Coronavirus (COVID-19), Learning & Development

Training Staff on the ‘New Normal’

At the beginning of 2020, nobody could have predicted the current state of affairs amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the disease began to spread and companies and governments took measures to shut down, few could have predicted the extent and duration of necessary cautionary measures to stem the spread of the virus.

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Source: Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock

But as we near the end of 2020, it’s becoming increasingly clear that such measures are not likely to be short-lived. It may be months until a viable vaccine is available for use and even longer until it’s available in sufficient quantities to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Taking the Long View

Companies and employees are beginning to accept the long-term nature of the changes they’ve been forced to make, meaning much of the basic training staff used to receive is essentially obsolete.

“In a survey of more than 2,000 small business owners conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Zapier, 44 percent of respondents said they believe the changes they’ve made to their businesses in the past few months are here to stay,” writes Jessica Thomas in an article for Entrepreneur.

“For many small business owners, that means they’re trying to learn new technologies, taking on more administrative tasks and trying to bring in new revenue, which is the number one worry among business owners surveyed. Twenty-four percent of business owners say they’re spending more time on administrative tasks than they ever have before,” Thomas adds.

Training Increasingly Important

Training should be a key element in any change management process. It’s not enough to simply bring in new tools and come up with new ways of doing the same things; businesses have to make sure their staff are trained on those new tools and processes.

The largely unprecedented changes undertaken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic may have seemed like a bump in the road at one point, but with the growing consensus that many of the impacts are here to stay, it makes sense for businesses large and small to think about their organization’s new training needs. That might mean adapting to new technologies or learning new processes.