Amidst ongoing pandemic-related challenges, it is time for employers to consider different learning and development opportunities to prepare for the days ahead.
As we begin the New Year, it is becoming widely accepted that the state of our workplaces will be dynamic, fluid and unpredictable for the foreseeable future. Rather than thinking in terms of the ‘next normal.’ it will be important to set realistic expectations about the way forward to help employees develop tolerance for uncertainty, and to help them become more comfortable with ‘building the plane as they fly.’ For some this is an unsettling proposition, but over time, the acceptance of this new reality is likely to be more palatable than holding onto a hope for a return to stability. As you plan your learning and development calendar for the months ahead, here are a few focus areas to keep in mind.
Learning opportunities outside of traditional skills can help employees to adapt to unfamiliar ways of working such as remote and virtual teams. Whether it is simply learning how to maintain good communication, work effectively as part of a team or manage team members, employees are likely to benefit from learning and development which supports them in their new setup, enabling them to better succeed.
As well as the challenges presented by new ways of working, there are a number of additional challenges which are now becoming more prominent. Key issues for employees are likely to include dealing with uncertainty, maintaining a healthy work/life co-existence (notice, I did not say balance…), and managing mental health for themselves and their families. By providing opportunities for employees to develop skills and coping mechanisms they are more likely to thrive when presented with such challenges.
One particular impact of the pandemic that has been particularly noticeable has been the rate at which employees are reconsidering their current positions and what they are looking for from their careers. Providing opportunities for employees to expand their current skills, focus more on personal interests and purpose, and move in new career directions will help to increase employee engagement, job satisfaction and performance, and may help to mitigate being impacted by what is being called the great resignation.
Investing in these types of learning opportunities can have far reaching impact for employees and organizations. If you would like to learn more about designing learning and development opportunities for adapting to our new way of working, we’d love to help! Please email your request to [email protected], or call +1 703 723 6509.