The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest shift in the world-wide economy and its effects on businesses may well persist for many years to come. Mindful of this, McKinsey & Company (*1) speaks about the necessity for companies today to start reskilling their workforce, following the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Already in 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute had predicted that 375 million workers globally would be affected by automation and artificial intelligence, which would demand that they learn new skills or change occupations. However, the urgency of the skill gaps within the workforce has been accentuated by the pandemic and demonstrated within a recent McKinsey Global Survey, which is why McKinsey is quite clear about what is required now. The view is that current issues refer to the need for the creation of new business models, as the background to the post-pandemic era, where industry leaders can mandate the reskilling and upskilling of their workforces. Agrawal et al (*1) discuss in more specific terms the way that companies should focus on developing their workforce in the following areas:-
The emphasis for companies in this new post-pandemic era needs to be on ensuring their Learning & Development budget will not be reduced, but instead, it should be enhanced to allow their employees to acquire the proper training in order to thrive.
Training (*2) is defined within the Cambridge Dictionary in the following way:-
“the process of learning the skills you need to do a particular job or activity”
Each company has its own training requirements, but what many companies need to recognise is the need to integrate new ways of learning that may be in complete contrast from what a company has done, prior to COVID-19, because the job roles may now be entirely different. The Training Industry (*3) addresses the post-COVID-19 era within the workplace by reference to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which encourages companies and organizations to prepare a comprehensive infectious diseases plan. This plan would include seeking new ways of working by introducing social distancing within the workplace, staggered shifts, delivery of services remotely, streamlining operations, dramatic reduction of contact between workers, clients, and customers through the replacement of face-to-face meetings with virtual telecommunications eg. Skype, Zoom. Such a new way of working would integrate with more virtual training, webinars, e-training courses, videos, and more use of interesting visual aids. In fact, the Instructors will need the appropriate training themselves to be able to manage small groups of virtual students, so that the content, delivery, and technology is thoroughly understood and well-prepared to keep every topic interesting. The Instructor will need to ensure that the delivery of each training course by virtual technology is always engaging and interactive; otherwise the students will quickly lose interest, which is not helpful to the teacher nor the student.
Undoubtedly, the most important lesson for those of us within the training industry is that training is now beginning to evolve in a different way. As trainers, what we need to remember is to be adaptable in order to survive this hugely changing dynamic in the workplace. That is why at Staff Defence, we have already started to develop e-Training Courses within the Travel and Personal Safety sector, which can be completed online by the student from work (if permitted) or from home. Undoubtedly, there are more courses that we are reviewing to assess whether these can be delivered as e-Training Courses. Certainly, there are some courses that demand face-to-face presence, such as, First Aid at Work courses, since for the purpose of practice, a level of human interaction is required. In those cases, we already have a COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy, which provides the appropriate guidance, when we are required to interact together. Already there is much for us to consider, but as has been discussed, training in the workplace through acquiring new skill sets is of great importance to us all. Should your employees require First Aid at Work, Hostile Environment Awareness Training (H.E.A.T.), Personal Safety Foundation Level, or Conflict Management Level Two Award training, please visit our website, where you can easily book a place on one of our e-Training courses or any others, as below:-
(*1). To Emerge Stronger from the COVID-19 Crisis, Companies Should Start Reskilling Their Workforces Now Sapana Agrawal et el 7 May 2020 https://www.mckinsey.com
(*2). The Online Cambridge Dictionary https://www.dictionary.cambridge.org
(*3). Training and Development in a Post-COVID-19 Workplace https://www.trainingindustry.com