2020 began as a year of hope for me. I was determined to reach great heights- in this ‘new’ year both personally and professionally. But then things started fading away with the spread of Coronavirus. Chills of uncertainty, scepticism about ‘What Next? How bad is it gonna be? What is it? A National Lockdown?’ And what not! These thoughts wandered in every mind. Initially what was underestimated to be a minor flu, eventually turned out to be a virulent one. Consequently, it had a considerable impact on almost every business industry.

‘Critical Times Demand Critical Measures’

For a business, almost all of its functions including sales got transitioned into a virtual form during the pandemic. The era of work from home began, where technology took over as against physical presence. Training and Development during such a time was a challenge for every industry. Imagine you need to train your manpower how to work on platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, now imagine at the same time, these are the only platforms where you can train them. What a conundrum!

Me being a Trainer with my plans in place, it was a turnaround period. I had to rethink, reinvent and rediscover new ways of working. It was challenging to keep learners engaged in virtual training sessions as it was for the trainees to get our time for Training from their jam-packed calendars.

As the business environment is perennially susceptible to change, during this pandemic, the pace of this change has increased manifold. For every such change in the business environment, adaptation is the key for survival, and to adapt, you need to Upskill and Re-skill your workforce- They certainly need a direction. Can you expect them to familiarize themselves with the new technologies, tools and know-how on their own? They’re not robots, are they? We, in the automotive industry, transitioned from BS4 to BS6 emission standards, the manpower was majorly unaware of the new technology.

However, despite all these challenges, everyone after a point of time, got into terms with the reality and their priorities for the hour. As a result, people irrespective of industries adapted quite well during these distressing times. Technology-Enabled Blended Learning, Simulations, AR, VR, Gamified learning, Interactive virtual classroom sessions were the new ways of learning.

With a lockdown being imposed for such a long duration, it had a huge psychological impact on everyone. It was a momentous challenge for us to maintain confidence and positivity as individuals before we could motivate our team. As Trainer/ Mentor I focused upon improving their concentration through implementing diverse and interactive team-bonding activities that included sharing their family pictures, talking about their best vacation experiences and participating in quiz competitions in separate breakout rooms during this period. And in the end, we are all working ourselves out of the pandemic physically, psychologically and emotionally to improve our individual skillset together. It is helping us in uniting and maintaining our inner strength and confidence which further has improved our abilities.

Together we are building a new working culture, which could very well revolutionize the sales, training and development and other functions like never before. No matter whatever your industry is, the future is digital. The pandemic has opened up avenues for us to mutate our working styles, better equipped against the uncertainties of the future! As there is a silver lining in the dark clouds, in time like these, lies the opportunity to evolve and learn more.

Vamshi Pothur
Trainer – Centum Learning