We are living through the most turbulent period businesses have seen for decades. Several of the old ways of working are no longer possible and, in many cases, are unlikely to resurface for the foreseeable future. But change also brings new opportunities with it too. The most forward-thinking HR teams are therefore actively seeking ways to help the workforce maximise their effectiveness in this new world of work.
The business landscape is evolving at a frantic pace. There is little clarity on what might happen in the short or longer term and how that might impact the business community as a whole, individual business sectors, or even geographical locations. But in such immensely challenging times, it’s vital for every business to be able to flex and adapt, responding to changes positively rather than actively resisting them, and focusing on survival and a positive future outlook. Flexibility and adaptability are attributes that are valuable for individual employees as well as leaders and managers if a business is to build resilience and emerge stronger from the current crisis.
Learning and development is more important now than ever as it delivers the practical tools your staff need to overcome the challenges they currently face. It’s also a proven tool to cement employee loyalty and improve retention – another important priority at the moment. Change is happening: a cohesive approach to learning and development across your workforce is one way in which HR professionals can make a significant and visible contribution. Ensuring employees are equipped to deliver what the business needs at the moment is time well spent.
Consider the following ways in which HR leaders and L&D specialists can work together to help the workforce achieve more:
1. Redefine roles across the business to reflect how working patterns, activities and goals have changed. Take time to reassess the skills needed to fit each role and then undertake a forensic analysis of the new gaps and development requirements.
2. Maximise support and adjust expectations to account for remote or hybrid workers. Home workers need practical tools to do their jobs effectively; they also need to be managed and motivated differently; and their wellbeing needs may also have changed.
3. Recognise new talent. Consider how the change in circumstances may have enabled some employees to step up and either do more or demonstrate different skill sets to colleagues or the business. These previously hidden talents could usefully be nurtured by the business.
4. A new dawn for digital learning. Don’t wait for face to face training. Once learning gaps have been reassessed, look for new learning and development tools that can be delivered remotely and enable learners to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.
5. Focus on the positives that have been achieved. Operating in the midst of (or emerging from) a difficult period is also an ideal time to recognise and reward employees who have made a significant effort or achieved important results in spite of the additional challenges faced. Let them know how much they are appreciated.
Access has a range of resources available to help support HR and L&D professionals in these challenging times. Download our free guide – Workplace Science: Why Consistency Equals Success in HR and L&D to find out more about current trends.
So much has changed during 2020 – but right now HR and L&D leaders must look ahead and navigate a way forward which fosters stability and builds confidence amongst the entire workforce. This guide draws on the latest thinking in HR and behavioural science and identifies the key areas that are proven to deliver the best results.Find out more
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