Professional development: what does the future hold?

Alex Edge
Head of People Development Solutions
@Alex_IGD

Date : 30 April 2020

For many businesses, probably including yours, COVID-19 has pressed the pause button on some types of training and development. Our members and customers are still training teams but tell us they’re prioritising functional skills in many cases. They’re concentrating on areas like health and safety, manual handling, and social distancing, to address their immediate needs.

For FMCG companies like yours, huge demand spikes and staffing shortages have generated a huge recruitment drive. Now, as staff absence rates are starting to plateau (and improve in some cases) a new normal is emerging. Meeting broader training needs becomes a priority once again.

But how can you do this when movements are restricted and mass gatherings are banned? In this article, I’m going to examine the rise of e-learning and how it could change the way you train your teams.

The question: how can you effectively train FMCG teams right now? 

Your time, budgets and teams’ willingness to travel are increasingly constrained. So how can your organisation continue to create engaging and impactful training strategies at scale?

It’s clear that without a swift end to lockdowns, or the adoption of global immunisation programmes, that our industry must consider a short-to-medium-term solution that largely avoids face-to-face training.

These constraints mean that e-learning and blended solutions are increasingly seen as a viable alternative to physical workshops. In fact, our research has shown that nearly two-thirds (60%) of industry training professionals prefer a more blended approach to training delivery.

The answer: blended and online learning solutions

In my opinion, blended and online learning methods will dominate training over the next year (at least).

The adoption of online learning is by no means a new phenomenon. Just look at the great things Mondelez has achieved since implementing its Mondelez University in 2014.

These solutions will be adopted more quickly than ever before, as we have heard from industry contacts in the last few weeks. There’s nothing like adversity to force change. This means you should expect to see huge amounts of innovation in the way FMCG companies train their teams over the coming months.

There are many options available to address these questions; two of the most popular are e-learning and virtual classrooms. Often, we find that companies see these two solutions as the same thing. But they can serve different purposes depending on your organisation’s objectives.

In the tables below I outline six of the key advantages and disadvantages of both solutions.

 

How do you choose the right type of online learning?

For learning and development professionals, making sure you choose training that is fit for purpose will be a major challenge. There are significant trade-offs to be made.

What if you are trying to teach complex topics that require role-playing or interaction? This could be extremely difficult without live interaction and feedback. In this case, a virtual classroom would be better.

If you want to train large numbers of staff in a short time, then e-learning fits well.

At IGD, our people development experts can help you

Many of us are likely to avoid face-to-face training for some time, even when lockdown restrictions are eased. Of course, you still want to grow your business, uncover new trends and stay ahead of the competition. So, to help create teams capable of doing this, our industry must rapidly increase its uptake of digital learning solutions. 

At IGD, we have been developing e-learning and virtual classroom solutions over the last two years. My team and I have supported many businesses around the world in creating and implementing digital learning strategies.

Discover how we helped:

IGD Solutions

If you would like to chat about how we can help your organisation in its online and blended learning journey, then get in touch

If you would like to chat about how we can help your organisation in its online and blended learning journey

Our team's approach is flexible to suit your needs, budget and business culture. We ensure that all programmes focus not only on delivery, but also on engaging, embedding and evaluating, every step of the way.