“You’re on mute!”
How much have we heard that phrase this year?
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it so many unique problems in business, one of which was of course the movement to working from home.
We’ve gone from emergency mode – figuring out how to operate and how a business can survive in such unprecedented circumstances – to adapting and evolving into next generation organisations that can thrive in the post-COVID world.
But not everyone is on the same page in that regard.
This week we want to reflect on some of the key business problems being faced by HR and Learning & Development professionals right now. After such a tough year, it’s time to reflect on the past 9 months since lockdown began and its impact on our work and home lives. What issues are businesses facing now and how do things need to evolve in response to this?
5 problems in business for L&D professionals post-COVID
These are the top 5 problems in business being experienced right now according to our senior client facing team, which speaks with Human Resources teams and Culture leaders on a daily basis.
“We’re learning that HR and organisations in general need to be even more aware of and able to offer support for both physical and mental health.”
1. 2021 budget uncertainty
Understandably, there’s a lot of uncertainty around likely business performance in 2021 for global organisations, as the impact of COVID in the US and Europe continues to escalate. This impacts margins and therefore available budget for people development.
So what can we do about it? There’s no simple answer unfortunately. More than ever, L&D and HR leaders must battle to convince decision makers of the value of people development at a time when businesses are putting even more pressure on individuals to perform.
2. Reluctance to accept video conferencing
We are hearing about considerable resistance among some senior leaders, particularly in Asia, to accept that video conferences will remain an essential part of doing business. They believe remote work culture to be a passing trend. This is resulting in resistance to training in how to use the medium effectively to communicate and lead with impact.
This is an issue, and it’s probably one of the biggest errors in judgement business leaders can make right now. Many experts say that virtual conferences are a poor imitation of the real deal, particularly on a large scale, but when it comes to business meetings, both internal and external, video is here to stay.
Few can argue with the enormous cost savings video meetings provide as an alternative to business travel. However, the challenge is using the time as effectively as if you were meeting in person.
3. Holding off for face-to-face training
This reluctance to commit to video conferencing has also led to a tendency for businesses to hold off on training until face-to-face can resume.
Who knows when that will be? Particularly for organisations operating globally, there is very little certainty regarding what countries will have a second, third or even fourth wave – and when. Is hitting the ‘pause’ button a smart strategy when it comes to the immediate and future efficacy of your teams? Doubtful.
4. Maintaining cultural cohesion
Another major business problem affecting Human Resources right now is the ability to maintain cultural cohesion across a geographically distributed workforce, particularly as businesses are constantly restructured due to the economic downturn.
In such circumstances, virtual team communication and engagement methods – if used well – can provide a solution. However, it’s not as easy as logging into your preferred video meetings platform for a catch up. Bonding is at its most effective in-person, and while video communication is a decent substitute, it can be stilted, awkward and frustrating, even for those who are relatively experienced using the medium.
5. Increasing requirements to provide health support
A recent Accenture report makes the point that “every business is now a health business.” We’re learning that HR and organisations in general need to be even more aware of and able to offer support for both physical and mental health.
Back in 2014, it was revealed that 21% of Australians had taken time off work over the previous year due to feeling stressed, anxious or mentally unhealthy. Not only that but three quarters (75%) of Australian employees believe workplaces should provide support to someone who is experiencing depression or anxiety. I think we can safely say that those figures are much higher in a world of COVID-19.
The ability to embody and lead with resilience in this day and age is essential to business success. Resilience must permeate organisations from the top down in a world that is becoming increasingly difficult and unpredictable. That’s exactly why we provide Resilience Training.
If any of these business problems rings true with you, support yourself in 2021 and beyond by reviewing our Culture Programs and enquire with us today.
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.