The impending return to the workplace will present a mixed bag of emotions across the UK’s workforce, as well as unprecedented challenges for leaders looking to ensure a smooth transition to first class customer service and outcomes. Leaders can get a head start by putting structured plans in place to ensure everyone feels safe, welcomed and ready to embrace the new norms that are set to permeate every aspect of our working lives. Concerns and expectations must be carefully managed with honesty and openness, particularly as a blended approach to working from home and the workplace will be a new reality for many. Finding proven ways of keeping everyone on board as valued, active and connected members of the team in touch with the nuances and flow of daily routines is more important than ever.
Preparation and planning are key
As retail shelves are dusted down and re-stocked and offices re-open their doors amid the optimism of a positive surge in the economy, employees need to be ready, willing and able to rise to new challenges and opportunities. While the time for excuses and website caveats has passed, people need to be equipped to deal with the potential fallout from pent up consumer demand, a backlog of requests and requirements and an unprecedented level of queries with confidence and vigour. Many are going to have to give disappointing news, manage and respond to a myriad of customer demands and expectations while also dealing with changes to their way of working, alongside the probability for many of traumas experienced during lockdown. How well equipped they will be to manage these challenges will depend on the foresight and commitment of leadership.
Fresh opportunities for growth and development through rapid training solutions
While returning staff safely and comfortably in an environment that’s rife with uncertainty and ambiguity may be a daunting prospect, leaders can take heart in the fact that every challenge is accompanied by the prospect of fresh and exciting opportunities for growth and development for all. Having the right skills and tools can make all the difference to the confidence, capabilities and productivity of your people in an ever-evolving world. Robust and proven eLearning training solutions can provide a tangible bridge to a future that’s bright with positive solutions, and where increased skills, enthusiasm, clear communication and a “can do” attitude can prevail in the face of adversity and challenge.
Tools to empower your people
The right training solutions will empower people and lead through to workplaces that can be ever more engaging, creative and inclusive, and where working relationships can flourish on a foundation of mutual respect. Leaders are seeing that a culture of kindness, fun and cooperative collaboration is key to successful productivity and innovation and will bolster employee engagement. It’s important they acknowledge that for many their way of working has changed forever, and it’s crucial that everyone is equipped as efficiently as possible with the skills, confidence and capabilities they need to cope with everything that may come their way at work.
Treat everyone as new starters
As you welcome your people back it’s important to treat everyone as new starters in terms of needing crystal clear communication and direction, recognising first and foremost how each individual is mentally approaching their return to work. Are they concerned, anxious or fearful, or excited and raring to get back to the social buzz of the office and the many benefits it holds in terms of colleague interaction, easy exchange of information and opportunities for mentoring and career advancement? Are they engaged or disengaged? This is where clear direction, support and an empathetic approach right from day one is key to fostering a positive, all-inclusive culture with employee engagement at its heart.|
Add in firm foundation skills
It’s also essential to put in place or re-emphasise some firm foundation skills to help people have an optimal mindset, to listen and respect others, and to communicate positively and clearly while feeling they are ‘on board’ and a significant part of the future. And the sooner the better is again the key to increased levels of employee satisfaction and productivity so that everyone can be ready and willing to step up with 100% commitment and be the difference that brings success for all.
eLearning for a swift increase in motivation and productivity
eLearning is becoming an essential tool to maximise motivation and productivity. It provides a convenient and rapid way to upskill your workforce, enabling them to meet new demands, build resilience and manage change and anything that comes their way. Highly engaging and enjoyable digital learning courses are ideally placed to address all of the challenges facing leaders and their people transitioning back into the workplace, whether it be retail or office based. The most effective are those that blend online learning and interactive activities with small group and team sessions that really bring learning to life, and where people look forward to taking part and can see the value of what they are learning in relation to the new and emerging world of work.
Benefits of online learning
Learning online has a myriad of benefits. Content is available for repeat viewing and can be broken down into bite-sized pieces and easily accessible reminders. It’s a rich source of data making each employee’s progress easily measurable, and the learning can be kept in one central place where it’s easily accessible for all. It automatically builds in engagement and collaboration so that learners can interact, share successes easily and encourage others to take part. It’s also a highly cost-effective method up rapidly upskilling your people in situ rather than at expensive venues with travel costs.
The time is now
Leaders who have the foresight to invest in and support their people now will reap the benefits of a workforce that’s equipped with all the skills to get straight back to work with confidence, capability and enthusiasm – ready to collaborate and problem solve with clear heads and a steady hand, and to make the most of every challenge and opportunity that comes their way.