LinkedIn APAC L&D Leaders Tackle Learning in a Remote World

May 6, 2020

professional woman working remotely while holding a child

This may not come as a surprise, but ‘remote work’ as a keyword search on LinkedIn Learning grew by 2.6X since the start of this year[1]. As the workforce shifts, almost in its entirety, to working from home, business leaders are leaning on their learning & development (L&D) teams to keep employees engaged.

To share how LinkedIn has been responding to this situation, we hosted a live webcast to explore ‘Learning in a Remote World’ with our Asia Pacific leaders on the 23rd of April. The virtual event had Jason Laufer, Senior Director of LinkedIn Learning Solutions and Glint, leading a discussion with Ann Ann Low, LinkedIn’s Senior Director of L&D and Amrita Prasad, Glint’s Head of Business Development.

The hour-long discussion is available in full and on-demand here, but here’s a quick look at the top 3 insights.

In the face of rapid change, acceleration beats perfection.

The tectonic shift from business-as-usual to work-from-home came suddenly for many organizations. In such situations, it’s important to react quickly and pivot fast while staying agile and adaptable on the go. To remain grounded, Ann Ann revealed the “three golden rules” that her team abides by:

  1. Don’t go off the rails. Be clear about the purpose, so teams stay focused, and efforts are well directed.
  2. Add immediate value. Don’t overthink things or strive for perfection because speed is more valued now.
  3. Align and refine. Move quickly to adapt to the changing situation.

Guided by these rules, LinkedIn was able to quickly implement a host of changes, from recalibrating the on-boarding experience for new hires to collaborating with managers to reach out to employees more deliberately and visibly. To strengthen the sense of community within the organization, LinkedIn also created new platforms for leaders to speak to employees about the situation, and be more available, accessible and authentic.

Listening to employees has been crucial in the best of times; it’s even more critical now. 

With the current situation characterized by uncertainty, organizations need to continue connecting and communicating with employees to ensure that they feel cared for and supported. Amrita, who works with a variety of companies on people engagement strategy, shared that there’s no change to the drivers of engagement during a crisis but some become more salient than others. These include communication, trust in leadership as well as access to resources and role clarity.

She recommends that companies run pulse checks and quick surveys as a way to start an ongoing conversation with employees. 

“Research has shown that employees do not expect their organizations to have all the answers. Just the act of listening, of collecting and responding to feedback is, in itself, engaging,” she said.  

Let learner feedback guide the future of learning

Ann Ann suggested that Amrita’s point about communication and feedback applies to the learning journey as well.

“We have to be pragmatic and temporarily let go of what we know,” said Ann Ann. “The situation calls for experimentation and adaptation, and learner feedback is the best way to tell if something is working or not. When we create opportunities for people to ask questions, give advice and provide feedback, we are gathering ‘signals’ as to which learning initiatives are generating value for our people and helping them grow. Those are the ones that we want to keep building on.”

While the current situation is challenging, both Ann Ann and Amrita agree that it also offers organizations the opportunity to reaffirm their culture, build loyalty and prepare for better times. The actions that L&D teams need to take now — like listening and acting on employee feedback and adapting to change with speed and agility —can become enduring habits. And these habits will put organizations in good stead, no matter what the future holds.

Watch the full webcast recording here.

[1] Internal LinkedIn Data, data as of 17th Feb 2020