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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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You Might Not Be As Powerless as You Think


With recent guesses in the news about the impact Covid-19 is going to have on the economy, at least in the short term, you might feel like running away and hiding in a cupboard until it’s all over. I don’t blame you if you do; I’ve had days like that too! 

Most of us have never experienced such an abrupt and unprecedented change in our working and personal lives. But, look carefully, and there may be more that you can control than you think, including in your workplace. 

There might, for example, be changes you can make now that will ensure your organisation, and in particular its people, emerge from this crisis stronger and able to successfully adapt to a world that may have changed, in some ways at least, forever. 

Change, even horrible unwelcome change, invariably brings opportunities too. 

In the short term, organisations have needed to furlough staff and take advantage of a government scheme designed to keep businesses afloat during the worst months of the pandemic. Some estimates suggest that nine million have been furloughed or will be. 

But furloughing staff is not the same as mothballing them until such time as they’re needed again; or at least it shouldn’t be.

As the government makes clear: “Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training."

So, if you have colleagues who are furloughed, perhaps this provides you with an opportunity to ensure they remain engaged with the business and learn new skills they can use to drive the recovery when it comes. 

Meanwhile, many organisations forced to embrace remote working for the first time are beginning to realise that it might create opportunities and potential they’d not previously appreciated. A lot of these opportunities are local, but some, like the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions by increasing remote working in the future, are huge! 

That gives trainers an opportunity to ensure employees working from home for the first time, or managing remotely, have the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in this potentially new environment. (We’ve created lots of new materials to help in Trainers' Library, and there’s more on the way.)

It might be that you’ve been furloughed yourself or that you’re struggling as a self-employed trainer and I appreciate how difficult and unsettling that will be. But, no matter how dark the situation seems now, I’d encourage you to seek out the light at the end of the tunnel. Tough as it is, this period might provide an important opportunity to take stock, reflect and reposition yourself to be able to add even more value to the organisations you work with when things get back to some sort of normality.  

For example: You might be able to review the way training is developed and delivered. Internally, we now supplement our face-to-face training days with bite-size weekly training sessions that last no more than an hour – and the team love them! What could you achieve with regular, engaging, low-cost training sessions for employees, wherever they are?

If you’d like to learn more about remote facilitation, I’m running a series of free Remote Delivery Demos over the next few weeks, which are proving extremely popular!

Whatever you do, remember that what we do in Learning and Development to release potential and enable people is important and valuable. You are important. And, together, we will make a real difference to our organisations’ recoveries and future success. 

So, yes, this is hard, this is tough. We’ve been presented with perhaps the steepest learning curve of our careers. But this is also an opportunity shine and to demonstrate the power of learning!

Until next time…

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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