The Impact of COVID-19 on Learning and Development

As organizations implemented work shifts, work from home, and socially distanced practices, Learning and Development (L&D) had their hands full. With economic disruptions, L&D faced considerable budget constraints. The pressure was further felt as they struggled to showcase the ROI of training programs. 

With only 5% believe learning and development strategies will return to pre-pandemic normal, your organization needs to make a few changes. Here are some of the important ones you’ll need to make.

Wider Adaption of Corporate eLearning Suites

More organizations have implemented corporate eLearning suites. These include applications that can train, develop, and engage their workforce. 

To complement this tech, organizations adopted strategies such as providing psychosocial support, opening massive open online course (MOOC) platforms and activating digital learning systems. That way, they can fill the knowledge gap existing in older employees. 

This, however, can be expensive and time-consuming. 

That’s why the majority of organizations still rely on eLearning providers who can conduct virtual instructor-led training (VILT) or offer self-paced training for corporate training.

VILT combines the familiarity of having an instructor with innovative training delivery methods. This maximizes learning, especially in organizations still new to eLearning. 

Meanwhile, self-paced training allows employees to learn whenever, wherever. This benefits the organization by allowing their workforce to enhance their skillset off the clock. 

Drive for Digital Fluency 

As companies embrace eLearning, L&D has been challenged by employees’ limited digital fluency. Unlike digital literacy, digital fluency is the ability to use the right tools to achieve objectives. 

This skill is imperative for ensuring employees adapt quickly to the new norm post-COVID-19. Therefore, L&D have been investing in increasing the digital fluency in the workforce. 

Talent leaders are equally pushing their workforce to gain new skills. Mostly in demand are soft skills such as adaptability, complex problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and coordination.

Larger Focus on Engaging Materials 

Most corporate training courses available follow the same model: watch a clip and then take a quiz. What further makes these clips boring is that they’re prerecorded lectures that provide zero interaction. 

Learners need higher levels of interaction to avoid the issues of poor retention and poor course completion rates. One way to achieve this is through discussions, group work, and peer review. These ensure social motivation, which is imperative considering how people have become more social digitally. 

Another way is to curate visually appealing, interactive content. Self-paced eLearning courses should be designed to engage users through different activities. That’s why you need to select the right instructional designers for this task. 

Rise in Demand for New Technologies 

Corporates have hesitated to spend money on tech that supports online learning. However, this is quickly changing. 

There’s a need to accelerate to digital to ensure organizations and employees are equipped with the knowledge and skill to survive the pandemic’s impact. Larger organizations are already incorporating virtual reality and augmented reality tools to provide simulated training and virtual competitions. 

While they may not have similar funds, smaller organizations are making an effort towards improving their technology. Further, they’re focusing on limiting user errors and lack of access to enhance their employees’ learning. 

Focus on Employee Well-being 

Attitudes towards mental health are changing. And the current pandemic has increased the acceptance of these issues as it caused staff to experience loneliness and anxiety. 

Organizations are quickly realizing how important employee well-being is, especially as it ensures the workforce’s productivity, innovation, and loyalty. 

As employee well-being is a team effort, L&D is required to be equally involved. Some of the ways they can contribute are:

  • Training managers to better understand mental health and well-being 
  • Providing materials to employees to help them manage their time better and improve their own well-being 
  • Delivering resilience training to the workforce 
  • Adding surveys, forums, etc. to give staff a voice, especially with regards to online training 

The Final Word

COVID-19 has made huge changes and is likely to continue transforming the world. Therefore, Learning and Development can’t afford to stay behind. Especially since the department plays a huge role in ensuring a business’ continuity and success. And now more than ever.

That said, change for the better can be a little slow. 

If you need the additional push, LearningCert can help. Through a growing list of accredited courses, we can help steer you in the right direction. Through corporate training, VILT, and self-paced training, we can ensure your workforce is equipped with credentials that give them and your organization an edge. 

Our training advisors would love to guide you further. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us right away.

About the Author

Ikram Khan is CEO of Business Beam and LearningCert. In a career spanning 22+ years, he has successfully completed 110+ performance-optimizing consultancy assignments. Over 5,000 professionals from 800+ organizations have attended the 260+ training sessions he conducted in various countries. Ikram is an accredited trainer for COBIT, ITIL, DevOps, PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, P3O, AgileSHIFT, ISO 27001, ISO 20000, ISO 9001, and ISO 38500. He also holds certifications including CGEIT, CISA, CISM, TOGAF, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSPO, MoP, MoV, and Six Sigma Black Belt. You may connect with Ikram at, and LinkedIn.

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