The events of 2020 have impacted businesses across the globe. Whatever position your company is in, take this time to reflect on the year, consider the effects it’s had on your business and formulate a plan for what comes next.
The 2020 effect
2020 has presented various challenges, with many companies experiencing a drop in business due to changing marketplaces. Stats recorded in mid October show the number of staff on the furlough scheme to be 9.6 million in the UK (Statista, 3 November 2020), whilst other staff are choosing to move on in search of higher levels of job security. Staff are the key to a successful business so take some time to consider what you can do for your staff at this time and also, what they can do for you.
If you’ve had to put staff on furlough, or plan to do so in the coming months, ensure you are communicating well - both with the staff who are off, and those who are still working. Furloughed staff may be worried about job security and what they can expect to return to, whilst remaining staff may have larger or diversified workloads as well as concerns about the company’s future.
Sending out regular updates and keeping the lines of communication open is essential. Offering 1-1 meetings or video calls may be useful too. Make it clear that you value your staff and you’re likely to receive higher levels of staff loyalty in return.
In the three months to September 2020, redundancies reached a record high of 314,000 (ONS, 10 November 2020). Companies that have had to make staff redundant may be experiencing skill gaps as they continue on with fewer staff. Take action now; by considering training options for existing staff, you may be able to plug the gaps created by the redundancies.
There are also companies that have not had to furlough or make staff redundant, but may still have a need for different skills within their business at a time when recruiting may not be an option. For these businesses, upskilling existing staff is an attractive option as well.
Get set for 2021
Take all these things on board and get planning for the year ahead. What are your company’s aims and aspirations for 2021? They don’t have to be set in stone or even be 100% achievable at this point, but just listing the things you’d like to accomplish will give you some things to aim for and a base from which to evolve as the year progresses.
Assess skill sets
A good place to start would be with some skills analysis assessments. Each section manager could be tasked with carrying out their team’s assessments and the end result would be a broad overview of the available skills within the business. This will make it possible to utilise the available skills in the required places and identify skills gaps and areas for further training.
Top tips to conducting a successful skills assessment:
- Consider both technical and soft skills. Technical skills are those needed to actually complete the tasks required within a role, whilst soft skills are those that join everything else together, such as communication skills, the ability to use any necessary software needed (such as email systems to liaise with colleagues or clients) and the confidence to carry out all these things.
- Job-specific skills. Referring to job descriptions where possible, gather input from your employee to create a list of the essential skills that are needed to do the job. Are there other skills that would help improve performance? Assess the employee’s skill ability by asking them, observing them and speaking to fellow supervisors.
- Tailor each skills assessment to the individual. No two people work in exactly the same way, so you may have to adapt the way you carry out individual assessments to get the truest results. Consider personality type, work style and the type of role they’re in to determine the best method.
- Give your employees notice of their assessment to allow them time to reflect on their skills. This will be beneficial all round as it will give staff the chance to prepare and remind themselves of all aspects of their role, which could end up increasing their productivity.
- Once the assessment has been carried out, have a follow-up meeting with each employee to share the findings. This will enable you to highlight tasks they excel in and identify areas for development. Once everyone’s assessments are complete, you’ll be able to identify any skills gaps that exist in the business. Any future recruitment can then focus on these areas or relevant training can be considered.
Give staff a renewed sense of direction. Make it clear that you wish to help them develop, both within their roles and their career. You can enable employees to gain new skills and discuss development opportunities that will benefit you both. While it’s great to welcome new staff into companies with fresh ideas and a different perspective, it’s also vital to retain valued, knowledgeable staff too.
Invest in your staff
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) mustn’t be overlooked, even in difficult times. It’s important to work together with your team to ensure they have the skills needed to do their jobs effectively, whilst also providing them with the development opportunities they’re interested in too. Investing in training will make staff feel valued and will also enable them to carry out their roles more efficiently and perhaps even take on additional responsibilities.
How we can help
PETA offers a range of services that could help you achieve your goals. Our professional coaching can help to support business owners and their employees on both a personal and professional level. Whether that’s with overcoming individual challenges, leadership development or achieving more positive outcomes.
Our team of experienced and trusted Business Coaches will work with you to create a bespoke coaching package that meets your requirements and those of your employees. An initial consultation meeting with your dedicated Business Coach will give them the opportunity to recommend and tailor a bespoke package from our gold, silver or bronze services.
Our bespoke training service allows us to design a training programme that is personalised to your business requirements and desired outcomes, whether you are looking to increase knowledge or facilitate behavioural change. Programmes can range from one-day courses to longer term training, incorporating industry-recognised qualifications or accreditations if that’s what you’re after.
Varied course portfolio
All of our courses and training can be delivered flexibly. Where the learning takes place is up to you - choose from PETA’s Portsmouth-based Training Centre, your work premises or online if you prefer. You can even opt for a mixture of the three. All training undertaken at our Centre will be completely COVID-secure, with social distancing and safety measures in place. If we are to deliver training at your premises, we will seek your assurance of your site risk assessment and measures, to enable our team to feel safe and adhere to the controls you have put in place.
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