtual training, struggled to support their learners.
When we asked the respondents of our survey about what they wish they could improve about the learning and development program in their organization, 31% wanted to address a lack of resources for holding people accountable after training, 19% would like to improve the quality of adapted training programs, and 11% wanted to improve the digital skills of trainers.
The future of face-to-face training:
This pandemic has been especially bad for face-to-face training, and it is certainly something that L&D professionals would keep in mind looking into next year. Most respondents expect the return of classroom training sometime in 2021, but there will be a big shift in how they utilize it.
Face-to-face training has always been the dominant training style in the L&D space. Our survey shows that pre-COVID19, respondents estimate that 63% of all their deliveries were in-person instructor-led training (VILT). But in the past few months, that percentage has dipped to 9%. The most obvious solution was virtual instructor-led training (VILT), which grew from 10% to 53%, and self-paced digital, which rose from 14% to 24%.
COVID19 has been a huge disruptor in the normal evolution of corporate training. It has accelerated the shift of traditional training to virtual and digital training, by as much as a decade!
Face-to-face training is still relevant, but it may just be a modality that the L&D professionals can use selectively, mostly as a blended learning experience. It would no longer be the default method of training.
Skill gaps identified:
In 2020 the L&D professionals were forced to adapt so quickly that they outpaced their own capabilities. But that does not mean their work executions were perfect, they still need some fine-tuning to successfully face 2021. Many of our survey respondents feel that their offering is in need of an upgrade, and their team needs to have new skills as well. Almost one-third of our respondents feel that their team lacks the skills to deliver on the 2021 expectations. Our survey shows that the proficiency gaps which people identified the most centered on virtual facilitation, instructional design, and utilizing e-learning development tools.
At Blanchard, we experiment with different types of learning experiences. The idea is to provide people with ways to internalize new mindsets and practice new skill sets and increase the degree to which they can apply the learning in a practical work environment. We have been successfully delivering online and virtual training for well over a decade, our goal is to find the best combination of content and learning experiences, so that our learners can develop a highly effective leadership style. After all, organizations succeed