Digital learning has been a staple for organizations and government entities long before the woeful year of 2020 where live events, in-person meetings and travel were stymied and placed on a standstill. The economic crisis driven by the pandemic and stay-at-home policies disrupted various vocations and industries, many of them dominated by females. Women leaders who saw the writing on the wall charged towards ways to align their priorities to develop and grow as entrepreneurs, organizational leaders, and community trailblazers all while managing families and keeping their sanity.
It meant an in-depth look at four key areas that propelled them to move forward.
1.) Identify Technology & Training Needs
During the past year, when asked “did companies have the right technology and people in place”, much too frequently, the answer was a resounding, “No”! Investing in software licenses, cameras, certifications, hiring expert leaders such as producers and facilitators to avoid technical snafus allowed for organizations to right-size and align so stakeholders were actively engaged.
An article by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (we-fi.org) shares that women are preemptive and keen to act when they see a lack of resources. Anna Wilson, Principal of the SME Finance & Development Group at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development shared that, “The first lesson is about this organic, large jump forward in digital acceptance”. Wilson added, “Before COVID-19 there was a lack of trust in digital solutions, mainly in training where the mentee would not be comfortable in sharing their challenges with someone they are not meeting face-to-face.” Women, when faced with the shortfall of resources quickly asked for support and training. “We did five times more training in the last three months than we regularly do,” said Wilson.
2.) Manage Time Allocation
One of the assets with the digital delivery format is that people can work from anywhere, at varying geographical areas. Still, women pay a great price as they must manage careers while often being the primary caregivers in their homes.
Due to the current crisis, a study chronicled in Payscale.com says that, “women’s labor force participation is at a 33-year low as more women take on caretaker roles at home due to remote schooling.”
Training that allows for varying options of when individuals can be online is valuable. With organizations having employees who may live around the world, galvanizing them into a cohesive learning environment aids employees greatly.
Many organizations request that their service providers create custom content that is specific to region (e-commerce platforms, social media techniques, messaging and platforms) as much as possible, depending on the country, Wilson emphasized. “Localization is also critical.”3.) Develop Cohesive Content
When utilizing LMS platforms, learners can become distracted and disengage when content is lackluster and the experience does not include ways to be hands-on. Having dynamic pre-recorded video clips, demo live products, PowerPoint Presentations, annotatable slides, whiteboard key points and polls all aid in the user experience being rich with active involvement. Mixing live presenters (or facilitators and producers) also helps for a vigorous exchange.
Being able to craft a dynamic story also helps capture an audience. Women and their varying skill sets in the business world is ripe with intriguing, interesting stories that show their unique voices, perspectives and how it can aid customers and colleagues. For example, let’s say as a female trainer you share about your journey earning a Certification as a Master Virtual Facilitator. Telling a story will help you connect with your audience and demonstrate your credibility on a subject. It shows your unique perspective and that you’re qualified and knowledgeable on the topic.
4.) Grow Enduring Relationships
Organizations as a whole look for ways to grow their network in general but even more so during this surreal time. Reaching out to individuals who are outside one’s normal audience is key. Meeting online allows people to reach and connect more often with someone who may have been unattainable otherwise due to geography or simply not seeing the need for a face-to-face meeting. This includes peers, employees, customers, investors, and mentors.
Though in-person conferences, trade shows, and summits are on hold for now, online connectivity is very much active. Female focused business associations like Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference, Women in Tech Summit among others bring women together to develop connections that will last long after the event. The same is true for any non-gender events that focuses on whatever the shared insight, skill, or interest may be.
Digital learning affects us all. As women in the workforce who are primary pivotal contributors at home, work, and in relationship building, the online frontier has proven a way to showcase the specific nuances they greatly bring to solidifying their roles in small and large organizations alike.
About InSync Training:
- Founded in 2000, InSync Training is a WEBENC and WEConnect certified woman-owned small business (WOSB) and widely recognized as a global innovator in new and evolving learning and professional development techniques, as well as best practices supporting virtual and blended learning.
- InSync Training provides comprehensive, effective and innovative training solutions, enabling learning and development professionals and organizations to realize the full potential of individual and organizational growth, on a global scale.
- InSync regularly supports 6000+ hours of live, online instruction per month in Zoom, MS Teams, Webex, Adobe Connect, and other virtual classroom platforms.
- InSync supports client training content delivered in 10+ languages and dialects, including translation and regionalization of that content.
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