In the next 6 – 12 months, if not longer, the topic of Corona will accompany us. For the matter of personnel development, this means that we need to think carefully about how competence development can take place in companies.

I think that personnel developers should define the purpose of personnel development measures very precisely to make the right decisions under these tightened conditions.

What is the purpose of a personnel development measure?

Knowledge building can happen very well, self-organised. E-learning, blended learning, micro-learning are only a few electronic formats that could be used for this purpose. Teachers have the role of preparing the knowledge to be imparted well and adapting it for the company so that it is ready for connection. Pre-chewing” in the plenary session will probably be significantly reduced.

When it comes to learning correct procedures and processes or, for example, the functionality of computer programs, pure presence formats are no longer necessary. Video tutorials and self-organised learning will be able to cover a large part of this.

This way of learning needs practice and, based on the exercise, feedback on whether the solution is right or wrong. This form of learning needs feedback – possibilities. Here we ask ourselves the question if this can’t be done just as well via video conferencing.

The situation is different when it comes to building new skills when competencies are to be developed. Working together, giving and receiving feedback is particularly important when building social skills. Here too, a presence format is more helpful for some topics than for others, but, as the experience of the last few months shows, it is not necessary.

Many companies also organise personnel development measures to enable managers to network and thus build relationships with colleagues with whom they are not directly involved. The purpose here is to facilitate and improve communication within the organisation.

Our experience is that this aspect can only be depicted in online training if the designs allow working together in small groups or duos and if it is possible to work with an “open” camera. We were very positively surprised by how much is possible there.

What personnel development measures will look like in the future:

We suspect that in the coming weeks and months, HR departments will sift through their offer and consider which measures are really “necessary” and which can be easily dispensed with.

We believe that in the coming months it will continue to be necessary to develop people in their professional and social skills. In addition to the competencies that were already necessary before Corona, managers, employees and experts need several additional competencies that were previously first a “nice to have” but are now essential for working together:

  • Collaborate in virtual teams
  • Facilitating virtual meetings
  • Leading in change situations
  • Remote leadership
  • Openness to change

How we support as consultants:

In our view, personnel development measures are not “media-bound”. No matter what medium you work in, personnel development is possible. Our job as consultants is to adapt designs to suit the life circumstances of the employees. We have not worked “off the peg” before, at the moment customising is the key to the success of measures.

If the participants are working at the kitchen table in the home office, the children are in the apartment, and perhaps the partner is sitting in the same room, measures are more likely to be possible on a half-day basis. If the participants have the opportunity to work undisturbed, virtual 2-3 days can be worked through, with the necessary adaptation of exercises and inputs.

We look forward to supporting you in setting up a Corona-compatible personnel development system.

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