“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” ~ Henry Ford
The effects of COVID-19 have shifted from momentary disruption to long-term impact. What was once an engaged, collaborative culture is starting to emerge as a discouraged, disconnected, and distracted remote workforce for many organizations. But why?
The uncertainty of this new—mostly virtual—working environment demands people to stretch in unforeseen ways.
The reality is, working from home just is not the same as being together in the office, and the authentic human connections that drove your engaged, collaborative culture are not translating smoothly in this new, virtual environment. As a result, leaders worldwide are faced with a new and complex challenge: How do you enhance your workforce’s ability to engage, collaborate, and adapt in this very fluid reality?
In other words, how do you shape your virtual culture in a way that brings out the best in your people?
Evidence shows that the benefits of reskilling current staff, rather than letting them go and then finding new people, costs less with benefits that outweigh the costs. Investing in employees can also foster loyalty, customer satisfaction, and positive brand perception.
Workforce development was a priority even before the pandemic. In a McKinsey survey conducted in May 2019, almost 90 percent of the executives and managers surveyed said their companies faced skill gaps or expected to in the next five years.
Successful reskilling starts with knowing what skills are needed, both right now and in the near future, offering tailored learning opportunities to meet them, and evaluating what does and doesn’t work. Perhaps most important, it requires commitment from the top that inculcates a culture of lifelong learning.
~ Elliot Masie
In today’s competitive scenario, it becomes imperative to provide employee training. A way forward for businesses is to leverage an eLearning platform, which is more cost-effective and offers greater flexibility when targeted and supplemented as required.
But HOW you provide that training is critical. It is important to differentiate between learning that teaches concepts (this can be done online through a learning platform) and learning that improves interpersonal relationships, communication, teaming, and fuels a positive culture.
At the Heffelfinger Company, we are strong proponents of blended learning -part virtual on-demand learning and part virtual “live” and experiential learning. Blended learning is especially important for leadership and interpersonal skills training.
“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller, author, inventor, architect, futurist.
Today, organizational culture cannot be an afterthought. It must be focused on—intentionally and continually—to ensure recovery and results. Even with organizations focusing on shaping organizational culture and almost 77 % of organizations in the US using online courses to train their employees, something is missing.
We feel that you need to blend the face-to-face workshop with an e-learning platform to resolve this issue. Currently, the face-to-face workshop is via a video platform to provide the experiential part of the learning. Those workshops are combined with the e-learning platform to provide visual aids and offline training and reading. This combination provides a new solution to help you actively shape an engaged, collaborative, and adaptive culture that drives results.
A LEARNING PLATFORM WE USE IN OUR BLENDED LEARNING
Since Mid-Summer, 2020, we have been experimenting with an interactive learning platform for clients using Everything DiSC Personality Assessment. Our clients love it, and we are using it for Leadership Development, Team Development, Communications Skills, Conflict Resolution, Interpersonal Relationships, plus for Leadership Teams, Sales Teams, and Project Teams.
Now we are able to offer our clients the best of both worlds in Remote Learning. We currently offer online “live” virtual programs including virtual team or group coaching with facilitator(s) AND an interactive and on-demand learning platform to supplement that learning. After the Pandemic, we will go back to offering in-person face-to-face training and coaching and a combo of in-person, virtually live, eLearning, or a customized combination.
The learning platform that we use is THE CATALYST PLATFORM™ by Wiley. Catalyst is a personalized, online learning platform that acts as a single access point throughout a learner’s DiSC journey.
Catalyst takes your Everything DiSC experience to the next level by making the hard work of lasting behavior change possible—even fun! On Catalyst, learners will:
- Take the Everything DiSC Assessment– A proven, scientifically validated assessment with a 90%+ accuracy rating from learners worldwide.
- Discover Their DiSC Style – Catalyst delivers each learners’ assessment results using a personalized, narrative-style behavioral profile, laying the groundwork for a transformational learning experience full of “aha!” moments.
- Connect with Colleagues – A Find Colleagues feature enables learners to integrate DiSC into their day-to-day work lives. Compare DiSC styles and gain tips for more effective interactions.
- Access DiSC Applications for Ongoing Learning – A range of DiSC application content designed to help learners develop the social and emotional know-how for more effective interactions at work.
The way we have used this with our clients is the following:
- We require them to access the Catalyst™ Platform prior to the workshop(s) to take the assessment and get oriented to the platform.
- We conduct a series of live interactive workshops to help them further understand the concepts and apply them real-time based on what our client is trying to achieve with the participants (Onboarding, Teaming, Interpersonal Relationships, Conflict Management, etc.)
- After the workshop or in between workshop sessions, we assign them homework on the platform that will help them better understand themselves and how to interact with their colleagues. THIS is the part they LOVE.
- The participants retain continued access to the platform after the workshop(s), or program(s) are over.
- Later we come back and do reinforcement using add-ons for EQ, Conflict, and Management.
E-learning platforms are great tools for easy administration of training, allowing you to manage courses, registration, notification, communication, certificates, and reports while providing an easy to access system for your employees to find some of the training they need to grow the business on an as-needed and where needed basis.
What they cannot do for you is manage and maintain your culture through the courses loaded into them. To manage and maintain your culture, you need blended learning with workshops that can tie back to your platform and innovatively use the content while creating the experiences needed to grow the collaborative behaviors you desire to build your culture.
We use Everything DiSC Workplace® on Catalyst™ and Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™ on Catalyst™ to support the real-world application of the learning concepts. The result is an experience that transforms traditional once-and-done training events into an ongoing learning process.
We love it because Everything DiSC Workplace on Catalyst is designed for any individual, regardless of title or function. Individuals who work within or are associated with an organization will get more out of the learning experience because they will gain access to a capability that allows learners to compare DiSC styles and learn tips for more effective interactions in real-time. The result is a lasting impact.
We hope you take advantage of our special offer. Also, our next regularly held free Zen Fridays is “Better Together: A More Human Workplace Gathering™” on February 19th at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET.
James and Lori
James Jackman, MSOD & Lori Heffelfinger, MSOD
Supporting business leaders and HR/OD Leaders to transform cultures and transition
through the pandemic and beyond.
- “The Popularity of eLearning Platforms: 5 Ways Your Company Can Benefit” By Branislava Milosavljevic
- “Everything DiSC Workplace on Catalyst!”, Wiley and Sons, MindLab Connect
- “The Next Normal Arrives: Trends that Will Define 2021—and Beyond“ By Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal, McKinsey and Company
- “9 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond” By Brian Kropp, Harvard Business Review, January 14, 2021