Upskilling During a Pandemic: Why Training is More Important than Ever

The COVID outbreak has dramatically changed perspectives in a very short period of time. Thanks to the pandemic, a lot of previously high-ranking priorities have moved to the back burner. Things that once seemed important now fade in comparison to the economic and personal turmoil the disease has caused.  

However, you shouldn’t put training in this category. Don’t think of upskilling your staff as a “we’ll get to it when the pandemic passes” type of activity. Rather, in response to the COVID outbreak, you should take the opposite approach: educating and informing your staff should climb your to-do list during this troubled time.  

Reasons to Upskill Employees During the Pandemic

Upskilling during the pandemic gives you an opportunity to thrive, despite the uncertain market condition. You become better able to handle the crisis and better position yourself for the future. Instead of lowering the value of improving your team’s skills, the pandemic makes training more important than ever.  

Keep Operations Going During the Pandemic 

The spread of COVID-19 has changed the way business operates. Zoom discussions, virtual meetings, and online collaboration have become the norm. If your employees don’t know how to operate these productivity tools, you’ll be at a disadvantage.  

That’s why you should invest in some additional training. Teach as much as you can about the software your company is using. That way, you won’t face a learning curve when it’s time to use these applications for real life. 

Increase Safety 

The COVID outbreak has forced a major (and sudden) upgrade of safety procedures. Prior to the pandemic, disease prevention was a low priority for most organizations, except in particular healthcare-related fields. Now, it’s the top concern almost everywhere. 

Minimizing infection risk and maximizing compliance comes as a result of training. You need to teach your employees exactly what to do to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This involves detailed instruction and the ongoing consistency of your message. 

Take Advantage of Production Lags 

You might not be able to get as much done during the pandemic as you did before the outbreak hit. Some facilities may be closed, and some projects may be on indefinite hold. As a result, many of your employees are facing a refreshing lack of looming deadlines. In other words, it’s a perfect time to schedule training. 

Of course, the COVID-induced business disruptions are a big-picture negative. But there are some near-term benefits you can gain as a result. The opening of people’s schedules creates “free time” for training. You now have the opportunity to provide all the educational upgrades that seemed like a scheduling impossibility before the pandemic took hold. 

Get Up to Date 

In the normal course of events, it’s hard to stay current. Your employees have their normal 9-to-5 responsibilities, plus all their at-home personal commitments. With those time pressures, it’s easy for your once-gold-standard training to get a little stale. 

You can use the pandemic to regain that cutting-edge form. As you contemplate new training programs, you have an excellent opportunity to take your employees skills to the next level.  

Look to the Future 

Training during the COVID outbreak shouldn’t always focus on the pandemic itself. Eventually (hopefully), the crisis will pass and something approaching normal business will resume. The disease may have thrown your business into turmoil, but you can emerge from the situation stronger than before. 

As such, create training programs that look further to the future. Identify potential opportunities in the post-COVID world and craft an educational program that targets those. The skills you convey to your workers will allow you to come out of the pandemic better situated for the new market. At the same time, you can expand your horizons and prepare for even faster growth in the future. 

An ongoing training regime allows your employees to keep pace with a competitive market. Of course, it helps to have the right employees to start with. Working with a top staffing firm, like SmartTalent, brings you the curious, dynamic team members you need to maximize your performance. 

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more. 


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