Enterprises are on rocky terrain at the moment, trying to maintain stability and control while the general atmosphere is chaotic and uncertain. We’re still grappling with COVID-19; the global economy is heading downwards; international trade wars haven’t gone away, and there are political upheaval and social fragmentation all around the world.
Employees are anxious, managers are uncertain, and the markets are wobbly. In this context, you might think that the last thing you should be focusing on is employee training, but nothing could be further from the truth. Employee training programs are needed now more than ever, and they could be your path towards regaining control throughout your organization.
Promote a Sense of Solidarity
There’s a great deal of resentment towards high-flying executives who are increasing their wealth while regular families are struggling to avoid starvation. Many people that previously enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle are facing poverty, even when one member of the household is still employed.
It’s difficult for employees to be motivated by their jobs if they feel like they are simply enriching the top few percent. It helps when CEOs sacrifice their bonuses and enterprises endorse policies like unlimited paid sick leave, but it’s not quite enough. You also need employee training programs that promote united company culture, in order to make employees feel that everybody is on the same team, pulling together.
Boost Employee Morale
Although three different announcements of vaccine success are the light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, everyone is COVID-19-weary. After months of anxiety and disruption, it’s hard for anyone to feel motivated. Employees working from home miss the buzz of a busy office which stimulates hard work, but even when business premises have reopened, many employees aren’t willing to risk coming in.
In-person or virtual corporate culture events communicate the values of your company and the ways that it, and by extension your employees, make a real difference in the world, reminding workers that they are here for more than just a paycheck. By feeling part of something larger than themselves, employees regain a sense of stability, raise their morale, and feel willing to commit to the organization even when times are bleak.
Future-Proof Your Workforce
COVID-19 accelerated the movement towards digital transformation, but it also revealed many gaps in the workforce. A number of companies are discovering that they can’t advance their digital transformation plans further, or are unable to consolidate the changes they’ve hastily put into place, because of this skills gap.
Upskilling employees with carefully-crafted training programs enable you to fill the skills gaps from within the enterprise. Although employee training programs may seem like an added expense, they pay for themselves many times over by future-proofing your workforce.
It costs far more to find, hire, and onboard the right new talent, especially at a time when there’s a lack of skilled data science workers and every other company is competing for them.
Reinforce the Employee Connection
The recent and ongoing spate of enterprise job cuts leaves employees who remain feeling nervous and unsure of their position within the company, no matter how sensitive you were in the process or how much everyone understands why the terminations were necessary.
You don’t want your most experienced employees moving on to a different position because they aren’t sure about their future in your enterprise. They have the expert knowledge that helps hold the company together, and can’t be replaced by a new hire. Respond to their uncertainty with employee training programs on an individual and organization-wide level, to reinforce corporate culture and strengthen everyone’s connection with the core business vision.
Additionally, employees who have suddenly been handed more responsibilities because their colleague was let go, or find that their tasks remain constant but they’ve lost half their team, are likely to feel unsure about how to complete their work. Short, focused training programs bring them up to speed on their new requirements and give them the capabilities they need to move ahead.
Understand Your Skills Ga
A lot has changed in the long months of 2020. Digital services are key for post-COVID-19 recovery and ongoing profitability, with 84% of CEOs looking to digital initiatives to increase profit margins. However, this could be a pivot that requires different skills than those you focused on when assessing your workforce previously.
It’s impossible for managers to carry out long-term plans without knowing the full extent of employees’ skills and capabilities. Filling the skills gap, as mentioned above, presupposes that you know which skills are missing.
Employee training programs, assessments, and events give you a much clearer understanding of the true strengths and weaknesses of each individual and the workforce as a whole. With this insight, you’ll be able to plan what to look for when hiring new talent, which roles can be filled from within, and which might need to be downplayed or replaced over the next few months or years.
Employee Training Can Be Your Path to Stability
During times of uncertainty and confusion, managers can and should be using employee training programs to identify and bridge skills gaps, raise morale and solidarity among the workforce, and hold on to experienced employees with the domain knowledge to hold the company together. By ensuring your employees have both the capabilities and the motivation to deliver, you’ll be able to keep your business on an even keel into 2021 and beyond.
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