Global Leadership in a Virtual World – Part III

Impact on Leadership: COVID-19

The sheer scale of the pandemic and how it has affected organizations have created fear amongst global leaders, stakeholders, and employees.  This fear is creating unpredictability in executive positions in a way that has not been seen before, challenging leaders by the way they respond.  Leadership teams can’t react to the situation based on a pre-formulated emergency plan so they need to ensure the understand what’s important to their teams and make plans to provide those critical elements.

The response to an unfamiliar or uncertain crisis like COVID-19 is mainly improvised, and it might require multiple actions, not just temporary solutions. This has made the response to COVID extremely difficult since leaders are forced to navigate their business in unfamiliar territory, which has impacted all industries, especially small businesses that may not be as equipped to adjust to increased demands/needs. This requires leadership teams to be confident in a time of crisis, whether it’s through virtual leadership development, managing the business’s ability to adapt, or giving workers what they need to thrive.

Impact on Leadership: Employee Training

In a poll from Simplilearn, data showed that before COVID-19, 93% of businesses offered skills training to employees. 70% of these leaders said they provided an in-classroom environment or a mixture of online activities. However, with 1 in 4 employees in a remote role, leadership teams are adapting by making training programs increasingly virtual. A reported 86% percent of leaders are shifting their training to a virtual environment or online.

Virtual training can improve your bottom line by reducing things like the time commitment of training opportunities, travel expenses, time out of the office, etc.  Learning time is reduced by 40%-60% with virtual training due to eliminating various factors. Letting workers retain knowledge more efficiently while training from anywhere. Virtual training needs to be an on-going journey. Using the right virtual training technology, the training and leadership team can get detailed analytics on engagement, performance and productivity on each participant in each training session.  This quickly identifies the value, strengths and weaknesses of the training programs. 

Global training teams can do this by:

  • Determining skills that are necessary to your business.
  • Offering lots of resources for easy consumption.
  • Ensuring virtual training is inclusive and engaging.
  • Identifying goals for the virtual training programs.

We are in an era of uncertainty, where COVID-19 and the loss of jobs challenge leadership. The future of global leadership is rapidly changing. Through changes in how people work, learn, and conduct their business. Ensuring the various training and communications technologies that fit each unique need of the business is critical.  Understanding things like video conferencing doesn’t meet the unique needs of training and learning is an important aspect when the goal of your training team is to engage people and have them own their learning experience by doing work during training.  What seems like a minor nuance can, in fact, be a major contributor to success so it’s important to build a strategic plan around training and professional development.