March 2020 brought us the Covid-19 pandemic and reality as we knew it ceased to exist. We were confined at home, we missed important moments, we were away from those we love, among many other things. We had to adapt our life, our habits, our behaviors, we had to alter a little bit of everything in our personal and professional lives. Almost 2 and a half years later, it is important to reflect, not only what the pandemic took away from us, but mainly on what the pandemic brought us and the opportunities it created. The concept of Training, and the way in which knowledge is acquired, has changed drastically, forcing companies to adapt. As behaviors and motivations in what comes to getting knowledge are transforming so is the concept of learning in a changing world. Distance Training has gained enormous popularity, allowing companies to continue to offer value, meeting employees expectations and needs and respecting the required social distancing. Currently, in a post-pandemic phase, a new challenge is expanding: the change on people’s motivations, behavior, and time management.
“With the need to manage time as efficiently as possible, Asynchronous Training options such as e-Learning are increasingly sought after by employees.”
In the post-pandemic period, we try to optimize our time in the best way, not only by trying to make up for the “lost opportunities,” but also managing our responsibilities and hobbies in the best possible way, during the little free time we have. In Training, this trend has had an incredibly significant impact, leading to a paradigm shift in the concept, behavior and needs of employees. Nowadays, traditional classroom Training is less and less sought after and used, particularly in the Information Technology sector, although necessary and more advantageous in some situations.
Nowadays, the challenge for companies is to be able to respond to the needs of their employees, not only in terms of the knowledge they need to build, but also in the way they acquire this knowledge/Learning. With the need to manage time as efficiently as possible, asynchronous Training options such as e-Learning are increasingly sought after by employees.
There are more and more platforms that offer all types of content, where each person can choose what content they wants to absorb and when they want to do it. This asynchronous training modality allows for continued investment in Learning and skills development, yet each individual can choose when and where to take a training course. It is possible to conduct the same training at ten in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the evening before bed. We can also take the same course, or parts of it, as many times as we want, until we absorb that content in the best way.
“These training modalities reinforce the trend towards greater autonomy in Learning.”
Because we have an increasingly busy life, where we play several roles at the same time, it is also ever more difficult to commit to fixed hours – for example, ensuring that from 6pm to 8pm we will be completely focused on training is now possibly unrealistic. We stay working late, we must pick up the children from school, we have parallel commitments – professional or personal – or we are simply tired, and it will not be productive to attend a course at that time. Thus, Microlearning helps us reinforce our skills in a brief time. With short courses, 5, 15 or 30 minutes, for example, while we wait for an appointment, in the elevator, or any other moment that suits us best, we can take the opportunity to invest in our skill development. Microlearning courses also allow us to focus on a specific content that we want to deepen, without having to watch other introductory or contextualization content, which might be beyond our objective.
These training modalities reinforce the trend towards greater autonomy in Learning. However, we must bear in mind that it will often be important to consolidate what we have learned asynchronously, with synchronous modalities, mediated by a trainer, who is able to help us clarify specific points, answer our questions and consolidate our Learning.
Each person is unique, we are all different and we value different things. As such, also when it comes to Learning we must identify which solutions are best suited to our lifestyle. With the growing need to keep up with technological and world developments, there are also more and more options for reconditioning our knowledge, investing in our upskilling (developing the skills we already have) and reskilling (acquiring new skills).
As behaviors and motivations in what comes to getting knowledge are transforming so is the concept of learning in a changing world. The tools are available, you just have to make the most out of them!
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Mafalda is Affinity’s Learning & Career Manager. With a degree in Human Resources Management, Mafalda has been working in the IT sector since 2012 and spends all her free time enjoying some quality moments with her favourite beings: her family, friends and her little kitten Leo!