Social distancing has become the norm in many parts of the world, impacting the way that companies operate from day to day. Organisations are regularly being encouraged to devise new plans, which include addressing the need for social distancing, staggered work shifts, downsizing operations, and delivery services.
Furthermore, it is being recommended that organisations minimising contact among workers, clients and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing teleworking where feasible. This has significantly impacted the training and development environment.
As training and development professionals scrambled to adapt, we saw the need to address the way that we designed and delivered courses and the way that instructors interact with participants. Instructor-led training (ILT) has been the standard for so long that we saw a need to reskill in order to become proficient with remote meeting and training platforms. Of course, when preparing a virtual training session, a discerning trainer recognises the need to incorporate more interaction: More question-and-answer sessions, more engaging visual aids, more videos, more polls, and more breakout sessions are important ways to stay connected with participants. Effective trainers also keep in mind the need to provide regular breaks and avoid the distraction of being an “apologizer” every time the technology doesn’t cooperate. When instructors apologize up front for their unfamiliarity with the platform they’re using, learners may start watching for mistakes and could miss the substance of the presentation.
When ILT isn’t possible, instructors may have to offer more sessions to accommodate the smaller class numbers required for social distancing. They may also have to change the way they position themselves in the classroom. Instructors can no longer approach students with close physical proximity, so they will need to work to be more engaging.
Embracing New Technologies
Training professionals have typically been at the forefront of embracing new technologies. In a post-COVID-19 workplace, it will be even more important for them to do so. The Training Process Framework organizes training functions and processes into four functional groups: administration, content, delivery and technology.
It’s time to focus on technology:
Then, consider your content:
Virtual training should always be direct and to the point to engage learners and keep their attention.
Could the next significant event in the evolution of the training industry be the post-pandemic era? The answer remains to be seen, but if so, the effect of this era would be the normalising of remote and virtual training and a renewed focus on the importance of technical aptitude for training professionals. The training and development field is evolving. Adaptation is necessary for our survival.
As businesses remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 2 million people have filed for unemployment during the past month. And with more layoffs expected, the job market will only continue to get more competitive.
The simple truth is that most job seekers won’t get hired right away, which is why it’s important to know which industries are hiring and be diligent in submitting applications. But that’s not the only thing you should be doing. As an experience recruiter, the biggest mistake I see people making when job hunting, especially during times of desperation, is limiting their strategy to only sending out as many resumes as possible — and not taking a few minutes out of their day to focus on networking.
Don’t overlook the power of networking
According to research, 70% jobs are found through networking. So if you want to boost your chances of getting hired, you need to put yourself on the radar of those who can really help you land an interview.
The pandemic certainly makes the job of finding a job even more stressful. But the good news is that if there was ever a perfect time to network, this is it. The work-from-home experience has created a captive audience for networking. People aren’t traveling for business or going to conferences. Instead, many are staying put and working from home, meaning they’re likely to be available and pay attention when you reach out (via a simple email or call).
The wrong way to network
Networking poorly is worse than not networking at all. For example, reaching out to someone you haven’t had any contact with for years and blatantly asking for help is huge turnoff.
Lead with your ‘give’ before you seek to ‘get’
Right now, think of a person in your network who could help with your job search. Who can make an introduction or connect you with someone at a company you’d like to work at? Who can help you brainstorm or provide you with perspective from their own career journey?
Then, write down a list of things you can do for them. Even if it’s a minor gesture, it can still jump-start your networking — as long as the act is genuinely meaningful to them.
...never underestimate the power of simply being a sounding board for someone going through a tough time — or having a laugh with them to help ease their worries.
What information or assistance can you offer?
Maybe you heard they need help with a project or initiative. Look at their Twitter, Facebook, blog or website. Are they or their company supporting charitable causes (i.e., making face masks for frontline workers, donating food to homeless shelters) that you can help with?
In these turbulent times, offering an extra set of hands is a great way to lead with your “give” and develop a reputation for going the extra mile. Also, never underestimate the power of simply being a sounding board for someone going through a tough time — or having a laugh with them to help ease their worries.
Rishi Sunak’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been designed to minimise the number of redundancies over the next few months.
However, despite the measures put in place, many will still sadly lose their jobs. In this blog, we take a look at the correct procedures to follow when turning a period of furloughed leave into a redundancy.
What happens after furlough ends?
According to a survey conducted in April, 70% of private UK companies had furloughed staff already, affecting some 8.4 million workers. With many companies facing an uncertain future, there are bound to be difficult decisions regarding what to do when employees are due to return to work.
At the moment, companies are faced with four different options:
Given the current situation, it is unfortunately the last of these points that many companies will choose to do. However, when doing so, they must be sure to respect all of the complex rules and regulations that govern redundancies.
Turning furloughed leave into a redundancy
Turning furloughed leave to redundancy is not the ideal outcome and is not what the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was designed for. Nevertheless, the current situation has backed many employers into a corner. As a result, a significant number of those who have been furloughed will inevitably end up out of work and, while these may be unprecedented times, employment law continues to apply.
Therefore, it is important that employers follow the correct procedures when making an employee redundant, particularly as there is likely to be increased scrutiny of the way they handle the process.
The correct redundancy procedures
If you want to expand your knowledge during lockdown but aren’t sure what to learn, our courses are the perfect source of education inspiration.
As the COVID-19 lockdown continues, many of us find ourselves with more free time than usual. We’ve already outlined some ideas for how to find a new hobby in lockdown, but for those who’d specifically like to study, we’ve put together some further suggestions to help you get started.
What do you want to achieve with your learning?
Before we delve into the details of what to learn during lockdown, let’s first take a look at what your aims might be. There’s never a bad time to learn something new, but having a goal in mind before you start can help you on your journey. Here are some popular learning outcomes to help you choose a goal.
Boost your employability
Although the world of work seems a little chaotic for many of us right now, things won’t always be so up in the air. When you’re considering what to learn during lockdown, you may want to improve your professional skills, ready for when the world reopens. With new technologies and processes being created at a fast pace, closing the skills gap can give you a significant advantage in your career. Whether you’re learning a totally new skill or improving on an existing one, it’s the kind of thing that can make you stand out from the crowd.
Expand your horizons
You don’t have to delve deep when you first start on your learning adventure. By taking an introductory course or studying the basics of a new subject, you can get a feel of whether it’s the right fit.
There are all kinds of hard and soft skills that you can start learning about. Even a small amount of study can support your existing knowledge and broaden your horizons. From there, you can think about the types of areas that will be most beneficial or interesting to you.
Build better relationships
If you’re not quite sure what to learn during lockdown, it’s worth giving some thought to improving your relationships. Emotional intelligence is an invaluable skill that can positively impact all areas of your life. Similarly, improving your communication skills can help in your personal and professional relationships.
Taking the time to work on your own wellbeing can bring significant improvements to your everyday interactions with the important people in your life. At this time of uncertainty, it could be just the thing you need.
Learn for pleasure
Of course, you may just want to study something purely for the joy of learning. There’s a lot to be said for picking a topic you don’t know much about and getting to know some of the basics. Lifelong learning is something that can bring benefits to all areas of your life, and you never know where it may take you.
To borrow from Dr Seuss, ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’
So, you hopefully now have a goal or two in mind for your lockdown learning. The next thing to do is to actually choose a subject to begin studying, but where to start?
Our list of free online course help – make sure they align with all of the main goals we’ve outlined.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected every business across the UK. Whilst some are busier than ever due to demand, others are finding that the need for their products or services has considerably slowed.
All companies are having to look at their operations to try and stay afloat during this uncertain time whilst adhering to government guidelines, by altering the way their staff work and, in some cases, changing the roles people are doing. Therefore, employers may need to fill business critical gaps fast to keep things running, one way they can do that is to upskill existing staff, or retrain them to work in another part of the business.
For example, staff who are usually meeting and greeting clients in person could be redeployed to help with computer-based admin work or asked to handle phone calls to help ease the pressure on others.
Taking into consideration the government’s advice regarding staying at home as much as possible, and social distancing, it could be an opportunity for businesses to encourage staff to sign up to online courses to learn new skills.
With no time limit on how long the coronavirus pandemic might continue to affect businesses, it’s a key time for companies to see how they can alter their operations and support their staff to upskill or retrain to allow business to keep going where possible.
To help businesses Heyllo! are providing access to fully funded learning courses for all business and their staff affected by COVID-19. Businesses can reach this support through our ADD DETAILS.
Coronavirus: Looking for a new job?
Whether you were in the middle of applying for a new job before the coronavirus pandemic hit, or you are now looking to find a new career? It’s a difficult time for job seekers, but don’t panic – hope is definitely not lost. Here at Heyllo!, we can offer support and guidance to find your next job during this time.