In 2020, businesses were forced to abandon many of their strategic plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after the virus made headlines worldwide, the focus became preventing the spread of the virus through the workforce, adjusting product and service distribution and delivery methods, and managing customer needs in a new environment of social distancing.
One of the initiatives that received little, if any, attention was employee development. For many organizations, training and development expenses were reduced and eliminated in some cases. Additionally, the demand on HR significantly increased as attention was directed toward safety protocols, COVID sick leave, furloughs, and layoffs. There was little time for traditional training and development in the immediacy of the tragedy unfolding one year ago.
With the vaccine rollout well underway in 2021, leaders are eyeing recovery with the goal of not only reaching 2019 performance levels but exceeding them. According to a LinkedIn Learning Report, one critical strategy to a successful recovery is to reprioritize employee professional development, which 94% of employees believe to be a reason for staying at a company longer.