Covid-19 has officially been declared a pandemic – now what?
In light of the pandemic that is Covid-19, there has been a huge amount of disruption to businesses across the globe. With over 100,000 cases being reported in over 100 countries since December 2019, business has, in some places, come to quite a halt. Whether it be events and conferences cancellations, or entire office shut-downs, the impact of Covid-19 is quite substantial. On the other hand, the economy hasn’t stopped turning – and so we now look to see how we can continue to do business in a safe, precautious way, yet still be effective in our work.
What we’re seeing is that some organizations are better equipped to manage these changes than others. Those that are cloud based, familiar with work-from-home policies and have the tools in place to do so are feeling much less disruption from an operational standpoint. One organization based out of the UK has simply advised all 450+ employees across 3 different continents to work from home until further notice. Interestingly enough, the product they sell is a cloud technology that enables their clients to work with their customers remotely – and sales are on the up-and-up because of the current situation. They have been able to leverage this disruption to actually drive business, which has been great for the organization as a whole.
There are other aspects, however, that are not doing so well. One of these is those organizations that rely heavily on in-person connections. Organizations that are desktop based (ie. Employees cannot complete their work at home), feel the impact on their operations more than those with more advanced systems. With work unable to be completed, businesses are unable to take advantage of whatever opportunity may lie within this difficult time and are losing – fast. With Canadian schools closed as of next week, it’s more eminent now than ever to focus on different strategies for all organizations.
For us at Results by Design, we see the impact of this disruption, too. The majority of our sessions are normally facilitated in-person. However, as you can imagine, with the current climate it is our recommendation not to do so, in order to decrease the risk of spread of the virus, as well as to ensure that our staff stay as safe as possible. Thankfully, as of 4 years ago, we commenced with a digital strategy to facilitate learning. With globalization, remote offices and multiple locations of staff, we have developed online workshops to enable sales teams across the globe. In having done so, we’ve seen the benefit of having remote sessions run across teams, who otherwise never would have been able to attend. And now, with Covid-19 at hand, we’re delighted to say that this move for us has minimized business impact, and allowed our customers to continue to benefit from RbD Sales Training.
The reason that we initially shifted to building out a distance-learning module had a multitude of layers. We have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing organizations but were seeing a shift in our clients of more flexible working environments, faster-paced business and teams located in a multitude of physical locations.
Many of our clients have or have started flexible working initiatives. Organizations have really started to push mental and personal health into high priority, and in doing so, offer benefits such as flexible work hours and work from home policies. With that being said, it’s not always ideal or easy to get full teams into the classroom for 3 days in a row. By building out our virtual programs, we were able to more easily accommodate employees in different locations, environments and schedules, while delivering the same value and impact as we would have in the classroom.
The second shift we saw was the pace of business – it’s fast! Technology has enabled business to move at 10x + the rate of what it used to. Communication is faster, including questions and answers, and things can be done in less time. This means that team members don’t have 3 days straight to sit in a classroom, without distractions – and in order to facilitate proper training, there can’t be laptops open and tapping at phones. By breaking down our virtual sessions into 2-3 hour segments, teams can continue on their daily tasks with minimal disruptions, while still being able to dedicate the time needed to their learning and development.
Lastly, a large change we noticed was that organizations had teams spread across multiple provinces and countries. When you have teams in different regions, it’s not only the location but also the time-zone that has to be considered. Bringing all these people into one place can cost more than the training itself – so why not save on that cost as an organization, and invest that would-have-been-cost into more development for your team? Being able to accommodate such a diverse range of offices and locations has made sales training far more economical for our clients.
Virtual learning can have huge benefits – whether necessary or not. With business rapidly changing to more diverse methods of operation, it’s essential to work with organizations that can adapt and support your current model. Business continuity is the key to a successful business – and technology is the key to enabling that.
If you have any questions about our virtual workshops, and how you can continue business-as-usual during this time, please reach out! We’d love to help!
- RbD Team