June 3, 2020

Keep Employees Connected and
Companies Productive While Distancing

Article

It goes without saying that we are living in an unprecedented time.

With the emergence of COVID-19, individuals in all industries, trades and nations are being compelled to stay at home in order to save lives. Understanding the risks to the individual and the economy, businesses are working hard to continue providing for their employees and customers during the lockdown. This ‘Big Reset’ has pushed companies to explore how they can perform more tasks virtually, while still staying connected and engaged. Though many companies have utilized digital workplace tools before, several are new to them and not sure how they can be utilized for their specific business needs.

Making Online Learning the New Normal

Former ways of working in offices, huddling in meeting rooms and learning in large seminars have been uprooted and are no longer operational in our current time. With this companies are struggling to implement the necessary learning elements into organization’s work as this often involved hosting expensive off-site trainings or spending hours composing courses that employees had difficulty accessing.

Bersin makes it clear that learning is more important in this current situation than it has ever been, stating that “we are going to learn our way out of this crisis.” However, companies have experienced difficulties with offering their employees streamlined, easily accessible courses and learning opportunities, often sending them to find trainings that are housed outside of company databases and vary heavily in quality.

It is easy, however, to understand some companies’ trepidation with moving operations online. It’s something new, and as we know of human behavior, change is difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to utilizing more modern technologies. Nevertheless, many businesses are seeing the brighter side of these forced changes. Companies who formerly spent thousands on hosting in-person meetings are now saving ample time and energy by hosting online meetings in the comfort of their respective homes. Whether they are on a larger global scale, or a smaller start-up group, teams are now seeing the improved operation and management available with agile online tools.

This is where Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) and Learning Management Systems really enhance this process by allowing Learning & Development teams to create custom courses for their employees that are connected to the company systems. This allows managers to easily place learning where their employees already are, without the need to search outside of the organization.

As one of the leading providers of online productivity tools, Microsoft has recently implemented massive updates to build up the already comprehensive toolset, making the move to a digital workplace more seamless than ever. And when coupled with a flexible learning management system, a digital workplace becomes a digital learning space as well. With these tools, it easier than ever to incorporate Bersin’s Learning in the Flow of Work method to your digital workspace, ensuring your employees come out of this pause better trained and more connected to their colleagues and their learning opportunities.

Boosting Connection and Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

To abide by health protocols, businesses require a new way of connecting that does not rely on face-to-face interaction. Recently hitting over 75 million active users, Microsoft Teams has become a savior for companies to continue providing their employees and customers with personal connection and superior management.

“All evidence shows that Microsoft Teams may be one of the most successful products ever built.”Josh Bersin, Industry Analyst and Founder of Bersin.

Not only is Microsoft Teams helping businesses to keep their workflow as it was before COVID-19 restrictions, it is also helping these same businesses better their workforce and their talent. We know how important it is to integrate employee learning into the general workflow in order to continue building the valuable talents of your staff.

And with Microsoft Teams, knowledge sharing, cooperative team training and daily learning opportunities become abundant and much easier to disperse through dedicated team channels.

Microsoft Teams helps bring people together and connect them with skill development courses that give them the confidence to continue excelling in their work long after the lockdown lifts. And by implementing a Learning Management System (LMS) that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams—and the whole Microsoft 365 suite—businesses are able to confidently usher in a new way of learning, working and collaborating online.

LMS365 – Enabling a Cooperative Digital Learning Space

In the current restricted environment, being able to facilitate quality collaboration, learning and training is crucial for employees in all industries, departments and positions. When pairing an application like Microsoft Teams to an integrated LMS such as LMS365, the current work conditions become less of an obstacle for productivity and more of a catalyst for progression, even as we shelter in place.

Foster Personal Connection with Video Chat

With the superior Microsoft Teams’ audio and video technology, hosting large meetings is efficient and AI-powered for productivity. You can easily connect face-to-face—virtually that is—on a global scale and can effortlessly record meeting minutes for any colleagues who weren’t able to make it attend due to time zones or personal matters. And with the LMS365 integration, coworkers can use video chats to follow-up on employee training progress and even receive feedback on training content so that L&D can improve their courses.

Following this scenario, L&D could even use these tools to share customer feedback reports from Microsoft’s Power BI right into their specific Team channel. All members of the channel will have access to this information and can carry this over to LMS365 to begin reforming their training content. And if they have any questions or concerns, Microsoft Teams makes it easy to connect with others on the channel and even schedule a meeting to go over any changes. In this way, employees are able to work together much like they always have, and with the added connection of getting to see their coworkers on video, regardless of where they may be in the world.

Build Work-at-Home Learning Programs

We know from research that if you don’t have a skill development program for your employees, they will go somewhere else, and as will their attention and investment in their work.

People don’t want to browse through thousands of courses to get their job done – they want to go to a place that shows them just what they need.” Josh Bersin, Industry Analyst and Founder of Bersin.

Creating employee training programs is made simple in the intuitive LMS365 course creator and providing your employees access to this material becomes effortless with Microsoft Teams. With these two tools, you place courses and connection at the fingertips of learners, only requiring a single Microsoft 365 login for them to access their shared and dedicated learning workspace.

Users can copy links to the LMS courses right into a Microsoft Teams channel, making it easy for your employees to find and access the resources. In this same channel, users can discuss learning points from the course and offer up questions to other coworkers taking the course.

It is also possible to add specific training courses to particular Microsoft Team chats. For example, if you would like to require your Marketing team to all complete your Corporate Message Training, you can directly copy and link the necessary course to the Marketing team channel and keep tabs of individual course progress in LMS365. This also creates a space for employees to share their own outside knowledge with their group, and have this knowledge be accessible to their colleagues at any time and on any device of their choosing.

Bring Joy to the Online Space

An aspect many companies are finding difficult to navigate is that of the mental health of their employees and staff. COVID-19 sheltering hasn’t only impacted employees’ work structure, but also their mental and emotional states. With Microsoft Teams and LMS365, L&D can offer mental health trainings and supporting resources through engaging courses, helping to build a community of support during this taxing time. L&D staff can incorporate fun elements like quizzes to learn more about coworkers and managers can spice up meetings with custom backgrounds available through Microsoft Teams. There’s nothing like your boss showing up to a call from a faux beach to cultivate some laughter and fun during this difficult period.

To ensure all employees are aware of these supportive resources, users can pin these mental health courses to Microsoft Teams channels and even create friendly reminders to exercise self-care while working remotely. Employees can also search @LMS365 in the toolbar to find these resources and link them directly to a coworker, an act that can build comradery, trust and connection among staff.

Hope for the New Workplace

We are entering a new way of living, and with that, a new way of working and learning is required. Though we might never be able to replace the intimacy of in-person meetings and collaborations, we can make the online space more intelligent, appealing and engaging. This along with the creation of a single, secure workspace for your employees to connect and grow, is the solution offered through the powerful combination of Microsoft Teams and LMS365.

With these two integrated tools, companies are able to find new ways of connection and expansion that may have never been realized without going through this ‘Big Reset’. And after these shelter-at-home protocols are lifted, there can emerge a completely new way of working; a way that encompasses the very best of both online and in-person instruction. This improved blended learning approach will be made all the better because of the technology we grew confident with using during this lockdown and our new appreciation for quality in-person connection.

Let the power of LMS365 and Microsoft Teams support you in creating the modern and agile digital workplace that will keep your company connected in the current and flourishing in the future. You can see more of the seamless integration between LMS365 and Microsoft Teams here.