Melbourne Business School News Market Insights Report: What will organisational learning look like after COVID-19?

Market Insights Report: What will organisational learning look like after COVID-19?

The shift to digital learning inside Australian organisations looks set to stay after COVID-19, according to a new survey of business leaders.

Melbourne Business School's Learning and Development in Unprecedented Times Market Insights Report

Melbourne Business School's new Market Insights Report (PDF, 1.6MB) released this week contains learning and development insights from leaders and managers at 35 organisations across a range of industries, including energy, finance, infrastructure, health, manufacturing and retail.

One of the key findings is that most leaders expect online delivery to continue to play a significant part in internal learning initiatives even after face-to-face programs become viable again.

"COVID-19 has accelerated a big shift to online learning that looks like it's here to stay," says the report's author Jan Marshall.

"More than half the respondents said they were highly likely to continue with online learning in their internally and externally delivered programs after the pandemic threat has passed."

Despite the shift to online, face-to-face learning is expected to remain important, with more than a third of those surveyed looking to blend it with digital learning for programs delivered by external providers, such as Melbourne Business School.

"Organisations are becoming very purposeful about bringing people together for face-to-face programs and choosing how they blend face-to-face and digital delivery," Jan says.

"Learners tell us that building networks, personal connection and feedback, which are key to affecting change, are still important and face-to-face is often the preferred environment for that to happen.

"Others stated that a digital environment creates a more inclusive environment for introverts to contribute. So, each delivery mode has strengths that appeal to learners and learning designers."

The report also identified the capabilities that organisations see as most important in a world changed by COVID-19.

Leadership, resilience and wellbeing, and the ability to manage virtual teams were the top skills organisations hoped to develop in their staff in the 12 months following the survey.

These were considered more important than topics such as innovation, strategic thinking and data analytics, and traditional skills including finance, marketing and supply chain management.

"Strong leadership capability is the overwhelming priority for nearly all organisations, but the need to look after people also comes through strongly," Jan says.

"More and more, leaders want to nurture human skills at all levels of their organisation. It's become expected that their role is to look after the wellbeing and resilience of their people and keep them engaged, manage their anxiety and help them develop new capabilities."

The Market Insights Report: Learning and Development in Unprecedented Times study was conducted to help Melbourne Business School effectively blend online and face-to-face delivery of its programs to meet shifting organisational needs. You can download the full report here (PDF, 1.6MB).

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