Lockdown lessons L&D should apply

Psst- they don’t include digitalisation and remote working (we’ve been practicing those for years ;-p)

1. Simplicity can be a blessing

So we’ve had to rethink things a little. Go back to basics. Perhaps you’re starting to feel like you took some of your little everyday luxuries for granted- a takeaway coffee on your commute, flexible childcare, lunchtime pit stops at the deli, the odd spin class, popping into the local shop for a bottle of Pinot at 9pm (just me then?). 

And now we’re appreciating the simpler and more important things in life. Like spending time with family, the health of loved ones, reconnecting with nature and having time to spare, for example.

We’re also getting a little creative with how we replace some of these ‘luxuries’ in our life. Fitness apps and YouTube celebs like Joe Wicks have shown us that we don’t need fancy equipment to stay fit. And how many people have taken to baking their own bread instead of making unnecessary trips to the shops?

The lesson here? Simplifying our day-to-day routine could help give us the space in our schedules to focus on what really matters. 

For L&D this could mean making the most of the learning and insight that’s already within our teams. Or not just putting an expensive plaster over a problem that could be fixed with a bit of insight and strategy.

2. Most people want to better themselves.

What are you doing differently with your free time now your options are limited? I’ve heard so many people talking about a new hobby, a fitness challenge, a DIY project, or a new skill they’ve mastered during lockdown. It reinforces the idea that the real barrier to personal development is time. And as soon as we have the slack in our schedule we’re eager to invest in ourselves. Heck, even the government acknowledged this when they said furloughed staff can still undertake training. 

How can we continue to carve out enough time for self-improvement when normal life resumes? In L&D, giving learners easy access to microlearning can appeal to their desire to improve in the limited time they have available.

3. DIY content is just as engaging

The final episode of Jamie Oliver’s Keep cooking and carry on saw him rooting through his (albeit very well stocked) cupboards to throw together some grub for us all to mimic at home. It was a real insight into his domestic life, from the kids getting hands-on, to the eye rolls and sighs that are a familiar part of domestic life. The whole thing was filmed by the Olivers on their phones, semi-improvised in response to what viewers wanted to see. I have no idea what level of post-production went into that footage, but it felt raw and real. The final product was at least as relatable, engaging and human as Jamie’s usual stuff. And what’s more, the whole series was pulled together in a few weeks. I wonder how that compares to the usual production time?

And it doesn’t end with the Olivers. We’ve seen teachers filming virtual classes for their pupils, musicians doing online lessons, even the government broadcasts have been done via virtual hook-ups and a few screens.

Will the quick-win of a homemade video continue to be seen as a genuine alternative to some forms of over-produced content? In L&D, encouraging user-generated content of this ilk amongst learners could ease the pressure on in-house teams.

4. People matter most

I’ve often chuckled to myself about some of the cliches of our corporate world. Jargon I don’t understand, meme-worthy behavioural quirks and whatnot. 

Reflecting on the stellar job our key workers are doing in this strange time makes it even more stark. I don’t mean to undermine what we do, I have a lot of passion for my job and love to see other people sharing theirs. But is it not fair to say that in these trying times we’ve seen that what’s really important is not fads, trends or complex theories but people working together?

So how can we continue to focus on people beyond covid-19? Specifically with reference to the world of L&D, how about we listen to what end users actually want and need and use our common sense to help deliver it?

5. When it comes to getting people to engage with something, timing is everything.

OK, put the tin hats away. Disney is not behind COVID-19. They’re just a brand that recognised an opportunity and ran with it. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting all of their other revenue streams, they released Disney+ in the UK just in time for lockdown. And how many active subscriptions do they have now?

A casual 50 million.

Timing IS everything. 

Whatever content you’re releasing, it matters when you do it. That’s why campaigns and learning in the flow of work are a key part of any effective learning strategy.

Request a demo to see how an LXP can give you the tools to run effective campaigns and empower your users to learn at the point of need. 

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