Employees turning to self-directed learning during pandemic

The pandemic is driving employees’ appetite for self-directed learning, new data has revealed, highlighting the need for organisations to provide adequate learning resources.

This is according to data insights from Cornerstone OnDemand, which showed a six-fold increase in EMEA online learning course registrations in early 2020 when the pandemic hit. While this initial spike has since slightly decreased, online self-directed learning is currently still three times higher than before the pandemic, demonstrating employees’ ongoing desire and need to adapt and expand their skillsets. 

“The challenges are far from over. We’re all having to get to grips with yet another new world of work as many workplaces adopt hybrid working and it’s unpredictable what may happen next. Clearly, organisations need to be providing the resources and content to help employees to develop their skills, build their resiliency and ultimately, to enable their workforces to prepare for the future,” commented Mike Baker, GVP Sales and Account Management EMEA.

When it comes to the kind of learning content employees are looking for, the data highlighted very different demands and needs.

In the UK, courses on “Tips for Productive Remote Work” and “Stay Healthy When Working Remotely” were unsurprisingly among the most sought after. However, British employees have been particularly concerned about keeping up their communication capabilities in comparison to their European peers. “10 ways to have a better conversation” was the most popular learning course for UK employees over the past year, with a course on “How to listen” also amongst the top 10.

The beginning of 2021 witnessed a slight shift in focus, with courses on the topics of wellbeing and self-development, such as “The wellbeing mindset”, “Effective Performance Reviews” and “How great leaders inspire action”, topping the list. 

“Not only the way we learn but what we learn has rapidly and constantly changed during the pandemic. People and organisations have incredibly different needs and challenges compared to even a few short months ago. As our customers’ need for empowerment, resilience, and agility continues to grow, so does Cornerstone’s innovation,” continued  Baker. “Our goal is to provide modern, bespoke, on-trend and relevant content that delivers the right topics, right in the moment of need to enable the working lives of people, their managers, and their organisations to be more purposeful, inclusive, and impactful.”

With this call for varied content, Cornerstone has witnessed increased engagement with its Learning Playlists, where users can curate their own customised training collections, as employees seek to take charge of their own future development.

To further respond to this growing and varying demand for self-driven learning, this year, Cornerstone has also formed and extended new partnerships with local content providers. The Access Group, Think Biscuit, Thrive Learning, MiCrow, Skillshub, MindTools and Finance Unlocked are some of the content partners providing a wide variety of content for people to easily upskill and reskill for the future.

Cornerstone Studios is also ramping up development and production of new Cornerstone Originals courses. Addressing today’s most relevant topics, these new series include:

  • The H Files: Leading Through Uncertainty – The new instalment in this Cornerstone Originals series features a 10-part leadership program set during the time period of the 1918 pandemic and World War I. It focuses on adapting through change, caring for employees, and planning for the future. Watch the trailer for the new season of The H Files.
  • DNA: DEI – New lessons within the 14-part series have been added to spark critical conversations around gender, age, race, politics, ability and more, as digital natives establish themselves at work. DNA is made up of self-directed, socially driven nanolearning lessons all under two minutes each. Take a sample course of DNA:DEI.
  • Grovo: Onboarding in a Remote or Hybrid Environment – These 11 courses cover best practices to help managers improve and expand their onboarding efforts. The courses are designed to help managers support recent hires, whether they’re in an office, working from home or in a hybrid setting. Take a sample course of the new Grovo course.

Andrea Wareham, Chief People Officer at Pret A Manger said, “We’ve had to learn how to introduce a lot of capabilities. You can create new jobs and new roles but that’s not good enough – you need to learn how they interact with the other teams and look at how those tentacles work together.”

For more information on finding the right learning content to help your workforce, visit:

  • https://hr.cornerstoneondemand.com/UltimateBuyersGuide_EN
  • https://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/content-anytime/

Author: Editorial Team

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