Hello everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.
Today‘s podcast is all about developing your team in our current pandemic–driven world – a topic that many leaders will be thinking about right now.
Will the traditional ways of training and development still be relevant in the post–pandemic business world, or will there be a need for new methodology or practises?
And if so, what will these methods look like?
By the way, if you‘re new here, welcome! As our regular listeners will know, you can find a transcript of this podcast on the Excel Communications website.
So, after the extraordinary year we‘ve all had and as we emerge into the new working landscape, leading your team has the potential to be challenging for a variety of reasons.
Your team might have changed, with fewer or different members, some of your colleagues might have been affected personally by Covid-19, or your business goals and ways of working might have changed too.
While some of your team may have experienced furlough, others have been working; and without a doubt, working remotely away from your ‘normal’ cultural environment will have made an impact on your team.
All of which you will need to take into consideration as you continually develop your team. So in today’s podcast, let’s look at different places to start.
1. Dealing With Change
As a leader, one of the first things you need to address is the way your team and your organisation has changed due to Covid.
Change management is a crucial part of leadership, and it has never been more essential.
Even for teams and organisations who have come through the pandemic mostly untouched, you are now operating in a world that has been significantly affected by the pandemic; which you have to acknowledge.
Kotter‘s model of change management states that 75% of a company‘s management needs to ‘buy into‘ any change that occurs. So your leaders must be on the same page when it comes to how your organisation is now operating in a post-pandemic world.
Here are four of the main areas of change to focus on now –
- Defining how your organisation is operating for the safety and security of employees, both in physical safety and organisational changes to look after jobs.
- Celebrating the success of the business for making it through the pandemic and the achievements that the team has secured along the way – this is often missed and yet is so important.
- Demonstrating transparent communication with employees at all levels – all of your team need to feel like they are included and informed about what is happening, which could be contributing to further change in the business.
So how does acknowledging change help in the development of your team?
2. Set Intentions for Your New Culture
While many organisations did not plan on pressing ‘reset‘ in 2020, the world has changed, and we must change with it.
Many businesses are happy with the organisational culture they have cultivated. But even great cultures sometimes only work when things are going well, and suffer during times of crisis.
It‘s really important during these pivotal months as we leave the crisis stage of Covid and make our way through the recovery that you outline the culture of your organisation for our ‘new normal‘.
Developing your team in a post-pandemic world will depend upon how impactful and uniting your culture is.
In a recent McKinsey article I read, they highlighted the importance of striking the right balance between ‘supportive‘ and ‘challenging‘ leadership.
Your team must feel supported to step up during difficult times, but they must also feel challenged to explore new approaches, to take the lead and work independently even in stretching situations. And this is something that‘s going to be more relevant than ever with the continuation of remote working that we are experiencing.
Your new company culture should address remote working and the importance of flexibility. I know there are different types of Covid restrictions going on in other countries, and here in the U.K., we‘re seeing more local lockdowns and changes to working guidelines.
Next, let‘s look at the role of training in your post-pandemic culture.
3. Focus on Training
It often takes a time of crisis to see gaps or opportunities in the business. Many companies only really stop and take stock after a challenging time – it‘s when issues that can otherwise get brushed aside during “normal“ circumstances come to the surface.
It is also a time where employers see the value of having highly talented people in the right roles too.
So let me share some data about the value of training and developing your employees as you navigate what is happening in your organisation.
The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that the cost of replacing an employee can be as high as 60 per cent of their annual salary, and the total associated costs of employee turnover can be as high as 200%!
Let me translate this for you – the cost of replacing an H.R. manager can be up to £103,000, while the cost of training the same individual could be less than £1,000 depending on the training programmes you implement.
The benefits of training to develop your current team are just what many companies will need right now. It‘s a cost-effective way of ensuring your team are being developed in the right way, to benefit and strengthen your organisation.
And finally, let‘s look at the benefits of using an external trainer versus inhouse.
4. Using an External Training Source
There are three main considerations when it comes to training and developing your team, and they are –
- And flexibility
The time it takes for an employer to put together a training programme, to create the materials and research how best to deliver the core ideas can be a lengthy process, and that‘s understandable if training is not something you engage in regularly.
The cost is tied up with the time. As I mentioned, it‘s far more costly to hire new employees than it is to train existing ones, but spending time creating training programmes from scratch is costly both in time and in money.
And finally, flexibility. When training employees in a post-pandemic world, this will give you the flexibility you need to create the next generation in your workforce. Where you know your team lack skills such as leadership, management, or commercial skills for the post-pandemic age, you can bring in external trainers who can quickly implement the training your team needs to develop in these key areas.
So to summarise, developing your people in a post-pandemic world will focus on four areas-
- Dealing with change
- Creating a new culture for the new world
- A focus on training
- And using external training services to deliver this training impactfully.
For more information on developing your leadership skills, head to our blog, which contains hundreds of articles on all aspects of leadership. I’ll leave the link in the comments.
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This is Tom from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast saying bye for now.
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