Making virtual learning more engaging was a key focus for Circles.Life when offline learning had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Alex Nicolaus, the firm's Head of People & Culture, and author of Startup Culture™.

Digital telco Circles.Life has always leveraged on a mixture of online and offline learning.

Alex Nicolaus, Head of People & Culture, Circles.Life, and author of Startup Culture™ says: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have moved some of our offline sharing to online meetings and will look at other ways to make it accessible to everyone. We are also rethinking how to make some of this virtual learning more engaging, while ensuring that the skills and knowledge transfer is achieved.”

Given the firm already operates on the cloud, the shift online was more about ensuring people had access to the materials and online training sessions conducted in-house.

“We also record some of these sessions for others who were unable to make it to a training session for asynchronous learning,” he adds.

With virtual meeting fatigue brought about by the current situation, a key challenge of online learning was keeping participants engaged and focused on the content.

“We have also had to tweak what we could share and the length of the sessions. For example, no more than 20 minutes for sharing, and 10 minutes for Q&A.”

Overall, the feedback from employees was positive, with some constructive feedback on how to improve the experience (including shorter sessions, pre-reads provided if possible) and topics they would like to cover.

Moving forward, Circles.Life is looking to leverage on more sophisticated tools to bring curated learning to its employees.

“We will have short bite-sized learning modules on different topics for employees to consume on the go. Ideally, they will have a repository of learning content that is customised to our environment, and have access to online coaching (should remote working prove to be a longer-term requirement).”

hrsg may jun 2020 ld feature 2 page29 circles.life


This interview first appeared as part of a feature in the May-June 2020 e-mag of Human Resources, Singapore, and the Q2 2020 edition of Human Resources, Malaysia. Read the case study in the e-mag, or the full feature here. 

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