It’s 2020, and a global pandemic is sparking a worldwide recession as consumers tighten their wallets and businesses seek ways to trim their budgets. For many enterprises, employee training programs are a tempting cost to cut. You might feel that they divert employee time away from revenue-generating activities and use up cash that you sorely need elsewhere, but this would be a short-sighted mistake to make.
Employee training programs are among the most effective tools in your enterprise toolbox, and you’ll need them the most when the business atmosphere becomes turbulent. Here are 5 ways that employee training programs help your enterprise ride out the storm and even thrive during difficult conditions.
Employee Training Programs Help You Prepare For The Unexpected
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, and nobody was prepared for a global pandemic. Still, those enterprises which already had strong, effective employee training programs were better placed than those who did not.
The truth is that you can never know what might suddenly throw your business off course, whether it’s a natural disaster, financial collapse, or the total breakdown of law and order in your city. Employee training programs prepare your employees, and thus your enterprise, to bend before the storm and recover quickly once it passes.
Many enterprises face skill gaps within the organization, which undermine their ability to respond to quickly-changing business circumstances. PWC found that 55% of CEOs said they had a skills gap that stopped them from innovating efficiently, making them less agile and harming their disaster responsiveness. 46% intended to close that gap through employee training.
Employee Training Programs Secure Your Enterprise Against Opportunistic Hackers
Cybercriminals and hackers pivoted far more quickly than most enterprises to adjust to the new conditions of COVID-19. They swiftly took advantage of the chaos as companies switched almost overnight to work-from-home, and IT and SecOps teams had to operate remotely, without many of their normal tools.
COVID-19-related attack emails pushed phishing attempts up by 68%, and malware attacks grew 1,902% in the last 4 quarters. Unfortunately, employees are still the weakest link in any enterprise’s cyber armor.
Organizations that hadn’t continuously trained employees to recognize phishing attempts, understand the importance of using strong passwords, never to stick to default password settings, and ensure that access permissions are always restricted, quickly learned the error of their ways, sometimes disastrously.
Employee Training Programs Ensure Adoption Of The Digital Tools That Make Remote Working Possible
Many enterprises had to accept and enable full remote working in the blink of an eye, although they had never had any plans to achieve it even partially. Cloud-based SaaS digital tools are what made this possible at such short notice, but they are only effective if your employees know how to use them to their fullest extent. Without employee training, you can invest in all the shiny remote collaboration and project management tools you like, but they won’t have any real impact on your business success.
Employee training helps you to implement not just digital transformation but digital adoption when both customers and employees are using all your tools to their maximum capability. It’s the only way to keep your enterprise agile and responsive to changing circumstances.
Employee Training Programs Support Better Internal Communication And Collaboration
Communicating remotely is a new challenge for most enterprise employees, especially if your company didn’t encourage working from home up until now. There’s a risk that projects and assignments could fall through the cracks when your normal workflows are disrupted for any reason. Employee training programs that use fun events and gamified educational experiences help your employees to bond with each other.
Employees who are more engaged as a team can collaborate better when working remotely, even if WFH is new to your business. They’ll feel more motivated to work harder when working alone and develop creative resolutions to challenges when the unprecedented becomes the new normal.
Employee Training Programs Maintain Employee Productivity
The stress of worrying about infection, concern about a shrinking economy, and the difficulties of collaborating from a distance all place a lot of strain on corporate culture. And yet this is when your employees are even more in need of support from managers and colleagues and a sense of being part of something bigger than themselves.
Employee training is crucial for onboarding and throughout employee tenure. It’s one of the best channels for sharing your grand business vision with your employees so that they feel invested in your organization’s success.
Soft skills training also helps employees feel you care about them, increasing engagement, and it’s well known that engaged employees are more productive. When morale is high, employees are motivated to work harder, even when working at home alone and try to come up with more ways to resolve issues and obstacles.
Employee Training Programs Can Underpin Enterprise Resilience
If you view employee training programs as a necessary evil, you’re looking at them the wrong way. Employee training programs can help your enterprise to survive and thrive, even when times get tough, by raising your security levels, encouraging the adoption of remote working tools, increasing communication and productivity, and generally improving your resilience and agile to respond to whatever the markets throw at you.
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