Upskilling Employees under the New Normal

A lot has changed in the past few weeks, and many organisations around the world have been left with no choice but to adapt to the rapid changes that the pandemic demands. We have all needed to take on a new set of routines to survive, and for businesses to keep running, many have turned to the technology to transition to remote working and providing services online.

Mitrais, one of the leading IT companies, is no exception. In addition to having a remote workforce, it has converted all its training to upgrade skills to fully online mode during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Narima, one of the Business Communication Trainers, said this situation had given her a chance to modify her training methods and materials by conducting fully online training that is still effective. The trainer needs to dig deeper, to be more creative, and a little bit tech-savvy to find the perfect combination of both the technological tools and suitable teaching methods to be able to keep the classes engaging and interesting.

“Trivia quizzes are a great way to assess the participants’ mastery of the materials. Icebreakers are used to warm up, other peer to peer interactions are implemented, and filler activities can be valuable to freshen the trainees in middle of a class” she explained. The trainer can always improvise. Of course, some additional effort is needed to keep the participants motivated during the virtual class, especially after working hours. It was very challenging for her to discover what would work best, and was quite time-consuming to prepare at the beginning. “Now that I am used to it, I can enjoy the rhythm” she added.

We received multiple responses from staff who are currently taking online learning this term. Deni, Business Development Consultant, said this virtual class was the best way to conduct the course during the pandemic. He can feel the effectiveness of this learning. “This helps to accommodate our needs. It is similar to the face to face training although it, somehow, takes more time to connect or move from one page to another” he said. Anang, an Analyst, agrees with Deni, “I have joined two online sessions including with the exam. The trainers delivered the material very effectively” he explained.

Narima has some tips for both the audience and presenter/trainer. “We need to make sure both are familiar with the virtual meeting platform before we even start the class, as technical issues in middle of a class can be very disruptive.” she explained. “Having meeting agreements or rules settled and published before the class starts is also essential to succeed in conducting an online class. Trainees’ cooperation is at the heart of it. I feel so blessed that not only are my trainees very cooperative, the other trainers are very supportive too with this “new normal”. It’s all fully online, but we can ensure that the goals are all well met” She said.

Working from home, learning, and teaching online may be a little daunting. However, this can open up exciting new opportunities for everyone to learn how to connect effectively in the future. “You know what they say, when things look black, there’s always a silver lining.” She said.

“I’ll see you all in the online classes. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay happy!” she added.

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