COVID-19 | Digital learning has 'exponentially' spiked

Digital learning has 'exponentially' spiked

Being forced to work from home has encouraged employees to find new things to occupy themselves with, and it seems now more than ever that those individuals are interested in embracing virtual learning.

In fact, searches for ‘online courses’ have seen a 192% increase on Google between the month of February and March 2020. Elsewhere, in the UK time spent viewing LinkedIn Learning content increased by 73% alone in March, with more than 1.2million hours of learning content being consumed in a single week.

These stats indicate that Brits are looking for new ways to increase their education and learning, and according to the Cornerstone Institute for People Development, demand for online learning has ‘increased exponentially’ during the last few weeks.

A recent survey by the organisation highlighted that workers want to acquire new skills to help increase productivity while working from home amid the pandemic. In addition, workers revealed that they have skill gaps relating to work-life balance, time management and active listening.

The report from Cornerstone stated that in March 2020, learners spent 27.5million hours on Cornerstone Learning, with around 40% of Cornerstone Learning clients witnessing an increase in logins compared to February 2020.

Elsewhere, the data also found that there has a been a 50% spike in organisations moving in-person trainings to a virtual, online format.

Employee woes

As more businesses come to terms with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that more staff layoffs may be necessary in order to help an organisation survive, Cornerstone’s research highlighted real concerns of employees.

According to 2019 research, workers admitted to fearing that they lack the skills to keep them on board; more than half of employees surveyed by Cornerstone OnDemand said that they aren’t skilled enough to avoid a layoff. Of the 1,000 respondents surveyed, 83% stated that they believed it is essential to improve professional skills, while 53% of Millennials said that their employers help them identify the skills they need.

Embracing digital

While many employers have been fearful of new digital concepts in the past, the current pandemic has shown that employees and HR shouldn’t fear chance and should therefore embrace it where possible. This is a notion echoed by Geoffroy de Lestrange, Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand. He told HR Grapevine that in particular, this crisis has shown that employers shouldn’t be fearful of embracing virtual learning in order to help employees brush up on new skills needed for remote work.

“This crisis has taught us to not fear change in the way we work, to adapt and to innovate fast. Digital learning has been a lifeline for many employers to ensure their people are able to go on this journey through the unknown together,” he explained. “Some employees have had to brush up on skills which helps them work more effectively remotely or adapt their management style to manage a fully remote team. Other employees have upskilled and reskilled to support their organisation which has had to rapidly roll out new services and products.”

He added that there is an even split between both employers encouraging online learning and employees seeking it out for themselves to upskill, indicating that the current lockdown has prompted more professionals to learn new skills to help their future career in an uncertain time.

He stated: “Many factors have driven up digital learning. For starters, Cornerstone data reveals a 50% increase in companies moving in-person training to a virtual format. We’ve also seen both push and pull with organisations directing their people to learning content, as well as employees searching for it online.”

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