The spread of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on communities, livelihoods and businesses worldwide. The unprecedented speed and scale at which coronavirus has impacted our day-to-day lives has left businesses scrambling to adopt new ways of working.
While workers adapt to the “new normal” of staying at home and working remotely (or certainly under different working conditions), business leaders and HR personnel should be looking for new opportunities that will help them to emerge from the catastrophe stronger. While it’s important – and instinctual – for businesses to focus on navigating the now in order to survive in this contagion-ridden world, life beyond COVID-19 will come – and it deserves a place on the agenda. The key to emerging stronger? Learning and development.
Employee learning and development is something that all businesses should invest in during crisis. Employers must ensure their staff are equipped with all the knowledge and know-how to complete their jobs effectively. The sooner that staff is trained on relevant protocol and best practice, the better placed a business will be to cope with the challenges thrown its way today – and tomorrow.
Interestingly, IBISWorld reported that a few industries in Australia and New Zealand are anticipated to outperform during COVID-19, as the social distancing and quarantine laws are working in their favour due to a surge in demand. In Australia, five industries are predicted to succeed in the difficult economic climate. These are: Data Storage Services, Online Food Ordering, Child Care Services, Delivery Platforms and Electronics Retailing and Hardware and Building Supplies Retailing. In New Zealand, the four industries set to thrive are Data Processing and Web Hosting, Courier Services, Online Shopping and Health Insurance. However, despite the expected success of these industries, they all rely on the skill of their workers. Hence, there has never been a better time to re-skill, cross-skill or upskill workers.
A recent study surveyed HR Leaders to uncover how businesses are responding to the pandemic – and whether they were harnessing any opportunities. The survey asked the respondents: “Which of the following ways could the coronavirus outbreak be advantageous to your business function?” It found that many businesses were keen to learn from what has happened and are investing in learning and development to ensure they emerge stronger. See the results in the graph below.
The results indicated that business leaders are finding some positives within the disaster. One third (33%) of respondents said that the outbreak caused them to re-think current business practices – likely to ensure that they can weather any storm in the future.
Interestingly, the other commonly recognised advantages relate to learning and development. 22% of respondents said they were using the outbreak as an opportunity to cross-train and upskill their workers, and 18% said they were creating new learning courses to teach workers how to handle pandemics. The consensus is that the best way to respond to a crisis is by learning.
With this view in mind, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll has expanded its learning suite with online and video courses designed to enable businesses to continually upskill their remote staff and ensure they are remaining productive during the pandemic.
See below for some examples of the new course additions to ELMO Course Library.
Coping with Change in the Workplace
Change is inevitable in all organisations, but it can be disruptive. This module aims to assist employees to deal with and accept workplace changes and to give them some tools to cope with change. You can download this course here.
Effective Practices When Working from Home
In the wake of COVID-19, flexible work arrangements are now commonplace. We have developed this module to help your staff work productively from in their “home office”. You can download this course here.
Running Effective Virtual Meetings
Running effective meetings can have a positive impact on team productivity. This course aims to assist you to prepare for and run effective meetings in a virtual environment. You can download this course here.
Leading Virtual Teams
As a result of COVID-19, many teams are now becoming either partially or completely virtual. Managers of these teams need to be equipped with key skills which will help them to manage their teams virtually and to support each one of their team members in spite of physical distances. You can download this course here.
Other courses in the latest ELMO release include COVID-19 Awareness (AU & NZ); General Insurance Code of Practice; Infection Control in the Workplace; and Professional Standards for Financial Advisers.
ELMO Course Library offers over 400 online and video learning courses available to businesses in Australia and New Zealand, enabling employers to continually upskill, cross-skill and reskill their workers. To find out more, contact us.
 “Five industries set to outperform due to COVID-19”, IBISWorld, 2020
 “Four industries in New Zealand set to outperform due to COVID-19”, IBISWorld, 2020