7 Strategies for Online Learning During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Humanity, as a whole, is currently facing a major crisis with the COVID-19. The pandemic has forced most of the working population to work from home, go on mandatory quarantine, or work under modified conditions. All public events are either canceled or postponed.
During this time of reduced workloads, a lot of IT businesses find that there is no need to work fulltime. So, what can you do to fill up that time productively for both your employees and your business?
Well, employee training and education, especially in the IT niche, are not beyond your reach. Let’s discuss how you can take this unfortunate downtime and turn it into something good through online learning.
1. Decide on an online training program
There are really tons of options for online training, especially for people working in the IT sector.
Make sure you do your research and find a program that helps you accomplish your goals, provides good support for people who are in the program, and above all, make sure that it is easy to use.
Other important factors to consider are pricing and payment methods, reviews from trainees and businesses, the “freshness” of the curriculum, etc.
2. Motivate employees
Well, since most of us are working from quarantine and most countries have implemented curfews, we all have a bit too much time and energy on our hands and not much to spend it on. This can result in anxiety, depression, and other mental issues.
One of the biggest motivators when pitching online training to your employees is to give them something worthwhile to do with their time while they are in quarantine. Personal development may not be the most fun activity, but it is definitely one of the more fulfilling ones.
Furthermore, explain the goals of the training program and the benefits of employees finishing it on time, so they understand their role better.
Finally, make sure you present the training program and the success it had in the past so your learners can be sure that the program is indeed effective at training people.
3. Let everyone understand the software you use
One of the biggest motivation killers when it comes to online training programs is the inability to figure out the platform to use.
Sure, this doesn’t happen too often, especially with online training platforms that are devoted to optimal user experience. Still, it doesn’t hurt to consult your training provider and get acquainted with the interface so you can explain it in detail to your employees.
Shuffling about and trying things out is all well and good, but it can delay progress and lead to frustration if it persists.
4. Give some leeway to those who are sick
Let’s not forget why we’re discussing online training in this instance.
Even though most of us are on our best behavior when it comes to hygiene, restricted movement, masks, and other precautionary methods, there is still no guarantee that we will not catch the virus.
Being that the virus poses a life-threatening danger to the elderly, people with chronic conditions, and a compromised immune system, it doesn’t mean that it can’t cause issues for people outside these groups.
People who catch COVID-19 need rest before everything else, and it would be quite unfair to ask them to keep up with the program while they recover.
Do your part as an employer and explain that people dealing with coronavirus, and, for that matter, any other illness have an option to take a break and focus on their health issues.
5. Include your managerial staff to boost motivation
If you still feel that your employees see the developmental training program as too much to ask for in a time of crisis, we have another suggestion for you.
Don’t exclude anyone from the developmental training – not even your managerial staff.
Being a part of the team effort for the program can further motivate employees to buy into the whole thing.
6. Create a timeline for everyone to follow
Of course, without setting concrete deadlines for employees, things tend to drag on – sometimes indefinitely.
You explained the program, explained its benefits for employees and the company, and now is the time to make it clear what is expected of them.
Not everyone likes to learn new things, and not everyone will go through the training program at the same speed.
Still, a realistic assessment of the time needed to finish the course is necessary. In a lot of cases, the training program provider will give the assessment of the time needed to finish the program.Even if this isn’t the case, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out a timeline that is acceptable across the board.
7. Making sure everyone can access the program
The requirements for most training programs are modest. In most cases, they can be taken by using any device ranging from a desktop to a smartphone.
Of course, having a stable broadband connection is a standard requirement, and due to the pandemic, we are yet to see if the current internet setup can take the extra weight. In some places, there may even be restrictions, so keep this in mind.
Since a lot of companies employ people from remote locations, these trainees may run into issues with country restrictions, which can be solved by contacting their support or simply through the use of a VPN.
Even though the quarantine isn’t a pleasant thing, there is absolutely no reason to miss out on the opportunity to grow. In fact, it is one of the best times to improve our careers and business.
Finally, we’d like to advise you to stay indoors and avoid the crowds. If you have to go outside, keep a distance of two meters from anybody you meet, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands regularly. We wish you good health and a lot of success with your training!
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I fully agree with your list, especially #2. Employee Engagement is extremely important. It already was before the corona crisis, but now – with all the staff working remotely, being afraid and confused – it’s more important than ever before. Thanks for sharing this great article!