COVID-19 has been around for a few years now, but many companies still choose to employ short-term measures to cope with this volatile pandemic crisis in hopes that one day, everything will revert back to the way it used to be.
Let’s face it. That’s unlikely to happen.
This uncertain and volatile crisis is here to stay.
For a long time now, our government has been urging businesses and companies to take the pandemic as an opportunity to improve business models and equip employees with updated skills for an eventual recovery.
However, rather than upskill for an eventual recovery, we should upskill employees for this new normal.
- Optimise Working Models
At the start of the pandemic, companies were forced to switch to a remote-working model. Many businesses struggled to even operate remotely, let alone adapt and find ways to make this working model permanent.
The remote working model is often used as a temporary measure, along with other plastic measures for the company to use when the country goes into lockdown. Much like how home-based learning is seen in our education system as a measure for crisis situations rather than a viable alternative to be optimised.
But given the pandemic’s uncertain surge and fall in cases, it would be wise for companies to optimise at least a partially remote working model for the long term success of the business and train employees to adapt to this for maximum productivity.
Although some processes still work best when they’re carried out offline and in-person, it’s possible to take full advantage of the remote working model using advances in technology and inevitable digital trends to the benefit of your profit margin.
- Craft A Skill Development Strategy
In order to switch to a working model that is fully functional remotely and that can be used to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, upgrading and upskilling the workforce with the relevant skills is key.
So what are the relevant skills required in this ‘new normal’?
In order for your business to remain flexible and adaptable to regulation changes, your employees will need to have updated digital and cognitive capabilities to tread through crises.
Social and emotional skills are equally important, with a focus on adaptability and resilience to cope with future disruptions as well as flexibility to adapt to conventional practices.
Your skill development strategy should consist of more than just updating your employees on the latest technological advancements and how these technologies can be used and implemented. At the core of your strategy, you should aim to effectively equip your employees with soft skills, learning processes and knowledge that will allow them to innovate and problem-solve no matter the external situation.
After all, what you want is an upskilled workforce that can take your company to new heights despite the volatile pandemic situation because they are undeterred by how their specific roles might evolve given the circumstances.
- Implement with Digital Tools
With your company’s working model evolving in accordance to the ever-changing government regulations, upskilling your employees can seem to be an added burden rather than a benefit.
However, developing your employees skill sets need not be complex or painstakingly tailored to suit everyone’s role. You also don’t have to hold a company-wide full week conference to get it done. It is better to upskill your employees while your business operates, rather than holding, because learning on the job is the best way to cultivate new skills.
And cost-wise, such training is most effective when the majority of the upskilling lessons are conducted digitally.
Social-sharing tools and live video sessions can be utilised in place of in-person learning in order to develop digital teamwork and remote social skills while upskilling. Computer games and virtual company meetings can replace physical team building activities while building rapport and empathy amongst employees.
While this COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to live with uncertainty whether we like it or not—we do already possess the resources and the knowledge of the skills needed to adapt to these difficulties and thrive amidst and through this crisis.