Although hard to do, now is the time to start looking toward your company’s future. It is not likely we will go back to the way things were a few months ago. We may not have a clear vision of what the future holds; however, we still need to be proactive in shaping our destiny.
One very important piece to ensure a successful transition to the new normal is employee development. I suggest you start by focusing on developing your leaders. This will serve a dual purpose. 1. You will have a stronger bench that will help you weather this storm and any others that arise. 2. You will reduce stress and provide motivation for these employees. If my company is willing to allocate resources toward my development, I know I have a future with the organization.
In order to provide meaningful development opportunities that will not interfere with your operations during these chaotic times, here are the steps you should follow:
- Identify the leaders and emerging leaders in your business. By including your emerging leaders, you are bulking up your talent and creating a bit of a relief valve for your current leaders.
- Assess the skill sets of every individual within the identified leadership group. Match these against the skills you identified that will allow your company to be successful moving forward. It is quite likely that needed skills have shifted over the past couple of months and there are some new gaps. Your leaders may need to develop new facilitation skills that enable you to run virtual meetings more successfully. Communication and the ability to connect with employees and address their Personal Needs as well as their Practical Needs is more important than ever. View this webinar: Staying Connected: Best Practices for Leaders to learn more.
- Identify resources that provide interactive online training. Training and meeting web platforms are very sophisticated. A good trainer will be able to provide learning, engagement, and skill practice via computer. Even a large training group can remain safe by participating on their own computer yet feel as they are all in one room.
- Reinforce the learned skill. Just like classroom learning, the best way to ensure adoption is for you to follow up. Work with each learner to establish their individual development goals, then follow up after the training to assess and encourage them to put their new skills to use.
Be careful not to be so caught up in this single moment in time that you lose sight of the successful continuation of your enterprise. Begin developing your leaders now so they will be prepared as we emerge on the other side in the coming months.
IMEC has leadership experts who are ready to answer questions to help guide you through the current crisis. Get in touch with the Illinois Manufacturing Helpline today!