Learning Gems Unearthed by the Pandemic

Looking back on the past 16 months or so, it has been a wild ride for enterprise learning. Before 2020, few would argue that the classroom wasn’t still king. In-person, instructor-led training remained the number-one way companies delivered learning. Sure, the learning technology toolkit expanded immensely, with most companies at least experimenting with eLearning, microlearning, mobile learning and much more. But ILT still ruled the day.

That’s why when stay-at-home orders were implemented, learning went into panic mode. Overnight, companies tried to reimagine their learning strategies with no ILT. There were fits and starts as many companies tried to port their in-person material to webinars and meeting tools, leading to poor results and disappointment all around. It soon became clear that the pandemic was not only a long-term issue but it would have long-lasting implications on the way companies fundamentally operate. This meant that short-term solutions were out the window and real digital transformation had to happen.

Amidst the chaos, it was gratifying to discover companies facing the challenges head-on and embracing change. Especially when these companies were not only able to adapt to the pandemic environment but did so in a way that was even more effective than what came before.

Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice Preferred Provider Totara has partnered with several companies that fit this description. For example, Etex Building Performance UK, part of a larger, Belgian family-owned manufacturing business with about 500 employees, many of whom are not very tech-savvy. During lockdown in the UK, the Totara platform was renamed the Learning & Communication Hub and became a critical tool for keeping the company connected, informed and productive. 

Employees used the platform not just for training but for news, information and communication. Usage of the system increased 284% as people completed courses and furloughed employees stayed engaged with the company. A full exploration of how Etex leveraged its technology can be found here.

Another good example is the Met Office, the UK’s national meteorological service. Leveraging Totara, they were able to deliver remote exams for the first time in their history. Use of the platform increased dramatically and material was also available to meteorology students who could no longer attend classes at universities. You can read more about the Met Office here.

These are just a few examples of companies discovering how technology could not only get them through the pandemic environment but will continue to deliver impact once return-to work-strategies are fully implemented.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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