Upskilling During Difficult Times: How Do We Keep Employees Learning ?

Upskilling During Difficult Times: How Do We Keep Employees Learning ?

By Rich Jacquet, Coursera Chief People Officer What is the future of learning and development?The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly and dramatically disrupted workforces around the world, leading to changes in the very fabric of how we work, collaborate, and learn on the job. Companies are adapting by streamlining workforces and shifting to remote models.While this is making it possible for businesses to continue operations, it is also introducing new demands from clients and customers

What is the future of learning and development?

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly and dramatically disrupted workforces around the world, leading to changes in the very fabric of how we work, collaborate, and learn on the job. Companies are adapting by streamlining workforces and shifting to remote models. While this is making it possible for businesses to continue operations, it is also introducing new demands from clients and customers, which, in turn, is pushing companies to quickly upskill their employees through the use of innovative learning tools. 

Coursera’s Learning Leaders Connect webinar series brings together L&D leaders to discuss corporate learning and development strategies and how to manage employee upskilling during and after COVID-19 COVID-19. Guests for our most recent session included Lou Tedrick, the VP of Global Learning and Development (L&D) at Verizon, Laurie Lovett, the CHRO at Nielsen, Laurent Reich, the Learning Practice International Director at L’Oreal, and myself, in my capacity as Chief People Officer here at Coursera.

The case for upskilling (at the most challenging time)

Since the start of the global pandemic, there has been an increase in the demands on human resources departments. With the safety and health of employees a primary focus, making learning and development a corporate priority has been challenging. However, upskilling employees remains essential for the future of every organization, especially in difficult circumstances when available jobs and job planning needs are changing more rapidly than ever.

Many business teams, like us at Coursera, have used this time to promote internal resources such as blog posts and email newsletters. Popular topics we’ve focused on have included wellness and innovation, as well as tips on how to work effectively from home. Our company has seen a 38% increase in employee traffic to our internal learning courses as a result.

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