The Data Points
Approximately four months into 2021, many corporations still don’t understand where we are going. We are between vaccinated and unvaccinated, open and closed, recovery and hesitation. We know that things are changing and that life will never be quite the same.
Some feel that learning in 2020 was a blur and a complete waste of time. Some have grown so tired of the video-conferencing platforms that they are ready to throw computers into BBQs and fire-pits, while others have embraced the technologies as life-savers.
Having conducted virtual training to organizations throughout the past year, Virtual Training Associates has arrived at just one piece of information: if the trainer is not professionally committed to excellence, the negative results will show. In our fields of teaching, ethics, sports ethics, reputation management, workplace sexual harassment prevention and similar issues, if the trainer is not engaged, the results can be calamitous. Virtual Training Associates is committed to its mission, but what of America in general?
A Year of Challenge
2021 appears to be a year of challenge. Ken Taylor, editor of Training Industry magazine wrote an excellent piece entitled “Data Fluency in Learning” in late summer 2020 just as Pfizer and Moderna were concluding their initial trials. The piece makes several important projections that will directly impact Learning & Development and HR managers in the near future. Let me share and discuss some of those data points in this post.
- In terms of their training programs: 34 percent of managers are confident of their training programs; 31 percent are revising their plan; 26 percent have a plan and they’re not confident it will work while 9 percent have no plan at all. If we look at it another way, 66 percent of Learning & Development and HR managers have no clear path forward. Despite the economy opening up, training managers are confused.
- An eye opener: At present, about 50 percent of organizations across the board have a training plan in place but only about 30 percent believe it will work!
- Effectiveness of current programs: About 56 percent of organizations are retooling or repurposing their virtual training programs, while 33 percent are simply repeating what they’ve already presented. As the virtual training industry has shown, many programs have been virtually inadequate. So, what is the purpose of simply retooling or repeating what was ineffective? If the goal is simply “compliance,” little will change in terms of corporate culture.
- Delaying altogether: Approximately 37 percent of organizations are delaying the roll-out of any new programs. This is troubling. 2020 was a year not only filled with uncertainty, but filled with fraud and scandal. Whether virtual or in-person, to not train will only perpetuate the unethical behaviors.
- Who knows? About 25 percent of Learning & Development and HR managers have NO idea of what their stakeholders need from them in a virtual training sense. If we combine that mindset with the delays, I fear that we are headed for another year of unethical workplace behavior.
- Distribution: Prior to COVID about 41 percent of training was in-person, instructor led, while 25 percent was virtual (the balance being eLearning). After COVID, the ratio is 41 percent virtual, while 22 percent was in-person. For the foreseeable future, employees will expect virtual training. How good are your virtual programs?
- Most important agreement: Far and away, employees and managers agree that the single most important training objective in 2021 will be to establish clear lines of communication. How clear are your lines?
Clear data points right?
At Virtual Training Associates, we know that virtual or in-person, employees are clamoring for meaningful programs in the areas of ethics, sports ethics, reputation management, and workplace sexual harassment prevention. Are you providing these programs or re-hashing old material?
The stakes are ethically too high to provide a substandard product.
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