Why COVID-19 Opens A Door To Employee Development And Stronger Teams

A world in lockdown is not a situation anyone wanted, least of all businesses whose employees are unable to leave their homes. But as with all dark clouds, there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis. Whether they are remote working or cannot work at all, now could be a great opportunity for employee development, to boost the skills team members have.

Finding the right time in an otherwise busy schedule can make it difficult for individual employees to undergo development in the workplace. However, the enforced stay-at-home initiative has created holes that can be filled with team building and development activities.

Why Is Employee Development Important?

The unprecedented global pandemic has made it impossible for team members to work together in the same space. Even if communication platforms, like ZOOM, are facilitating meetings, the collaborative process has had to change, affecting productivity and creativity.

But the change has been expected. According to research in 2017 carried out by the McKinsey Global Institute, 375 million of the global workforce will need to acquire new skills by 2030 because of the changing world of work. More recently, 87% of executives admitted there were skill gaps in the workforce. Leaders who can re-skill and up-skill their workforce are best positioned to face the challenges on the horizon.

So, What Types Of Skills Can Be Learned Or Developed?

The array of options for boosting skills development in the workplace is almost endless. But companies should have a strategy with future challenges in mind. So, the areas should be those that develop your employees’ critical digital and cognitive capabilities, their social and emotional skills, and their adaptability and resilience.

  • Learn to use a video or photo editor software, like iMovie or Photoshop
  • Improve your knowledge of finance and accounting suites
  • Brush up on your typing skills with typing tests
  • Sign up for Online learning tools like LinkedIn Learning , Salesforce Trailhead

Benefits of Employee Development

When normal procedures eventually resume, skills development is necessary if teams are to hit the ground running again. Research shows that employers who invest in employee development can benefit handsomely.

1. Employee development is important to employees

According to a Gallup Poll, 87% of Millennials rate professional or career growth as important to them, both when they are choosing a company to work for and for maintaining engagement while working for them.

2. Builds loyalty and boost employee retention

The lack of career growth has been highlighted in several surveys as the top reason people leave their jobs, even ranking above low pay.

3. Improves employee performance

Obviously, employees armed with new or updated skills are seen as a benefit, but not just because of the skills themselves. Skills development is known to boost employee engagement, which Gallup research shows can increase employee productivity by 21

4. Boosts in-house promotion

Recruitment is neither easy nor cheap. And since employee development and training initiatives can enhance employee skills, it makes them genuine candidates for promotion. So, there is less need for those costly recruitment campaigns.

Strengthens Your Team

The advantage of adopting skills development in the workplace is that it greatly strengthens your team at a time when the terrain of so many industries is uncertain. Where a team may have measured up poorly in communication, or creativity or even meeting deadlines, the current COVID-19 crisis and the limits it has placed on business offers an opportunity to zero in on these weaknesses.

Orangeworks remote team building activities can get your team in a creative headspace, working better together and potentially unleashing those hidden skills your employees didn’t know they had! Check out our video below of Escape The Mob Online, a 1920’s themed activity where players must work together to solve a diamond heist!

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