You may be thinking that it’s not the right time for training at the moment. But in a world of uncertainty, your organisation needs to be able to cope with change and it’s critical that you keep developing. Pushing the pause button until we get back to “normal” is not an option. Your business needs a team of talented individuals onboard with skills to ensure that it not only survives, but thrives in 2021.Training should be part of your overall growth strategy.
“A learning organisation is an organisation that is
continually expanding its capacity to create its future.”
If you don’t have a learning and development strategy already, having one in place will help address training gaps and plans to fill them strategically. In your L&D strategy you should include clear training goals and objectives, but also be flexible to change.
You should think about how the different modes of training will meet your learning objectives, the role and education of the learner and also the training budget. COVID-19 financial support may be a useful way to get the ball rolling. It’s available in the form of loans, tax relief and grants. You can check to see what support is available to you here.
Once you have a formal L&D strategy in place, you should consider the delivery of your training course. Most SMEs will choose to outsource. But in-house, or blended learning, can be just as successful. So too are coaching and mentoring, and e-learning. Certainly for the time being, digital training is the first choice for employers up-skilling the UK’s workforce.
As well as traditional training techniques and formal qualifications, there are many other ways to develop and re-skill your team.
Support and coaching
During periods of disruption, your employees need hope for the future in order to feel engaged and be productive. This is where a good management team comes into play. Regular check-ins, coaching conversations, mentorship, feedback, advice and listening is what your team need. And if managers are unable to provide this, consider using a trained professional to offer career counselling and performance development.
An IBM survey in 2019 showed that, in the future, behavioural skills will be the area with more significant gaps than digital skills. And these behaviour skills will be key to recovery in a post-pandemic world. Adaptability, honesty, strategic thinking, communication, creative thinking – are no longer “soft skills”.
Garry Howling of Public Practice Recruitment Ltd says “We look for candidates that have human skills – not just technical skills. A candidate who is able to communicate effectively will secure business, manage teams and create opportunities.”
Organisations such as ACCA regularly offer free skills webinars. This one on How to communicate effectively is available on demand now. Your L&D strategy could include online CPD training like this. Why not create a ‘learning hub’ of resources and share it with your team?
Virtual lunchtime lectures
Share valuable knowledge by inviting your workforce to a seminar / webinar / presentation by an in-house expert. Keep it consistent, perhaps every Friday or once a month, and make it as interactive as possible with questions from employees and specific takeaways with ways to implement the new skill. Top tips for this; have a strategy (as always), promote it extensively and invest in reliable tech. You could always invite a guest speaker if you have a specific skill or topic you want to highlight. Why not invite potential clients, stakeholders or the local business community and make it a networking event?
We understand that training budgets and time are tight at the moment. That’s why we need to work together to think creatively.
Give us a call on 03355 777 787 to discover how we can help you.