10 Insights on Learning & Development in Remote Working

Anthony Hickey

This edition of our Trust Insight webinar series focused on Learning & Development in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. We were in conversation with Yvonne Frost (VP Employee Experience, Poppulo) and Liz Donnelly (Senior Manager Employee Experience, Oriflame), who shared their insights on the changing face of L&D. They discussed development as a strategic pillar, self-driven learning, mentorships, engaging and retaining through learning initiatives, remote learning, and the need for organisations to continuously reflect on their development offerings.

Below we have summarised the key points from the webinar, but should you wish to hear the full conversation, you can do so here!


Yvonne Frost

VP of Employee Experience


  • It is important to understand that at present, employees are pushed for time and their attention may be scattered. Providing streamlined, selected, development initiatives has been the most beneficial strategy to counter such factors.

  • There has been a necessary shift from being trainers to facilitating development. No longer considered a compliance issue, facilitating development is now considered to be linked to employee engagement and retention.

  • In such a fast-changing context, organisations must continuously reflect on their ongoing initiatives. It is vital to review development offerings and take stock of what is and is not working, particularly where programmes have been in place for some time.

  • Values and development are intertwined. Steering employees to develop in line with the organisation’s values provides not only a framework for gauging developmental progress, but the cultural foundations which support and promote development generally.

  • Top talent needs to be challenged and develop continuously, if they don’t see this occurring it will be difficult to keep them in the business. With such individuals, it is vital to listen to their desired developmental trajectory and assist them in working towards their goals.


Quotes 13



Liz Donnelly

Senior Manager of Employee Experience


  • Building a strong learning organisation to attract and retain the right candidates is a vital component of the organisation’s 5-year strategy. Within that strategic objective, leadership, behaviour, education, and technical training are the four pillars of L&D.

  • Naturally, 2020 brought disruptions to development strategies, necessitating adaptation. Part of this involved expanding the number of LinkedIn learning licences available to employees, to continue their development while working remotely.

  • Having launched a pilot mentoring programme prior to the crisis, a decision was made to continue with this initiative during Covid. Matching experienced staff with colleagues wishing to learn was still possible, by providing training to mentors and mentees on how to engage with the programme in a remote setting.

  • Specific training on managing teams remotely was provided to people managers to equip them with the tools to respond to this new set of challenges. This training centred around how to focus on the task, team, individual, self, and develop an action plan.

  • In terms of what has changed for good as a result of this crisis, training on agility and adaptability, building resilience and coping with change have become essential. While these have been developed through training, they have also been developed through necessity.


Quotes 16


It is evident that much has changed in the L&D space over the last 5-6 months, however we can also see that the foundations of remain the same. Continuous learning is vital to employees, where individually tailored learning is considered the most beneficial way to engage employees, with these employees receiving support from the leadership team. This has long since been considered an essential component of the Great Place to Work methodology.


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