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Could coronavirus re-shape learning and development in pharma?

By Yvonne Ash

No company could have planned for the impact of coronavirus on safeguarding employees while ensuring business continuity and the need to adapt to a virtual environment. We have all been caught up in a new way of working, with many around the globe looking for new solutions to learning and development.

Rewind six months and we were going to conferences, organising live launch meetings and bringing all functions within organisations together for live training. Much of this was supported by blended options: online learning, webinars, virtual classrooms, pre-reads and much more. Now virtual options lead the way in ensuring training is still delivered to support knowledge transfer and skill development.

How has your organisation reacted?

  1. Cancel everything: a lack of planning or the versatility to adapt to delivering training in this new way means learning is paused.
  2. Change nothing: business as usual, let learners find what they need and ensure they still complete online learning modules.
  3. Adapt to be agile with virtual workshops: ensuring learners continue to be effective in their digital environments and continue to prepare teams for the face-to-face world when engagements re-commence.

When faced with the need to truly embrace digital, several elements must come together for learning and development to be effective:

  • Materials require adapting – modify what would have worked in live environments for the virtual world by building in different ways to engage the audience, ensuring platforms are used effectively and will continue to engage learners.
  • Keep digital bite-sized – shorter segments of knowledge and skill ensure that ‘need to know’ information is transferred to increase retention.
  • Digital know-how – selecting the right technology is key, as is having a capable, engaged facilitator who is competent in using the various features to avoid technology meltdowns.

To succeed with digital learning, first test and evaluate what is right for your business. Will it be used for the short term, or a long-term learning strategy? Consider how to prepare your learners for a different experience to build their confidence for a new digital age in pharma.

Yvonne Ash is Vice President, Learning Solutions at Syneos Health

In association with

8th June 2020

From: Marketing

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