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Learning Pool’s response to the global pandemic, COVID-19

For the last 5 months, the Coronavirus outbreak has been a cause for concern for individuals, businesses, Governments and officials worldwide. At Learning Pool, we’ve been concerned about the potential impact the spread of the virus could have on our team, their families and our global client base, as well as doing everything we could to support ‘business as usual’ for both our staff and the clients we serve. 

One of our core values is ‘doing the right thing’ and that is why we’ve implemented a number of new measures over the last few weeks to help keep our colleagues and customers safe. In early March, we introduced a company-wide travel ban, preventing colleagues from travelling outside of their normal commute. This meant rearranging face-to-face meetings and replacing them with video/telephone calls, as well as pulling out of a number of events, including our own Learning Pool Live Local events. As the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic worsened and the UK prepared Government-enforced lockdown, we then asked our staff to work from home where possible. For the last seven weeks, the majority of our workforce (across seven offices in both the UK and US) have been working remotely. It’s important to note that our teams are functioning well under these new work environments; our customer success, support and call center staff are still responding to queries and tickets and we’re supporting our customers as best we can. They have responded to more than 13,000 queries and tickets in the last seven weeks and we’re thrilled that there has been no drop in our 98% customer satisfaction rate. 

Free elearning module for Coronavirus 

To help our customers support their staff, we also launched the Coronavirus Course Essentials library consisting of the following modules: Coronavirus, Remote Working, Remote Working for Managers, Display Screen Equipment, Healthy Lifestyles, Conference Call Etiquette, Email Stress, and Mental Health Awareness. Our aim for this library was to address the impact of the current pandemic and help organizations maintain team and individual performance, to continue to deliver results through digital learning. The content included was sourced from global authorities and is available for free for up to 90-days so that businesses can share only accurate information relating to the virus and reduce the impact of misinformation that can cause unnecessary fear and panic. And as more information becomes available, the resources within the library will also be updated. 

Elearning to support remote working 

As well as the Coronavirus module becoming immediately available to customers within all of our existing off-the-shelf catalogues, we’ve also been refreshing our catalogues, creating elearning modules for things like Agile Working and Home Working. These have been added to a number of our catalogues already, for example, our Foundation Skills catalogue, to ensure deployment to our customers is speedy and seamless. Clients can use the resources within these modules to help ensure their staff are equipped for home working as best they can be. From ensuring they have the appropriate equipment and technology in place to help colleagues work remotely together (for example, a desk and chair, computer monitor, headphones, microphone and speaker) to encouraging staff to take regularly scheduled breaks. We also have a number of free modules available including our Mental Health Awareness module for those struggling with isolation during the Government-enforced lockdown period.  

Instructor-led training to online learning 

Encouraging you to keep your learning social when we all need to keep our distance, we launched our latest OLX, ‘Rapidly putting your learning online’ at the beginning of April. Many organizations were coming to us wondering how to transform their instructor-led training to a virtual experience and with experience spanning more than a decade, we wanted to share our expertise. This free course covers preparation and planning, social learning and content curation, live online learning, making good video content and more. Experts from across the learning industry and beyond have worked with us to produce this OLX, including Jo Cook from Light-bulb Moment who shares her experience of virtual classrooms and former BBC TV presenter, Sarah Travers who guides us through presenting to the camera. This OLX will remain available indefinitely and can be accessed by anyone (whether you’re a Learning Pool customer or not). Enrol now.

Transforming a face-to-face event to a virtual experience

As mentioned above, COVID-19 has seen many events become postponed or cancelled and we’ve had to pull out of a number of face-to-face events, both in the UK and US, including our own Learning Pool Live Local events. With two remaining at the end of March, we decided to transform them into one live virtual event hosted via our Stream LXP. This was a huge task, with our team pulling it together in a matter of weeks but we’re extremely grateful our customers came together virtually for us to share best practice, as well as updates from the business from the last few months. You can read more about how we did it and how it went here

The latest updates for Stream helped tremendously with this virtual event with improved integration with the Zoom web conferencing service, allowing the creation, management and attendance of Zoom sessions within Stream LXP. Find out more about the latest and upcoming releases via our Roadmap

Unfortunately, our jampacked international events calendar has had to be torn up but in addition to our latest OLX, we’ve also increased our webinar activity as well as joining a number of virtual events to share with the rest of the world what we’ve been up to in recent months. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see where you can find us!

We’ve got your back

Another of our core values here at Learning Pool is the concept that we’ve ‘got your back’ – this means we never short change our customers and we strive to always follow through. This also applies to our own teams and we’re doing everything we can at the minute to support them during these uncertain times. Many departments have started scheduling virtual mid-morning ‘coffee breaks’ or team drinks after work, some members of staff have collected their chairs, monitors and other equipment from their offices to help them settle into home working and we even have a weekly quiz prepared by our Learning Consultants team (built quickly using our authoring tool, Adapt) to help add a little more flare to the working week. As a reward for all staff who have been working tremendously hard since lockdown began, Friday 15th May has also been named ‘Learning Pool Day’ and CEO, Paul McElvaney has given this day off to all staff to help them relax, unwind and spend time with their families.

Business as usual 

We’re taking each day as it comes and keeping up-to-date with all Government advice. Obviously, we hope to have our staff back in our offices sooner rather than later but we’ll only reintroduce office working once we know it is safe to do so. But as you can see, we’re supporting and preparing our customers and our business for a long-term change to the way we work – that means more virtual events, webinars, and useful elearning modules. We can’t wait to get back out there, whether that’s customer meetings or live events but we’ll only make that step once we know we’re through this period of change.  

Update July 2020

Updated module on Coronavirus and the ‘future of work’

To follow the initial launch of Learning Pool’s Coronavirus Course Essentials library aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic back in April, we’ve now released a Future of Work library with updated Coronavirus modules to help organizations and its colleagues adjust to the ‘new normal’ of working.

The ongoing pandemic has forced many organizations to change the way they work, and as such, the ‘new normal’ is still being defined. The reality of remote working is here to stay in some shape or form, and the ability to adapt to the changing ways of working still present challenges to what workers do and how they do it.

Learning Pool created its Coronavirus Course Essentials library, accessible for a free 90-day period, to address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and this new Future of Work library has been designed to offer even more support to businesses, to help them adjust to the ‘Future of Work’ whilst building and maintaining a high-performing team and delivering success in the new way of doing things through elearning.

The all-new Future of Work library contains a blend of Adapt courses, as well as resources, tips, tricks and videos so that organizations and its teams can become proficient and effective in working remotely while also preparing for a transition back to office working.

Learning Pool Live online: The summer edition 

Facilitated by our Learning Experience Platform, Stream the Learning Pool Live summer event was filled with Q&A sessions, roundtable discussions and knowledge development ‘Streams’ to get you thinking about the ‘future of work’ and learning from a remote location. 

The online experience included a session on video in learning from video-centred learning specialists, Nice Media, a discussion on agile and rapid content development and a session on our newest ‘Future of Work’ and ‘Future Skills’ ready-made catalogues among others. 

If you were unable to attend the live event or missed a particular session, you can recap on the event or access the recordings here.

Adjusting to our ‘new normal’

Since 15/06, three of Learning Pool’s six offices have been reopened (Derry, Nottingham and Oxford) at a reduced capacity to help our own workforce start the slow transition back to office-based working. A majority of workers remain working from home for the time being but we have ensured a safe office environment by making masks and hand sanitiser widely available, spacing out desks in order to adhere to the 2m social distancing rule and have professional cleaners carry out a deep clean of each office after every use. 

And most importantly, we’ve made it our mission to encourage our team to be more vocal about how they’re coping, offering a hand when needed which includes the offer of professional support from trained counsellors for issues ranging mental health concerns and financial struggles.

We’ll always strive to do the right thing and we’ve always got your back. Stay safe and take care from everyone at Learning Pool. 

If you’d like more information on any of the products or services mentioned above, please get in touch via our website or contact [email protected]

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