For those with school-age children or those whose lives have been changed in 2020, we know all too well by now that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only how learning happens but also how we work and develop as leaders in business. The “future of work” arrived unexpectedly in 2020, and with the prefix “virtual”: virtual-meetings, virtual-interviews, virtual-holiday parties, virtual-workforce, and virtual-development.
As talent management consultants, we’ve seen that most of our clients have adjusted well to the circumstances. Those who were already entrenched in the “remote worker” space or who had robust e-commerce platforms had an advantage, adjusting relatively quickly. It took longer for the companies who were dependent on traditional work models to ramp up, but by using off-the-shelf technology, they too were able to adjust on the fly.
Like the clients we serve, CCI Consulting has not been immune to these shifting trends, and like our clients, we’ve adapted. Our HR consultants now provide remote support almost exclusively; and, our executive coaches and career transition coaches are successfully counseling clients through online meeting platforms. When it comes to talent development, our facilitation skills and depth of knowledge in adult learning has made making virtual training and development solutions both an enjoyable and successful pivot.
CCI has always taken pride in creating highly interactive programs that keep people engaged and that are delivered with learning at the core. In the beginning, we had some skepticism regarding our ability to replicate the same success without in-person delivery. After all, we’ve all sat through too many of those mundane webinars with a presenter flipping through a PowerPoint deck for 90 minutes where the only interaction is to type in your questions at the end.
Earlier this year, our team began transforming and delivering many of our programs to a virtual format using the same world-class standards we use for our in-person sessions. Utilizing Zoom and other meeting platforms, we migrated all our in-person workshops to virtual delivery, without missing a beat. In fact, in many cases, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
This outstanding Net Promoter Score was given after a two-day virtual Executive Presentation and Presence workshop for a group of leaders completing a leadership development program. Using breakout rooms, videos, 1:1 coaching, and dynamic content, participants prepared to deliver group presentations of their Action Learning Projects to their Senior Leadership Team.
CCI delivered 12 virtual Unconscious Bias workshops to approximately 200 employees at a financial services company. Ninety-one percent of the respondents rated the overall experience either satisfied or very satisfied. And 98 percent responded affirmatively to the question: Do you plan on implementing ideas from the workshop with your team?
CCI delivered five, 90-minute topics to more than 150 leaders of a national healthcare services firm during their annual management summit. Ninety-six percent of the cumulative respondents answered that they either agree or strongly agree to the question: The facilitator created an interactive experience for all.
While we are accustomed to seeing this type of participant response from our in-person sessions, knowing how difficult it can be to keep people engaged with so many distractions at home, we are confident in the transformational learning experience our virtual development sessions bring .
While the numbers are strong, what isn’t captured is the energy in the sessions. Leaders across roles and levels were engaged and willing to participate in a remote environment. Of course, you will always get a few people who you can tell are multitasking, but frankly, it is no different than individuals on their phones answering emails when in an in-person session.
There is no certainty or set timeline as to if and when leaders and teams come back to the traditional office setting and routine. Even if they do, it is likely virtual learning and development, or a hybrid, may continue to be leveraged more often.
HR analyst Josh Bersin once said, “The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.” Now is the time for future-focused leaders to embrace virtual learning and development. Doing so is an investment in the current and future success of their people and organization.
Director of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness
Your people need to lead, work and interact differently now. At CCI Consulting, we understand how to design and deliver virtual learning and development programs that produce transformative change.