The global health crisis has disrupted work patterns worldwide, and one of the work areas most affected has been employee learning and development. With businesses implementing online models, there is a rising demand for digital skills training, but at the same time, the work from home scenario has made it impossible to provide in-person skills training.
Eight in 10 survey respondents say that live online learning programs have been equally or more effective than physical classroom sessions, with artificial intelligence and machine learning skilling programs seeing the highest demand, according to a survey by digital skills training provider Simplilearn.
The survey was conducted to understand the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on employee training programs and productivity post the implementation of work-from-home. The company surveyed executives and managers in the learning and development and HR functions of companies around the globe on issues related to current and future employee training plans. While responses were gathered from various global regions, the majority were gathered from representatives of companies located in India (39%) and the United States (41%).
The global health crisis has disrupted work patterns worldwide, and one of the work areas most affected has been employee learning and development. With businesses implementing online models, there is a rising demand for digital skills training, but at the same time, the work from home scenario has made it impossible to provide in-person skills training. Survey results show that 86% of respondents whose organizations offered physical classroom training has moved to live online learning platforms since the start of the pandemic.
“Based on our survey results, remote working seems to be the norm for the future, with 52% respondents saying that WFH saw employees being more productive and 77% of respondents predicting that their organizations are considering a permanent shift to work from home. This is a clear indicator that live or blended online learning programs will be the answer to skilling and learning continuity for working professionals,” said Krishna Kumar, CEO, and founder of Simplilearn.
The pandemic and economic slowdown have also brought in the need for organizations and professionals to focus more on building capabilities in niche skills that would become inevitable for business continuity and sustenance, Kumar added.
According to the survey, 76% of respondents said that due to the abrupt switch to digital-first business environments they expect their organizations to grow their employee skills development programs. Asked about employee skills training budgets before and during the pandemic, 8% of respondents said their budgets had increased, 34% said budgets had decreased, and 58% said they had stayed the same.
Functional training offered to employees within the organizations who responded includes digital operations (66%), technology/software (64%), digital marketing (53%), and artificial intelligence/data science (45%). Also, 73% of respondents said their employees have been as productive or more productive while working from home compared to before the pandemic.