The CIO Topline of Virtual Training
Recently (March 31, 2021) business writer Ginny Hamilton interviewed several chief information officers regarding virtual training. After a year of lockdown, semi-lockdown and such, the CIOs were questioned as to how they viewed virtual training.
Though the corporate executives are primarily involved with IT training, their topline comments surprisingly distill to important aspects of what Virtual Training Associates (VTA) emphasizes in the areas of corporate ethics, sports ethics, sexual harassment and gender discrimination issues.
We thought it would be meaningful to review the CIO topline comments in light of virtual corporate and association ethics training by juxtaposing their comments against VTA programs.
CIO Topline 1: Create a virtual learning program… It was generally agreed that “The deeper an organization prioritizes talent development, continuous learning, as well as diversity and inclusion, the higher the organization performs.” Those points precisely match up with the motivation VTA has towards ethics training in all of its programs. Clearly, to develop talent and to maximize organizational performance, it is absolutely imperative for there to be an ethical and safe environment. Inclusion and diversity, especially, rely on a level playing field where employees feel free to bring out the best in themselves and others and where harassment, bullying or unethical behavior will not be tolerated.
CIO Topline 2: Offer a variety of outlets. Ethics training programs must be open and accessible to all. The findings from last year clearly showed that “Continuous learning is a mindset…that there must be significant opportunities for continuous learning.” It is why Virtual Training Associates is so focused on flexibility and customization. We do not support the notion that ethical training is only to be open to some departments and not to others; to some levels of supervision and not to others. This is especially critical in the virtual sense. In the current aspect of virtual training over in-person, we must offer the widest variety of programs possible.
CIO Topline 3: Applying virtual lessons is critical. “Organizations must move from a tactical response to a strategic one… ‘bite-sized’ learning through videos, reading, and podcasts [will replace day-long seminars].” Virtual Training Associates has seen this trend for the past year. It is not only the obvious virtual versus in-person, but increasingly VTA has learned that shorter, more focused training is far superior to longer and scattered programming.
CIO Topline 4: Virtual training increases participation. “The virtual training events have made it possible for more people to attend who previously might not have been able to take part…virtual participation has made us even more efficient and productive.” The more diverse and engaged the workforce, the better. Chief information officers embraced the access of employees across the spectrum of the organization to critical trainings. This is imperative, to our view, for ethics training.
CIO Topline 5: Virtual lessons are more tailored to personal needs and interests. “The content that team members are seeking has become much more tailored and prioritized versus generalized.” The more VTA can use its expertise in the production of programming for organizations, the better the material is absorbed.
CIO Topline 6: Provide learning opportunities in multiple ways. “We [must] continue to push the envelope in how we apply advanced technology and analytics to drive both our business and our industry forward.” Particularly in the teaching of corporate ethics, sports ethics, sexual harassment and gender discrimination issues no trainer can rest on their laurels. The stakes are too high to ignore the issues. In the midst of 2020, one other unfortunate development was the rise in scandals, fraud and sexual harassment. To not offer virtual training in an ever-expanding environment of potential scandal is a catastrophe in the making.
CIO Topline 7: Use the buddy system. “[It] is very important for leaders to identify and develop hidden potential in their people.” The beauty of virtual training from an ethical point-of-view is its “democratic” platform. As virtual training lends itself to more open participation especially in all phases of ethics, unexpected leaders and corporate influencers may “appear” from unexpected areas to enhance the entire organization.
The Chief Information Officers are in wide agreement that virtual training is not only important, but integral to the health and welfare of organizations. In virtually teaching ethics, Virtual Training Associates has found that if properly done, the opportunities to have an ethical impact on companies and associations has never been greater.
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