The New Normal. With the advancement of communication tools and online technology, comes new opportunities that are readily available and accessible to your business.
Opportunities that Skills 4 have pushed forward with, to offer our clients and their employees a more flexible, dynamic, and accessible way of training.
At Skills 4, we were quick to respond to the global pandemic Covid-19 when it first began to spread across the world in early 2020. We swiftly adapted our award-winning range of diversity and inclusion training programmes onto an online platform; offering the same high-quality learning experience that we have become so highly regarded for, without the need for classroom delivery.
This hugely successful new way of delivering our diversity training allows our clients to access our training in a more efficient, convenient, and risk-free environment whilst having a positive impact on our planet.
“As an organisation, we take the health and safety of employees extremely seriously; as a training partner, Skills 4 were highly proactive and flexible in responding to the challenges presented by Covid-19. Within days they had created a solution which allowed our employees to continue to train in a risk-free environment.
Based on the excellent learner feedback and the positive impact of blended learning on both the environment and the work-life balance of our staff; we have taken the decision to continue running the Women’s Development Programme as a blended learning programme for the 250 women we have committed to support this year.”
Gila Stockell, Learning and Development – Atkins
Our traditional classroom-based programmes would run over 3, 4 and 5 days – with up to 16 delegates and a course mentor travelling to the classroom sessions from all over the UK and overseas!
With our new online diversity training programmes, more emphasis is placed on peer-to-peer support with delegates being assigned a ‘buddy’ or placed into small ‘growth groups’ at the very start of the programme. Breakout work and tasks are assigned as part of remote online sessions and also in between sessions. This increases the strength of internal support networks and the sense of ownership for delegates.
Each cohort is assigned a highly experienced mentor and coach who runs all sessions and works on a 1-2-1 basis with each delegate. This enables focussed work on individual circumstances, providing deeper and more sustainable development pathways.
The new blended programme allows learners to complete the training online, in small groups, from their home or local office. The environmental benefits of this online training method are significant; our online courses can save an average of up to 1 tonne of CO2 emissions per programme!
Historically, employers have flown in delegates from Europe, America and even Australia to attend our award-winning diversity training sessions. By moving to a blended-learning platform, we make it easy for employers to offer the programme across teams and countries, increasing access and equality of opportunity whilst building sustainable global networks.
Whilst there are always going to be times when face-to-face business meetings and training sessions are the best options, there are scenarios where excess travel places an unnecessary strain on the planet and our own mental wellbeing.
As home-working and video conferencing become the new norm, this levels the playing field for employees with caring/domestic responsibilities and/or physical disabilities. This change gives organisations a great opportunity to access the well documented benefits of diversity.
In addition to the positive impact on the environment, reduced travel has a positive impact on the work-life balance of delegates and removes the need for overnight stays. In its ‘UK Working Lives Report’ 2019, the CIPD states that commuting time adds a significant additional burden on the time of many workers, equating to additional work-related time of 3 hours 45 minutes on average per week, which can have a detrimental effect on family life mental health.
While online diversity training may be a relatively new platform, we have already been seeing significantly positive results.
*Evaluations: Remote delivery Balfour Beatty, March 2020