LMS, training

How to Support Business Continuity Through a Crisis with Online Learning Content

by Debbie Williams

Without practices in place to ensure business continuity, a crisis can cripple an organization’s operations and core business functions. Deloitte explained exactly what the objective of managing business continuity is: 

“In normal operation activities and in reaction to common events (e.g. breakdowns), business continuity management sets a strategic and operational framework to actively increase corporate resilience. The objective is clear: to prevent suspension of operations or services.”1 

Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every aspect of society, business continuity has taken on new importance. Companies strived to maintain business continuity at the start of the pandemic, and continue to do so. Companies can strategically use online learning content delivered through an LXP or LMS solution to create business continuity and manage risks.

Check out our comprehensive list of helpful COVID-19 eLearning resources

Content Management

Use online learning and training content to promote business continuity

When it comes to building resilience and planning for business continuity, L&D teams can be very helpful. “L&D can play an increasingly pivotal role in preparing and enabling our organizations to change, adapt and persevere through crisis,” TrainingIndustry.com explained.2 

One of the ways L&D departments can promote business continuity is by creating training content for employees on topics such as adaptability, resilience, crisis management, and people skills. Such content connects employees with the organization, gets employees behind a company’s business continuity plan, and builds workforce resilience in troubled times.

Related Reading: How an LMS Can Give Your Business a Competitive Edge in 2021

Develop employees’ professional skills during a crisis

Professional development should be ongoing, even in the midst of a pandemic. No matter what is happening, workers should be receiving online employee training courses that cover job skills, as well as soft skills/life skills that can transfer to other roles. That said, the first way to promote business continuity with online learning content is by developing employees’ professional skills despite and during a crisis. 

In addition to receiving regular training (i.e., training that would be distributed if no crisis was happening), employees should also receive crisis management training. This will help them navigate and work through a crisis without allowing fear to take over. 

Too many employees were unaware of how to deal with a crisis when COVID-19 hit. This never has to be the case again. Crisis management training can give your workforce the knowledge needed to successfully deal with any critical situation.  

It’s a huge challenge to train employees during a crisis if the L&D team has to hustle to create the training content from scratch on-demand. This leads us to our next point: always have extra employee training content on hand that can be delivered during a crisis.

Prepare online learning and training content before a crisis hits

Preparing critical online learning content through a remote training platform is another way to support business continuity. Unfortunately, crises happen. Most crises are nowhere near as serious as the COVID-19 pandemic. But even a “small” crisis, such as a data breach, can throw a company into a tailspin. By having learning content on hand, L&D teams can ensure they have ongoing training content to provide during any corporate emergency. 

What learning content is vital to the ongoing training of your workers? That is the content you need to have ready to go should a setback happen. If your employees need a lot of compliance training (as is the case for most people who work in healthcare or finance), keep compliance training courses on-hand and stay on top of certifications using a learning management system (LMS). Or, if your company is a retail organization, your workers may be in constant need of fresh sales and customer service training. 

L&D teams should have several months’ worth of emergency online learning content prepared for if and when a crisis does hit. 

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Acknowledge the emotional impact a crisis has on workers in eLearning content

Crises are hard on corporations, but they are also hard on workers’ emotions. For example, the coronavirus crisis understandably impacted many employees’ mental health. All of a sudden, they were faced with fears of contracting the virus, losing their job, losing family members, and the list goes on. Other crises are also stressful to employees. A few examples include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Cybersecurity problems
  • Product recalls
  • Major employee misconduct  

By acknowledging whatever crisis is affecting your organization in employee training content and not brushing it off to the side, the L&D team will help to decrease workers’ stress levels. 

Online learning content that openly discusses mental health management and explains when workers should seek professional help or use the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will also ease anxiety. Ideally, it will even reduce absenteeism and staff turnover. 

Promote resilience with eLearning content

Adaptability is one of the key organizational characteristics of companies that make it through crises. “Successfully coping with new operational norms requires companies to be agile and adaptable... To survive in this new normal of economic turbulence and uncertainty, companies will need to adapt to new working paradigms, new ways of servicing clients and customers, and new technology to improve processes,” CPA Practice Advisor explained.3 

L&D teams can create eLearning content that teaches employees to adopt resilient, adaptive mindsets. The content should not just explain what resilience is, but also teach resilience skills, such as thought reframing and positive self-talk, and allow learners to practice those skills. 

If the LMS a company uses features social learning tools and communities, administrators can set controls to allow employees to record themselves practicing resilience skills and then upload their recordings into a community forum. Learners would not only receive helpful feedback from peers but would also be actively creating user-generated content and promoting knowledge sharing.  

Alternatively, companies can purchase online courses about developing resilience from an eLearning content vendor. This may be a more cost-effective option for organizations. It would also get training into the hands of workers more quickly than creating courses from scratch.

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Build people skills to foster business continuity

In addition to increasing workers’ resilience using online learning content, administrators can use eLearning content to build employees’ people skills. This type of content supports business continuity planning and provides workers with skills that can transfer to many other types of roles. 

“In our experience, the human aspect of business continuity includes ‘hardening’ our people skills…” according to a contributor at TrainingIndustry.com. The people skills mentioned include listening with empathy, joint problem-solving to promote collaboration and better solutions, and strategically thinking “to separate the signal from the noise, to look at context, to zoom out from immediate challenges to look at the big picture.”4 

Forbes also mentioned some other valuable people skills, including:

  • The ability to relate to others
  • Strong communication skills
  • Patience with others
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Flexibility
  • Good judgment5

Related Reading: Include These 3 Skills in Your Remote Training Courses in 2021

LMS employee training drives business continuity

A crisis doesn’t have to be the end of an organization. With effective business continuity planning, your company can keep its head above water when a crisis inevitably hits. 

Employee training promotes business continuity. It should be an integral aspect of business continuity planning. Since remote training is the new norm for many organizations, L&D teams should focus on creating online learning content that supports their organization’s business continuity plans and goals. 

Online learning content isn’t much good without the right technology to fuel and house it, such as a learning management system. You can easily manage online employee training with an LMS. An LMS makes online training user-friendly for learners and simple to distribute, track, and report on for administrators. Request an LMS demo of TOPYX to learn more.

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[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/cz/en/pages/risk/solutions/covid-zajisteni-kontinuity-cinnosti.html
[2] https://trainingindustry.com/magazine/nov-dec-2020/building-resilience-lds-evolving-role-in-business-continuity-planning/
[3] https://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/small-business/news/21135953/adaptability-is-the-key-to-business-continuity-through-covid
[4] https://trainingindustry.com/magazine/nov-dec-2020/building-resilience-lds-evolving-role-in-business-continuity-planning/
[5] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/11/15/the-20-people-skills-you-need-to-succeed-at-work/

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing