The show must go on
When states around the country began to order businesses to shut down temporarily, many of us continued to report to work just like we always have. While numerous industries and millions of people were impacted by these temporary closures, our company remained operational as an essential business. For that, we are grateful. I personally, and many I have spoken with, feel blessed to work for Muncie Power Products.
Even with so many reporting to work as usual, we experienced changes in the way that we interact with one another and how we do our jobs. While safety has always been at the forefront of our work practices, it became more personal. We began regularly sanitizing work stations, tables in conference rooms, and common areas like break rooms. Moreover, some of us changed the locations from which we work to a home office.
During this time, Learning & Development had to decide how it was going to continue to operate in this new virtual environment. This was and still is difficult, because as many know, we greatly value interaction in a face to face learning environment. Our team discussed how our time could be spent productively when working from home, what we could do to continue to reach people, and how long this “new virtual environment” might last.
Regardless of how training would be delivered, we knew that the show must go on from Learning & Development! Employee learning is too important to suspend, even temporarily. The benefits of learning and development programs are numerous and those include:
- Engaged employees
- Employees feel valued
- Continuation of learning in changing industry
- Employee learning and growth for advancement
Let’s consider a recent study by Gallup to demonstrate the impact of company training on employee engagement and retention. It found that only 34 percent of employees in the U.S. are engaged and Gallup attributed those that were engaged to a culture of high employee development experiences.
Understanding the importance of continuing to bring learning and development opportunities to all employees, we have been diligently working to make that happen. Many e-learning classes were created and added to the course library in Muncie Power University, our learning management system that includes online training and registration for live classes. Additionally, courses that were planned for face-to-face delivery were rescheduled to occur virtually and that process continues today. In fact, most offerings that were not held in the spring have been made available virtually.
We are currently living with a great deal of uncertainty. Trust me, I am a planner and this “new normal” is very uncomfortable for me. I like knowing what to expect, having my questions answered, schedules, and routines. I want to see people in class. I prefer to have discussions at a conference table or in a training room. I want the schedule I spent a couple of months or more developing to happen as we had planned. None of those things have been possible since March, 2020 and that makes me anxious. However, I am certain about some things and that gives me comfort.
I am certain that Muncie Power values all of its employees. I am sure that the work that we do in Learning & Development is appreciated by everyone here. Last, but not least, I am thankful to work for Muncie Power. People truly come first at Muncie Power!