Amidst the global pandemic, employees have been facing several issues coping up with the crisis. With the fear of productivity set in due to the remote working culture, keeping up with productivity can seem challenging to most employees. A study by E & Y found that around 70 percent of the organizations believe that the single biggest concern for continued remote working is a fall in productivity.
At this time around, expecting rapid changes from your employees without training them on both soft and hard skills, can be a tough take. The only way to boost productivity is by modifying your employees’ skillset. Since COVID-19 has amplified a lot of undue pressure, employees need your assistance. This is the right time to encourage your employees by extending the support they need in upgrading their abilities.
It is the perfect time for HR to revise their priorities, introduce innovation to manage distant working employees, and help bring about an innovation in their workforce models. Along with helping them stay productive, you need to push them to readjust to the new normal.
So how can employees continue to amp up their skills, given the scenario we are in today? How can we adopt new skills and move towards adapting during this crisis? And how can employers, managers, and coworkers help one hone skills during work-from-home?
Here are some initiatives that help to enhance your employees’ skills
1. Imbue a sense of belonging: The first step to enhance your employees’ skills is by initiating, what is called a ‘Sense of belonging’. This can be developed by regular interaction with the teams. This helps in building camaraderie, lightening the mood, and motivating them to focus on revamping their skills. Initiatives like Zoom video parties, fun challenges, wellness engagement sessions, sharing pictures, and other such events can tremendously bring about a growth mindset.
Source: Technology advice
2. Practice empathetic communication: There is a lot of pressure and scope of miscommunication which is why we need empathetic communication. Now more than ever, it plays the role of a very critical tool and skill that needs to be developed and implemented in the organization. This is the only way to build trust and respect, reduce tensions, and create a safe environment that is conducive to collaborative problem-solving.
Source: HR Zone
3. Go for a 1-on-1 Solution: Though time-consuming, HR, as well as managers, should interact with the teammates on a 1-to-1 basis. This allows room for a candid conversation on the developmental needs of your employees. This would not only show that you care but also help your organization understand the areas in which their skills can be enhanced. Listen to their problems and share success stories: that inspire them to start working on what’s beyond the working hours.
Source: University Business Magazine
4. Reward and recognize accomplishments: According to research conducted by APA, 93% of employees who feel valued are more motivated to do their best work. Since none of the employees are at their usual workplace, they are much likely to feel that their hard work or efforts are not being appreciated enough. Your employees are going to love the prospect of learning more and enhance their skills when you appreciate their work and adaptive skills. This makes them feel heard, motivated, and hungry to learn more.
5. Learning together: While taking up online classes separately may seem like a far fetched plan to your employees, learning together may not. Most employees get motivated when they learn from their coworkers. A spirit of mutual growth connects back to the mentality of working collaboratively in teams and giving back to the organization. Using the gift of technology, engage your employees in interactive learning from colleagues. You can even get Subject Matter Experts to host training sessions on particular subjects of interest.
6. Keep employee burnout in check: Everyone wants to hone their skills but what would motivate them to do so? Not surprisingly, millions of people around the world feel that they may have to work all the time to prove their loyalty, devotion, and productivity. Since they are at home, little sense of time remains; their working hours blend with their personal hours and undoubtedly the weekdays and weekends look alike. This can be a crucial cause of reluctance in learning more. It is important to keep them motivated enough to continue working remotely for several months. Talk to them to check if they are burning out in this situation. State examples of real people who have been through the same and motivate them to jump back. With COVID-19 and long hours spent indoors, keeping up balanced wellbeing has become a matter of highest concern.
7. Appreciate their hobbies: Hobbies bring contentment to your employees and nurturing them is a great skill in itself. Allow your employees to pamper their hobbies. This comes without explaining, hobbies have the potential to drive your employees to look beyond the regular way of working and that too, creatively. So, let them take breaks, sponsor their interests, and let them grow in their way.
8. Limit Data Overload: One of the reasons why people find it difficult to learn something additional is that they constantly feel overwhelmed by the current load of information. Focussing on learning something new to add to their professional skills requires time and high saturation point. It can get tough following up with trending campaigns, especially if you work in a branding media house or advertisement agency. Try to create a culture of effective communication. Context changing with information overflow can drain your employees. Keep communication to the point and unambiguous wherever possible.
Source: Deposit photos
Most of us have successfully learned to be productive with new skills in almost two months of lockdown now. But as is said, ‘There’s always something left to learn’, let’s continue to evolve in this perpetual journey of learning. Adapting during the crisis is perhaps the most important skill we could ever learn from this crisis. Motivating your employees to adopt new skills is the most responsible way to deal with this situation. Promoting adaptive evolution is the only way of getting your workforce going in a time of global crisis like this one.
That being said, it is not only the role of the uppermost directors, HRs, or managers but also of the employees to make these measures, a success and emerge as the true leaders of today and tomorrow.