The New Frontier of Professional Development: 6 Reasons Why Leaders Should Embrace Virtual Learning

During the pandemic, so much of our world transitioned to being online, whether we liked it or not. 

The transition online was arguably inevitable, but the pandemic accelerated the normalization of it. Prior to the pandemic, Zoom was known by a select group of professionals scheduling meetings across time zones. Post pandemic, everyone and their grandma are Zoom power users.  

Despite the drawbacks to the widespread move to working remotely or in a hybrid system, the shift to a normalized virtual work environments has created plenty of new opportunities.  

Online learning and professional development is a powerful tool for providing employees with opportunities that are flexible, cost-effective, and accessible because of this shift. 

We know that the work force is hungry for learning. In one study, 76% of employees say their more likely to stay with a company when development is offered. 55% say that they need training to perform better in their jobs.  

And it’s not just words. They are motivated – one in two employees independently pursue development outside of work. 

So, not only will developing your team strengthen performance and boost skills, it will also increase moral and improve retention. Offering learning opportunities online are a great way to fulfill this need in a manageable way.  

Here are six solid reasons why virtual learning might be right for you and your team: 

1. It’s convenient.  

It can be done anywhere, at any time, and from the comfort of home or the office. 

No one likes a commute, and with online learning options more available, that doesn’t need to be a factor anymore. It also means there is access to teachers and courses from around the world without geographic restriction. You don’t even need to be on the same continent as someone to learn from them.

2. It’s more flexible. 

Learning online offers flexibility that allows people to balance it with their work and other commitments. It’s easy to find the courses that fit with the schedule, budget, workload, and pace of learning. Also, when all you need is an internet connection to attend, it reduces the chances of conflicts. 

3. It creates connection and space for collaboration. 

Working from home can be isolating, and virtual learning is an easy way to increase engagement and moral. By having someone provide virtual training for your team, you’re facilitating a gathering that allows connection separate from work while still being engaging and productive.  

4. It’s more cost-effective. 

Online professional development is less expensive than traditional classroom-based training. You save money on the transportation, lodging, and materials needed when you bring in an in-person instructor.  

5. It can be supplemental to other development opportunities. 

Many companies have built in professional development programs like mentorships and coaching. These are great supports for employees and virtual training is a great way to supplement their learnings.  

If you have an employee with recognized weak spots like email writing, providing supplemental virtual training will help accelerate their progress. By providing targeted learning, they’ll be able to get more out of their mentorship or coaching programs.  

6. It can be focused.  

You can customize your employee’s development to specifically match their needs. This will help maximize the impact. If you have one report who struggles with presenting and another on answering questions, you can find training that specifically focuses on those areas and meets their unique needs.  

Next steps. 

If you’re interested in professional development, virtual or in person, Cadence offers a range of leadership and communication courses.  

Check out our full course offerings here, including our enrolment courses and team courses. 

We look forward to hearing from you. Greatness awaits.