According to new research from Pluralsight, 43% of UK employees are worried they don’t have the skills companies will need as the employment landscape continues to change, such as leadership, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. And yet, despite these concerns, 47% haven’t learned any new skills since the first lockdown began in March 2020, although a quarter wished their employers had provided access to online learning courses.
Managers must turn their focus towards upskilling staff for their organisation to flourish, especially if they are among the 65% of UK small and medium businesses who say the pandemic has highlighted skills gaps. This survey was conducted by The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, with chief executive Andrew Harding saying: “To be successful in both the post-Brexit and Covid-19 world, the UK must change its attitudes to workplace learning or risk being left behind.” Here we look at how managers have adapted, the benefits of upskilling, and how to do it remotely.
Managers have to adapt to remote working
With companies having to work remotely during the coronavirus crisis, managers have had to learn how to support a team virtually. For some, this has been a brand new experience. Ensuring the wellbeing of employees has also been a huge challenge during long periods of isolation, as have issues surrounding communication, productivity, and decision making.
To overcome these hurdles, managers must improve and adapt their leadership styles. Perhaps the most effective way to do this is to take a management course, with many course providers now including content dedicated to remote working practices. Take MTD Training, for example, which has added training sessions about leading virtual teams, what makes remote work most effective, and how to transition to the new normal. This includes tips on prioritising mental health and wellbeing, and how to develop the right mindset and approach to work and colleagues.
Upskilling can boost profits and morale
Training courses enable organisations to level up, develop more skills and therefore become much stronger, potentially boosting long-term profitability. While it’s not possible to train teams in person at the moment, online courses can be just as beneficial in the long run. In most cases, these will be much cheaper than in-person courses because fewer resources are required to conduct them. What’s more, those partaking needn’t worry about location, so they can access great content without having to spend time and money on travel, helping to reduce costs and improve morale.
Staff will return to the office with a fresh set of skills that can help them advance in roles and further benefit the company. Meanwhile, there’ll be no need to fill skills gaps with lots of new employees as the existing ones will be continuously upskilled.
How to upskill staff remotely
Choose the most accessible courses
Online courses are often available 24/7 from any device, offering greater flexibility. All employees need to start learning is a strong internet connection. What’s more, it doesn’t matter how tech-savvy they are when so many courses are very simple to navigate. It’s also nice for employees to decide what they want to learn and allow them to choose courses tailored to their needs and interests.
Utilise existing training resources
Adopt a learning culture
Many businesses could benefit from following Google’s ‘20-percent time’ approach, which encourages staff to spend at least 20% of their time working on projects that don’t immediately pay great dividends but might in the future — this is ultimately how Google News, Adsense, and Gmail came to be. Asking employees for feedback can help reveal what businesses may be lacking and what courses they would like to undertake. This way, the right opportunities can be provided.