imc around the world
Rethink Corporate Learning  - what to expect in 2021 
How COVID-19 is transforming learning and development

The future of Corporate Learning 2021

L&D was heavily impacted by COVID-19 last year. But there is always a light at the end of every tunnel. “With massive disruption comes massive opportunity. I've seen many organisations rethinking their business model with digital learning becoming an enabler to help them extend reach, drive new channels or implement new business approaches”, says Russell Donders, Director International Markets.


Nick Spielkamp, Senior Sales Manager at imc Switzerland and Daniel Antman, Managing Director imc Australia have already talked about incredible opportunities such as "Learning Analytics" or "Aligning Learning Strategies to The Digital Generation" in our last two episodes of this article series. But what is the situation like in other countries? For example in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium? Tracey Blamire (Business Development Manager UK) and Tanja Baars (Business Development Manager Netherlands & Belgium) share their experiences and what to expect for the future of corporate learning in 2021.

A statement from Tracey Blamire

Tracey Blamire, imc

Last year, almost all classroom trainings were forced to switch to virtual classrooms, practically overnight. Some organisations dealt (surprisingly) well with the sudden change. Others, not so much.


Aside from the technical challenges and people’s ability to find the (un)mute button, it also led to (social) interaction and attention challenges. Many teachers have struggled with getting and holding the same level of attention as they were used to in a physical classroom.

Interacting with learners became (even) harder and many teachers found themselves desperately checking their sound settings during the umpteenth awkward silence after asking a question. Are learners holding back in a virtual environment? Are they more easily distracted? Or are they just paying less attention when they’re not physically in the same room as their teacher and fellow learners?


As the virtual classrooms are here to stay (even when the physical classrooms will have returned), these interaction and attention challenges will be the 2021 nuts to crack. I think many players in the elearning industry will throw themselves on this issue. Tech companies will come up with dazzling new features, learning content providers will develop even more engaging and interactive content and teachers will invent creative new ways of motivating and encouraging their learners. I’m convinced that all their efforts in combination with a naturally growing adaptation of virtual environments in general, will – in the end – put an end to the awkward silences.


Happy new year!

A statement from Tanja Baars

Tanja Baars, imc

It’s safe to say that no organisation had planned the fast-forward digital transition that they went through in 2020. Some organisations had to speed up the process that they were already in, others suddenly had to start from scratch.


The speed of the 2020 digital transition was pretty impressive, sometimes surprising, but in some cases quite tricky, too. Organisations were forced to take decisions overnight, often without thoroughly researching their actual (long-term) needs.

Blinded by short term necessities and the need for speed, time became a disproportionately big factor in the decision and implementation process.

Obviously, in such unprecedented circumstances, there is no one to blame for that (although, if you hadn’t even started your organisation’s digital transition before Covid, there actually might be people to blame, but that’s another discussion), but many organisations will probably have to deal with the consequences after the pandemic.


I think many organisations will only realise in 2021 that some long-term needs were overlooked during the speedy transition process in 2020. Especially factors that make digital (learning) platforms not only pandemic-proof but also future-proof – like the platform’s ability to scale and adapt to future changes and growth of the organisation – might have been forgotten in hasty times in which everything was Covid.


I genuinely hope that I’m wrong, and that, in a few years’ time, we can conclude that the accelerated processes during the pandemic actually had a positive and durable outcome for organisations in the long run. Let’s stay positive. And Covid-negative.


Happy 2021!

Your Contact


I’ve been a member of the imc crew since February 2019. My multi-faceted tasks always keep me on the go. In addition to my work on corporate brand, marketing and communication strategies and employer branding, I also delve into the operational side.


I have a passion for networks and communities. That is why I represent the brand ambassador programme in the editorial team. I am also actively involved in the SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT (School-Business) network.


Privately, my big passions are travelling, Disney and interior design.

Photo of Kerstin Steffen
Kerstin Steffen
Director Brand Strategy