As we find ourselves in the middle of the second national lockdown in 8 months and with countless industries and whole sectors being on the brink of collapse, the subject of training and developing staff is understandably not at the top of anybody’s to do list at this juncture.

Though recent reports from the media have buoyed us with the news that due to rapid medical advancements being made we may soon be allowed to slowly open things up once more, we are still a long way off the ‘old normal’. Though we do see glimmers of hope on the horizon, the path there will be long and most certainly unpredictable.

The inescapable fact is the world in which we all live has changed and is likely to have changed for the long-term.

This is especially true when it comes to the world of work. There has been a monumental shift in the working patterns and behaviours of the workforce.The way in which we all work, communicate, live and interact with each other is completely different now to how it was only a few months ago. This presents employers with potentially huge problems that must be overcome to thrive in the future. Problems that may need to be addressed include:

  •  Is your business structured appropriately for the new ways of working?
  • Are you effectively managing a remote workforce?
  • How do you innovate and iterate to make certain you are not being left standing by the competition?
  • Is your existing infrastructure a help or a hinderance?
  • How do you market to a target customer whose needs have changed?
  • How do you deliver your services efficiently?
  • Do you have the right people and skills in place to help overcome these challenges

When we do emerge from the current situation we find ourselves in, the skills we will need to succeed will be different to the ones we currently possess. As I previously mentioned, training and developing staff is unlikely to be at the top of anyone’s to do list right now…but here is why it maybe should be; a huge percentage of organisations have to date made use of the governments furlough scheme and continue to do so, so why not utilise this time and use it to develop your staff? 

The Government guidance from the furlough scheme encourages furloughed employees to undertake training (with some restrictions) as you will see below:

“Furloughed employees can engage in training as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training”

By strategically investing in your key staff and in key areas, you can give yourselves a head start when it comes to preparing your workforce for the “new normal”. With the help of government funding, the investment levels required to do this are nominal, with Marketing & Management qualifications starting from £22.50 per person per month.

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Oliver Simpson

Written by Oliver Simpson