Sometimes opportunities for innovation come from unexpected places. Who could have predicted the seismic shift to distributed teams in a few short...
Navigating the Changing Landscape of Work
Many companies have now transitioned to a distributed workforce which has required them to permanently adopt productivity tools to support that model.
If your experience as an HR Leader over the past three years has been anything like mine, you have navigated a massive transformation in the way your company thinks about work AND your approach to the future of work. Reflecting on the tremendous challenges we overcame in such a brief period; I know that we continue to face many of the same challenges in different settings. For example, professional development continues to be a crucial component in the success of all businesses, and today’s training needs are being driven by different factors.
At the onset of the pandemic, businesses had to make a sudden and complete transition to remote work in a matter of days or weeks. We saw firsthand how our clients were forced to adopt technologies to facilitate that transition without regard for the impact it would have on overall productivity. Teams may have experienced limited capacity to take advantage of those technologies to collaborate, communicate and work effectively. The immediate need for training shifted from role-based development to tool-based development. Companies needed to quickly train their teams to utilize tools to perform tasks remotely that they were used to executing in person.
Many companies have now transitioned to a distributed workforce which has required them to permanently adopt productivity tools to support that model. Therefore, professional development needs today are a combination of role-based AND tool-based. The shift we have seen is to predominantly skills-focused training. Companies will need to view work skills as the foundational component of any training program. To create this versatile team in the future, it is necessary to provide role-specific training and include ways to collaborate and interact daily with team members across distributed teams.
Companies now must consider incorporating training in the technologies they have implemented to facilitate work when determining the appropriate blend of future training and education requirements. Workforce assessments can give companies insight into existing gaps in technology skills. Microlearning opportunities providing employees with on-demand access to guidance on task completion can reduce the need for access to skilled IT professionals for basic tech assistance. Sharing positive training experiences throughout the company helps demystify training requirements for entire departments.
As we continue to navigate the evolving world of work, let us keep in mind that we are only a little over two years into this transformative experiment. Most importantly, it is crucial that we extend support, guidance, and empathy to those who may be facing challenges in adapting to these changes.