22. April 2021

How can you help your employees and your business with a plan for Lifelong Learning?


Lifelong Learning // Lifelong learning isn’t just for individuals. Companies too need to dig much deeper into this area to ensure that their employees are fit for digital transformation. We show you three success factors that demonstrate how it can work.

The momentum and acceleration of digital transformation has become obvious – over the past few months more than ever before. Consumers drive this change. Working, learn­ing and shopping from home bring about challenges and opportunities – for consumers and for businesses. And this will continue, most likely accelerate.

Why does your business need a plan for Lifelong Learning in the current challenging setup? In this new situation, businesses require different know-how, new skill sets and adapted leadership. A few examples of what is required now more than ever: connect with existing and new customers via digital channels, improve the user experience in the digital sphere (e.g. optimization for smartphone, a page speed of maximum 3 seconds), introduce or optimize e-commerce and lead generation, offer video content regarding own products and services. Most businesses in Switzerland have yet massive “homework to do” in regards to these topics; and this poses yet again challenges and opportunities.

3 success factors to succeed navigating a course through troubled waters

  • Firstly, our society needs to help people directly with health and well-being. People first. We need to provide tools to keep up and alive social contacts to family members and beloved ones over a (safe) distance. We need to help with platforms for great content of mental health and fitness, but also relaxing entertainment. We need to equip students to study from home. And we need to provide tools for many people to work from home – whenever possible – and manage the challenging balance of caregiving (for oneself and others) as well as work. Technology can help to create a sense of community by connecting people even when physical meetings are not possible.
  • Secondly, we need to help businesses to manage the transformation to more business opportunities via digital channels, to help customers, to answer questions and to secure jobs. In a business environment, employees need to fully understand the potential and adopt new technologies that are often easily accessible over digital – whether a video conferencing solution, collaboration platform, internal process automatization or customer engagement and programmatic advertising platforms – it’s all available in the cloud and ready for adoption. Why such a strong focus on digital? Digital tools and skills have proven to be a lifeline in the recent crisis. Digital transformation can be a catalyst for accelerating recovery – for companies, their staff, customers, and the wider economy and society overall.
  • Thirdly, we all need to engage and help via partners and organizations to enable at least some continuity in cultural and societal life and important non-profit areas, e.g. by getting involved in an NGO Event, engaging in the area of media literacy via an organization like ProJuventute, in the area of sustainability, research & academia, arts & culture, sports and others. We can help those who are most vulnerable from the crisis and ensure they find new training and opportunities in life, and to access new types of jobs thanks to digital in the future. This is what brings about a perspective not only in work but also in private life. 

When tackled strategically the path of managing digital transformation thanks to a learning plan and mindset can be one of many more opportunities than risks; in the mid to long run technology will both help us to put business on a sustainable footing and create a more resilient, and a more human,
future – that will let us steer into calmer waters yet again.   

Patrick Warnking
Patrick Warnking

Patrick Warnking has served as Country Director of Google Switzerland since 2011. As a Board Member of the ‘digitalswitzerland’ initiative, he has been closely involved with the issue of lifelong learning for many years, most notably with regard to digital skills for adults and young people as well as in business.