By Corporate English Solutions

27 March 2024 - 14:51

A woman writing on a whiteboard, explaining ideas or concepts.

Is your organisation going through a period of change or transformation?

In an era of unprecedented disruption, organisations across sectors are re-evaluating their strategies, redefining roles, and initiating transformation and continuous improvement programmes to survive and remain sustainable. 

During this time, learning solutions are not only essential for developing skills crucial for future organisational success but also for fostering resilience. Yet, L&D teams are confronted with a complex challenge of implementing training amidst shifting priorities, resource constraints and evolving demands.

Discover three strategies for success and explore practical actions you can take to  implement effective and impactful training courses during times of change in your organisation.


Reading time: 6 minutes 

‘It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.’ 

Leon C. Megginson might not have been thinking of the post-pandemic workplace when paraphrasing Charles Darwin’s work, but his words ring true in today's rapidly changing business landscape. As we highlight in our recent eBook – The 2024 Learning & Development roadmap  – organisations are still in an era of unprecedented disruption and transformation, with key trends such as evolving skill sets, employee engagement challenges and accelerated digital transformation gaining momentum. Other priorities, such as shifting workforce demographics and internal mobility are also increasing in significance.

To survive and remain sustainable in this ever-changing landscape, organisations across corporate, education, and non-profit sectors are re-evaluating their strategies, redefining roles, and initiating transformation and continuous improvement programmes. However, a Gartner survey highlights plummeting support for organisational change, from 76% in 2016 to only 38%. ‘Change fatigue’ taking its toll after years of disruption, impacting wellbeing, morale, and engagement. 

During this time, learning solutions are not only essential for developing skills crucial for future organisational success but also for fostering resilience. Yet, L&D teams are confronted with a complex challenge: how to implement effective workplace training during periods of transformation, shifting priorities, resource constraints and evolving demands.

Discover three key strategies for success and explore actionable steps to implement impactful training courses, unlocking the full potential of learning solutions amidst change in your organisation. 

1. Strategically align training courses with change initiatives to support teams during transformation

While many of us are planning, assessing, and developing the skills our organisations will need post-transformation, there is another critical aspect that often goes overlooked. How many of us are actively considering the skills our people will need to support them through the change itself? By incorporating training in change management and soft skills and providing resources for navigating change, we can bolster wellbeing and motivation, minimise change fatigue and enhance the success of the transformation process.

How can you ensure training programmes support employees during transformation? 

  • Communicate frequently with key stakeholders to stay updated on organisational objectives and progress of change initiatives. 
  • Align training objectives and outcomes directly with these goals. Create a roadmap outlining the progression of skills development and how it meet needs at different stages of the transformation.
  • Revise skills frameworks in line with this roadmap and use them for skills gap analysis, prioritising key skills for transformation in training courses. 
  • Develop or select learning content for employee training that closely matches priority skills for transformation, equipping teams with the capabilities needed to navigate change, directly contributing to transformation success.
  • Provide communications packs for managers to use with their teams to raise awareness of and engagement with training programmes. Clearly articulate how the training aligns with the broader goals of transformation and how the identified skills support employees and contribute to their success both during and post change.  

2. Implement relevant, personalised, engaging training programmes to increase course completion 

Engaging learners and achieving high learning completion rates during times of organisational change can be a significant challenge. As transformations unfold, employees often face increased responsibilities and workloads. With deadlines looming and priorities shifting rapidly, balancing competing tasks frequently relegates training to the bottom of their to-do list. Lack of accountability or oversight of training completion can further challenge learner engagement.

How can you effectively engage employees to increase course completion rates during times of change?

  • Acknowledge that individuals may be at different stages of understanding and acceptance regarding the transformation. Implement personalised learning paths that allow participants to progress at their own pace, offering tailored support and resources.
  • Incorporate real-world scenarios and case studies directly linked to the ongoing transformation to ensure training is applicable and meaningful to the organisational strategy and change. 
  • Craft learning experiences that are interactive and collaborative. Integrate social learning into formal training courses to provide a platform to openly discuss transformation challenges, share valuable insights, and learn from each other's diverse experiences, fostering a strong sense of community and collaboration.
  • Inject elements of variety and gamification to add an element of excitement and engagement. Multimedia, quizzes, simulations, badges, and competitions can all contribute to a more enjoyable and memorable learning experience, providing a welcome break from the stresses often associated with transformation. 
  • Foster learner autonomy by integrating personalised action plan creation into training programmes. Highlight how newly acquired skills can be directly applied during and post transformation. 

It's important to subtly address concerns about career paths during training. Selecting modules that incorporate elements of career confidence building and future skills can help participants see the link between training courses and career advancement. 

3. Adapt and streamline training schedules to accommodate fluctuating demands 

Navigating training schedules during transformation can be challenging. With employees juggling ever-changing workloads, schedules, and priorities, pinpointing the ideal time for training becomes a complex task. The dynamic nature of transformation adds another layer of uncertainty, making it tricky to anticipate when employees will be available to participate. This unpredictability not only presents logistical hurdles but also requires heightened coordination efforts from training administrators.

How can you effectively adapt and streamline training schedules to accommodate the fluctuating demands of transformation, ensuring optimal participation and engagement from employees?

  • Break down training courses into bite-sized modules, enabling participants to develop targeted skills incrementally, fitting learning into their busy schedules without feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Offer a flexible, round the clock training schedule, catering to employees across all time zones and accommodating the full range of flexible working arrangements. Simplify the registration process, enabling quick and easy registration through a user-friendly, reliable platform, accessible via mobile devices. Empower participants to choose their preferred timings, promoting autonomy and accountability.
  • Recognise the fluid nature of work environments during times of transition by implementing dynamic scheduling to accommodate shifting priorities and fluctuating workloads. Allow participants to join alternative groups if they can't attend their scheduled sessions. Continuously evaluate and adjust training schedules based on real-time feedback, emerging priorities, and unexpected disruptions.
  • Provide recordings of live sessions for those unable to attend and host regular drop-in sessions for participants who missed out.
  • Regularly gather feedback from participants to identify what's working well and areas for improvement and refine schedules to optimise flexibility and adaptability, ensuring they can effectively accommodate the evolving needs and challenges of participants.

Navigating the complexities of training during times of change requires a strategic approach that prioritises adaptability, innovation, and supporting employees. By embracing flexible methodologies, aligning training initiatives with transformation goals, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and feedback, organisations can empower their workforce to successfully navigate change and seize opportunities for growth

British Council has over 80 years’ experience of partnering with organisations and individuals in over 200 countries. Our four-step process supports you to effectively plan, implement and evaluate training and assessments during times of change, positively impacting individuals and organisations. 

Partner with us to develop the professional skills your teams need to thrive in today's rapidly evolving business landscape and emerge stronger amidst change.

Read about our customised programmes, download our Corporate English Solutions brochure  or book a free consultation