Right now you can’t turn on the news, check your Twitter feed, or even look at the weather without seeing how companies are trying to figure out what to do to keep moving forward and avoid a drop in productivity due to the coronavirus outbreak. A lot of companies are putting infrastructure in place so their employees can work remotely, but I think the real challenge comes in having to adapt previously planned training to a virtual environment. Moreover, what do you do when the planned training is an annual program that your clients rely on you to provide?

Not surprisingly, many of our clients are experiencing this same challenge. How do you quickly pivot from face-to-face training to a virtual environment and maintain the quality experience your customers have come to rely on? Well, we just came face-to-face (no pun intended) with this very real challenge.

Each year, we provide leadership development training to aspiring leaders from United Way Worldwide (UWW). We’ve worked with UWW for many years on this project and as we got ready to deliver this year’s training, we were hit with a curve ball. Late last week, UWW issued a travel ban amid concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak, which left them – and us – with two options: Cancel their training or convert to an all-virtual session.

While rescheduling for some time later in the year may sound like an option, the reality of the situation is UWW simply has to get their emerging leaders the training they need without interruption. So we jumped into action.

We worked with them to identify the right online platform, worked quickly to convert exercises and activities to a virtual format that still provided level of engagement to keep them focused, and worked with the internal team at UWW to make sure they could communicate and prepare the attendees – all so that this morning we could come together and create a virtual training experience that gave the participants and UWW what they need.

As of this writing, we’ve completed the first day of training and we’ve had an extremely positive response to our efforts. In fact, we’ve been providing our Building and Managing Relationships training to remote participants in the US, Canada, and Mumbai.

Look for updates on our progress to learn what our and the attendees experiences were with this unprecedented situation.