No doubt about it, it has been a strange few months for all of us. Nobody quite knows what's happening in this time of workplace stasis, in which companies are carrying on in "crisis normal" mode. Some businesses like those in the hospitality industry are shuttered altogether and will have to navigate a new normal post-pandemic. Others, those deemed essential, are still in operation, with employers taking measures to ensure the safety of their employees. And still others are in remote operation, with staff working from home (a new reality for a wide swath of the business marketplace).
This period will end eventually but there's more uncertainty ahead. What will we find when we all can emerge from our homes and get back to work? Nobody knows for sure, but one thing is for certain: the future of work will look different than it does today.
Upskilling for the future of work is the key
Companies need to start positioning themselves now for our new business as usual. The answer is simple, and it's something savvy companies have been focusing on for decades. It's a concept called "the future of work." Pre-pandemic, you likely read articles that imagined what the workplace of the (near) future would look like, how technology might impact jobs, which industries are in for a shake-up, and which will accelerate because of high-tech disruption.
The conclusion of all of this thought leadership? Preparing for the future of work means upskilling your employees.
Pre-pandemic, positioning your company for the future of work was all about keeping pace with technology and the massive changes it will bring. That hasn't changed. But added now are uncertainties about customer behavior and how the marketplace will rise and fall. The answer is still upskilling.
Forward-thinking organizations need to rely on training now more than ever to upskill their workforces. Your employees should be gaining new skills — and just as important, getting proof of those skills with digital credentials.
Look to professional associations to be the source of necessary learning
Start with professional associations. With many professions requiring continuing education credits, professional associations are the recognized source for education and training. But even if your profession doesn't require CLE, your profession's association should be offering online training. They are the authority on training in any given field. People get a baseline through higher education to acquire new skills, and the digital credentials to prove it, through online courses offered via their professional associations.
Two great examples are the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and PMI (Project Management Institute). Both offer an array of online courses. Look to your own professional association to discover what kinds of training it is offering during this time, and beyond.
It's about employee peace of mind, too
Offering your employees the opportunity to upskill and gain digital credentials during this downtime is a powerful way to show them that the company is still alive and kicking, you're looking to the future, and they are a critical part of that future. Looking back at the 2008 recession, many companies, including Groupon, Wells Fargo, ETrade, Netflix and more, not only survived, but thrived during that uncertain time.
According to Harvard Business Review, companies that survived and thrived after the Great Recession focused on planning, forward thinking, digital transformation and workforce management. That last point is key, especially for your millennial workforce. During this time, it's vital to give your employees peace of mind that their jobs will still be there. One way to do that is through continued training and development.
Survey after survey, including a recent survey conducted by the software firm Qualtrics and venture capital firm Accel Partners, shows that millennials value training more than salary, benefits, company culture, unlimited PTO, free lunch in the breakroom, or any other perk du jour. That's because they want to be able to see the road ahead and know they have a career path within their company. That hasn't changed. Giving them the opportunity to upskill will help ensure that your best people are ready for the future when it's time to open your doors again.
Questions? Contact us today and we'll help get you started.