By Alison Lands, Skills Transformation Consultant
As companies scramble to secure the health and safety of employees, virtualize their operations, and check-in with their customers (not to mention find a quiet + comfortable + decent-looking nook from which to work virtually in their homes!), a new level of leadership is being demanded from every individual along the chain of command. Among those tapped to lean in and shape the COVID-19 professional landscape, the Learning & Development function is fast emerging as an unsung hero of social distancing and the pandemic response.
With as many as 1 in 3 workers around the globe and 75% of Americans subject to shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders, traffic to online learning platforms has spiked, with a 60% increase in new registrations in recent weeks. According to McKinsey, “businesses can’t afford to put capability building on hold [due to coronavirus]. Whether the effort is reskilling at the business-unit level or a company-wide aspirational transformation, companies can’t simply push the pause button on critical workplace learning, even as they move rapidly to put employee safety first.”
L&D leaders and business managers are seizing this opportunity to leverage training to comfort, educate, and empower employees in a climate of uncertainty, and in doing so, position businesses for life after COVID-19. In the spirit of supporting companies globally, Coursera for Business has launched a curated series of curricula designed to engage enterprise learners, support their productivity, and empower them to be leaders in their own right.
- For staying informed about COVID-19: Imperial College of London’s Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19 provides fact-based information about COVID-19 and how it spreads.
- For virtual team collaboration: Communication Strategies for a Virtual Age from University of Toronto is a useful resource for managers adapting to a new model of managing teams.
- For employee well-being: The Science of Well-Being from Yale offers tips on how to take control of your happiness, reduce anxiety, and build productive habits.
- For the first-time online learner: Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects from McMaster University and University of California San Diego is a great introduction to learning techniques, and is one of Coursera’s most popular courses.
- For online training for managers transitioning to a digital world: If you’re seeking online alternatives to in-person managerial training sessions, we recommend looking to Teamwork Skills: Communicating Effectively in Groups by University of Colorado Boulder or Adapt Your Leadership Style by Macquarie University.
- For encouraging productivity: Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity from the University of California, Irvine provides practical advice for time management and professional success.
The content showcased above could be disseminated to employees, accompanied by creative messaging to support remote workers and provide encouragement over what looks to be an extended work-from-home timeline. In addition, to help our broader user community stay connected during this critical time, we’re launching new, free resources accessible to everyone, as well as surfacing interesting course collections, community discussions, and expert interviews to help your teams and their extended families stay engaged, positive, and motivated throughout this transition.
Whether we work in an office, at home, or from the laundry room/closet/garage, the criticality of maintaining our momentum on learning represents not only a business imperative, but an overwhelmingly positive response to a grave economic and spiritual challenge for our society. We at Coursera support our Enterprise customers and stand ready to work with you and enable your teams to persevere during this time of uncertainty and challenge. Please let us know how we can support you.