L&D Digest

Learning in a newer reality

LD Digest for May 2021

L&D Digest is your monthly rundown of the most important L&D news from European and global Learning and Development sources.

As more and more employees are getting fully vaccinated, the talk of coming back to the office is nearing reality. In L&D Digest for May 2021, we look at the possible impact the comeback may have on learning and how to mitigate it. We also summarize great pieces from the Training Industry Magazine on continuous learning and organizational resilience, analyze how simulation can boost communication skills, and more.

Continuous learning is a mixture

Training Industry released a magazine with lots of in-depth information on continuous learning and building organizational resilience. The authors of the piece on continuous learning emphasize that it will only be effective when it takes various forms. The other underpinning of the concept is that learning happens whenever the learner wants or needs it. Microlearning and multiple content formats support the retention element of knowledge. 

Some of the suggestions by the article authors include asset management (for storing, using, and managing content), curriculum design (assessing existing learning content, determining new content needs and pre-planning programs), and playlists (organizing different types of content into one, coherent lesson).

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What is organizational resilience, exactly?

In a Training Industry Magazine piece on organizational resilience, Sonia Malik proposes a coherent definition of the concept. The organization that embodies the concept should rebound quickly, be communicative, collaborative, cooperative, and creative, and have committed leadership and program management. It also manages and mitigates risks, has, and fosters diversity, has the adaptive and flexible infrastructure, and incorporates resilience company’s set of values. 

And how to build such an organization? The crucial elements include a dynamic approach to reskilling, rethinking work in the context of the future of work, adopting agile practices for better HR and people operations, and developing new leaders.

Collaborative learning to resolve the engagement problem of online training 

Ginger Ackerman emphasized this in her article for Association for Talent Development. As she noted, online training demands particular skills from the trainer to involve their participants from the beginning to the very end. The solution to this can be a collaboration that enables activity-based learning. Small group project-based programs help participants own their learning experience and help increase attention, engagement, knowledge transfer, and retention.

HR drives learning organizations forward

Always worth reminding! Observatorio RH published a piece by Matías Amuy from VISMA Latam on how HR can be a crucial facilitator in employee development. The primary role of HR, according to the author, is to detect what type of learning each employee will need in his or her professional career, whether it is to stimulate a “managerial” route or a specialization route. 

The role of HR in training and development is being rethought and transformed. The HR facilitator must know the long-term strategy and the requirements of the business, as well as each of the people and their potential. Based on this information, HR can guide and contribute favorably to the comprehensive training of employees in their professional growth path.

How simulation can improve communication skills

Dom Barnard, touched upon an exciting topic of the use of simulations in soft skills training. He noted that simulations not only allow practicing repetitively in a secure way. Feedback is given in real-time. The author emphasizes how it is beneficial for communicating virtually, as online platforms remove many of the easily readable body language cues we are used to during in-person interactions.

Any other time, a learner can practice, e.g., public speaking on their own. 

Simulations can also combine very well with elearning, giving the learner a well-rounded experience and significantly boosting learning effectiveness.

Hybrid comeback anxiety and L&D

40% of employees are anxious about returning to the office. And anxiety impedes learning. What can L&D do to mitigate these possible adverse effects? The question is addressed in a recent Training Zone article

The best way for L&D is to make sure to communicate the office comeback in a clear way, and well in advance to reduce any doubts. The author also advises providing resilience training to employees and promote life hygiene: physical activity and sleep. On top of that, you may encourage participative learning. Help them generate learning content, aside from consuming it, and support learning in the flow of work. Last but not least – give employees time to learn effectively.

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Contemporary young leaders need individual coaching and mentoring

Why do young leaders, just entering the world of work, need more personal, intimate-almost coaching? According to Chris Sheppardson, the pressure of narrowly-focused environments and coaching by older peers can help them get a broader perspective. The author also suggests that the rise of the ‘I’ society and lower personal accountability may be at play here. The former and the latter are the factors that would need more mentoring than others. There may be a need to focus on “developing the mindset of people, their approach and their understanding of their role within the community.” 


How do you practice continuous learning in your organization? Do you use simulations in your L&D programs? Do you have feedback for L&D Digest for May 2021 or suggestions for the next L&D Digest? Drop us an email!

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