A global pandemic has been the catalyst for many organisations and individuals to ask themselves some important questions when it comes to their workplace. Priorities have shifted, the status quo has been challenged and new values adopted.
The world has experienced change at a rapid pace and as a result, we’ve seen much longer term implications when it comes to working environments and employer and employee relationships. Organisations in 2022 must take a more people-orientated approach if they want to move forward and perform at their best.
Making a choice
The future is dependent on strong leaders and managers recognising that the working environment has undergone dramatic change and progression requires looking ahead, not back. Employee retention and engagement are key to success. If you fail to show your employees that you value them they are likely to leave. In fact, a global survey by Microsoft revealed that 41% of workers were considering leaving or changing professions this year. This ‘great resignation’, a term dubbed by economists, shows that the pandemic has influenced many workers' intentions. As a business, it’s now clearer than ever before that treatment of employees is crucial and ultimately many employers will pay the price for poor treatment of employees during the pandemic.
Currently there’s greater demand for flexible working and organisations need to consider that if they do not let their employees work remotely or at least have some level of flexibility, another company will. But this presents a greater challenge for employers to ensure workers develop their skills and have the opportunities to continuously learn. For jobs where flexibility or hybrid working isn’t an option, employers must focus on ensuring their staff feel valued and receive other benefits from choosing to remain in their roles. Either way, managers and business leaders need to help their teams feel motivated, supported and valued - both for the company’s and the individual’s benefit. Employees have greater expectations of their employers and feeling rewarded in their roles goes further than pay and benefits.
Invest in your employees
In order for organisations to retain and attract the best talent, employee investment, particularly in training and development, will be key to strengthen and grow a business. Employees are vital to business success, so investing not only in their mandatory training, but training that improves skill sets and aids personal development will pay off. Not only will quality training help them feel more confident in their roles but it will also help them develop new skills which will keep them motivated and engaged, as well as provide more value to a company. Effective training and development can be easily achieved through online learning, which is not only convenient for a flexible workforce but also highly cost efficient.
Covering training on the fundamentals of health and safety, HR, compliance and wellbeing will help ensure organisations build a positive safety culture, enhance productivity and develop better working environments. This will build the foundations of a successful business and help an employer prove their commitment to their employees. Building on employees key skills, such as resilience and communication will further aid an organisation's recovery from COVID, as well as help develop future leaders for your business.
Online awareness training can also be a great way to show your employees that you care about certain issues, such as the environment, equality, diversity & inclusion or mental health. A business that chooses to invest in training for the important issues they wish to address, will help prove their dedication and commitment, as well as gain trust and dedication from their employees in return.
With a new year ahead, it is a great time to work out how staff training can positively impact your organisation. “The best strategy for implementing employee training for 2022 is to strategically plan it in advance”, says Alex Wilkins, Head of Business Development for iHASCO. “But most importantly, it needs to add value and engage your staff. Mandatory modules will always need to be taken, of course, but also consider providing staff with other training courses that aids their own development to ensure learning objectives are met for both the employer and employee.”
With online training, all employees, whether they are office based or remote workers, can benefit from a range of suitable courses. “On top of the increased demand for remote working and the government’s recent working from home guidance, training can still be accessible and highly effective for homeworkers through eLearning”, says Wilkins. “Remote working is not going anywhere, so investing in online training can help prove to your staff that you value and support them.”
Any investment in your staff’s development will give them a boost of confidence and help them gain vital skills to remain safe, productive and motivated. All of which can contribute towards the smooth running of a business, and help attract more customers, through positive experiences and good reputation. A post-COVID business needs to be resilient, agile and embed a positive company culture. Therefore investment in learning and development seems an obvious choice, as it will help your business and your employees evolve, meet daily challenges and strengthen your team over the coming year.