New Springtime Rituals for Learning Pros in 2020

spring clean lmsA global coronavirus crisis has put most information workers at home for the foreseeable near future and has changed the flow of business for many companies. On a positive note, experts and companies are offering tons of free resources to help smooth the effects of this pandemic – everything from blogs on how to work effectively from home, tips to manage remote employees, and ways to best leverage your LMS as a source of comfort and community.

In addition to the blogs linked above, we at SAP Litmos added to this outpouring of information with the Remote Readiness & Productivity Academy – a library of free courses for anyone and everyone, not just SAP Litmos customers. Please take advantage of it, if you haven’t already.

I also recommend implementing practices for maintaining physical and mental wellness during these challenging and very unusual circumstances. It’s not always easy and may make you flex your muscles more than usual (likely mentally and emotionally more than physically), but it will be worth it in the end. This period is forcing all of us to reassess our list of what’s essential and refresh our commitments to the people and activities that truly matter – the things that enable us to assign personal meaning and purpose to life.

As The New York Times states:

After a crisis, most people acquire a newfound sense of purpose, develop deeper relationships, have a greater appreciation of life and report other benefits.”

That’s certainly something to which to aspire! But, how do we get there? What are some simple things we can do to produce positive outcomes on the other side of this crisis?

Even in Odd Times, Let’s Enjoy Some Springtime Rituals

While we didn’t get to enjoy live sports, concerts, festivals, or any number of other beloved events this year, there are still springtime rituals that can bring us pleasure, peace, and joy.

For instance, I’ve been keeping fresh flowers at home since the beginning of the pandemic, even though I formerly considered it a luxury – mostly for special occasions. Under the circumstances, however, it brings me a spark of joy to see and smell them every day. There’s good reason some old adages have remained in the vernacular – you can still stop and smell the roses (even while practicing physical distancing)!

After all, this is the time of year to be on the lookout for new growth – flowers bloom and trees bud – but in order to make room for all of this newness, we need to clear away the old and get rid of the weeds and dried branches, so to speak. We need to make a clearing for bright colors and sweet fragrances.

No wonder another age-old ritual of the season is spring cleaning! After a long, cold winter, it’s time to get your house and your affairs in order! Make way for the fresh energy to come.

Spring Cleaning for Learning Pros

You likely already tidied up your at-home work space to make your quarantine more comfortable and productive. Beyond cleaning, that may have even included reorganizing furniture, buying some nice plants, updating lighting, or other enhancements. Good for you, if you’ve already checked those things off the list.

To take our theme a step further, however, how can you apply the idea of spring cleaning to your learning program? Especially considering the rapid changes you’ve had to make since the onset of the coronavirus, it seems like the ideal time to reassess your strategy, clean up your existing courses, and refresh your content.

Give these ideas a try:

  • Pivot the Training Strategy for Remote Work Only – In times of crisis, change often needs to happen decisively and swiftly. If you had an in-person, instructor-led track in your training plan for the year, it’s time to draw a red line through that. Now’s the time to transition traditional instructor-led training (ILT) courses that were designed for face-to-face groups over to virtual ILT. Be sure to ask for feedback on the classes because you may even discover that your learners prefer virtual ILT. You’ll reduce travel inconveniences for learners, improve productivity, and save your company a lot of money by replacing some live training with digital. Keep that in mind for your 2021 budget!
  • Clean Up Existing Courses and Learning Paths – Consider this the closet cleanout for learning and development! Time to roll up your sleeves and take inventory of current courses and learning paths. Decide what needs to be updated or improved, and what needs to be thrown out! Just like with the jeans you haven’t worn in a year or the really cute shoes you’ve never worn, if it’s not being used (look at your reports!) or if learners don’t like it, it’s probably time to cut it loose,
  • Add New Off-the-Shelf Content to the LMS Library – This is the fun part. After you’ve tweaked the strategy and cleaned out “the closet” so to speak, now you get to fill in some of the gaps with shiny new content! You’ll know what’s missing in some areas, but remember, quarantine is a great time to reach out to colleagues; so schedule some online meetings and ask stakeholders what they want for new training or if there are opportunities for improvement on their teams, where training could make a difference. My bet is they’ll be glad to hear from you for more reason than one.

Let’s prepare for better times to come and when they do, you’ll be refreshed and ready!