Thoughts From Our Heads

Thoughts From Our Heads

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Value of Training during a Downturn

Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Are you adding or depleting to your team?
  • What are you doing now to prepare for that?
  • The teams with strong leaders who take initiative and invest in people will likely emerge stronger than before.
  • Who has the power to inspire, engage and unite others and lift your business to success?

I have recently been reminded of the case of Kelloggs who turned against this tide during the great depression and as all their competitors dramatically cut back advertising spend they ramped it up, doubling their spend. At the end of the depression Kelloggs had emerged as the dominant player in the market. This case goes to highlight that in every crisis lies an opportunity. Following each downturn comes an upturn and those companies that are best prepared for that upturn will be the ones that have used to time wisely.

 

When times get tough training is often one of the first budgets to be cut. Spending deemed non-essential is put on pause as the business battens down the hatches and tries to get through the challenging times.

 

Is it wise to invest in developing staff when times are uncertain, revenues are down and perhaps redundancies are happening? Obviously during these times cash preservation is key, you need a business to be viable at the end of the downturn to be able to take advantage when the upturn comes. But what often gets missed is the ROI of investing in your people. The cost is easy to see, the benefit is more intangible and as it’s hard to measure it can be easy to ignore it completely. Below are some benefits to investing in your people during a downturn and following that are some simple ways for you to practically do it.

 

WHY DO IT

 

Motivation and Inspiration

 

ARE YOU ADDING OR DEPLETING TO YOUR TEAM?

 

Training gives employees a space in which to connect, discuss experiences and find new strategies for managing their emotions. In a normal office environment we can lift each other up and spread positivity, at home, isolated and disconnected from others, negative emotions and low productivity can quickly take hold.

If colleagues are being let go, the business is struggling and uncertainty is high it is only natural that motivation will go down. A drop in team motivation is even more difficult to detect and manage when people are working remotely and you miss the ‘water cooler’ conversations and informal chats with colleagues. High emotional intelligence has a direct correlation to productivity, relationship management and overall happiness. All essentials during a downturn. Inclusive training sessions provides opportunities for collaboration, reflection and Inspiration to help us focus on Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations

 

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Get set for the Upturn!

 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW TO PREPARE FOR THAT?

 

It may not feel like it in the moment, but history tells us that every downturn is followed by an upturn. Staff need to be prepared to be at the top of their game, problems in teams overcome and poor performers lifted up. When the times comes everyone need to operating at 100% of their potential otherwise problems that have not been addressed will be amplified. This can be a great time to look at your business and what is working and what isn’t. Get teams together to consider how processes and systems can be improved and how the whole company can be working better together. This is a time to reflect, revise and refresh your business, because when things get busy, there won’t be any time.

 

Build Stronger Teams

 

THE TEAMS WITH STRONG LEADERS WHO TAKE INITIATIVE AND INVEST IN PEOPLE WILL LIKELY EMERGE STRONGER THAN BEFORE.

 

Teams can be easily fragmented right now. Distance, job losses and uncertainty takes its toll and the once united team faces weakening relationships and a lack of direction. Without intervention, things can quickly go from bad to worse. They take the steps required to keep everyone connected, provide a clear vision and work with people individually to keep them on track. We know though, that not all teams are blessed with these highly skilled leaders. These teams may need some help. A facilitator can work with these teams to help them to connect, openly discuss the challenges they are facing and unite as a team rather than a group of individuals.

 

WHY DO IT

 

Utilise in-house talent

 

THE TALENT IS THERE… SEEK IT OUT

 

If you don’t have an in-house training team then look to your staff and what they can offer. It is amazing the amount of hidden talents and passions that people within companies have. Finding that yoga master who can take the team through a 45-minute Zoom session, or the psychology geek who can talk for an hour about growth mindset. You may just tap into the immense talent and experience of your senior leaders who can offer inspiration and mentorship to others in the business. Think creatively and use what you have got in your business.

 

What options have you explored?

 

LOOK FOR LOW COST AND FREE ONLINE WORKSHOPS AND WEBINARS

 

In the internet age there are an untold quantity of free and low cost content available. Do your research and see what you can find for your staff. Be sure to check the quality as there is also a lot of rubbish available! Linked In Learning, Udemy and HBR offer good content at reasonable prices. Video e-learning is great for some basic upskilling but you won’t get the benefit of connecting people, discussing challenges, brainstorming ideas and practising new behaviours. Also look to training companies who are offering good value online workshops and complimentary sessions. A small investment in a 2-hour virtual workshop can repay itself several times over.

 

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Invest in your leaders

 

WHO HAS THE POWER TO INSPIRE, ENGAGE AND UNITE OTHERS AND LIFT YOUR BUSINESS TO SUCCESS.

 

If you are going to spend money anywhere, spend it on your leaders. Their impact on the business during this time is far greater than anyone else. To do this they need to manage their own emotions, communicate excellently and support employees through the difficult times. They need to plan and strategise yes, and most can do this very well. But they need an increased emphasis on the people side of their role, on listening, empathizing and building resilient and high performing teams. This is where the leaders often needs help and support. Supporting leaders at this time can look like focussed workshops on specific skill and mind set shifts, it can be a series of leaderships and team interventions or individual one-on-one coaching where they can explore their challenges in a private setting.

 

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I hope this has given you some inspiration as to how you can support yourself and colleagues at this time. No business is the same and there is not a single, simple answer to this problem. Think creatively about how you can help your team to thrive during this time and you will be rewarded in engagement, loyalty and higher results down the line.

 

Remember that the teams with strong leaders who take initiative and invest in people will likely emerge stronger than before.

 

If you think your business would benefit from low cost, targeting training at this time, do reach out to me and I will be happy to discuss your needs.