The Coronavirus is hitting the headlines hourly throughout the world as the outbreak continues. It’s a worrying time for everyone, with concern for our health first and foremost, but the fear of the virus has prompted global companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and IBM to suspend travel for employees. While others are promoting remote working, such as Twitter who are “strongly encouraging” their employees to work from home.
Closer to home insurance group Aviva have also suspended travel to high risk countries and restricted all other staff work trips. They have taken steps to upgrade and improve its computer systems to allow more staff to work out of the office, expecting an increase in the volume of home working.
Doing the right thing and taking responsible action comes first of course, but there is an impact on business and employees. It’s essential to keep your teams upskilled, informed and motivated during this time of unease.
We all know that training and knowledge is the backbone of any organisation, but with the current limitations on travel and work trips you may be tempted to avoid training or put it on hold. We’ve put together some examples of how we can all continue to learn and enthuse our teams at the same time.
1. Internal Training
Running internal ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions are a fun way to team build and share knowledge. Does someone in your team or organisation have a skill that can be shared? It’s a great way to not only upskill but get your teams networking and sharing best practice too.
2. Virtual Training
Virtual training is nothing new, but it is the perfect solution to avoid employees having to travel to training courses. You can do this internally or use a company to deliver the training.
3. Mentoring Sessions
Mentoring sessions using more experienced people, or those who have attended previous training courses can help mentor staff that you had planned to send on training.
4. Online Groups
Online groups are a good way to utilise the social media platforms. Why not set up a closed online group on LinkedIn, Facebook or indeed your own system. Then encourage people to share best practice and examples.
5. Video Training Sessions
Recording any training sessions or meetings that take place makes sharing the information to a wider audience easier. It’s never been so easy to record sessions that can then be watched remotely from any location and at any time.
6. Live Virtual Training
A step up from video training, when it’s live it gives course attendees the advantage of connecting directly with the trainer. The systems available are amazing and as long as the content is engaging and focused at the right level you can have some great learning sessions.
Learning and Development departments or those employees who had been booked to attend training over the coming weeks and months don’t have to lose out while we wait for things to settle down.
Indeed, search engine giant Google has announced they are canceling two major conferences including Google’s biggest event, Google I/O. They’ve confirmed they are canceling the ‘physical/in-person’ version over concerns with the Coronavirus, which prompts thoughts that they will try to connect with attendees through other methods.
In fact, Google say “Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community.”
We’ll be watching to see how Google takes this forward, but it’s time to get creative and ensure your teams are able and upskilled to deliver their best work for both their own goals and to ensure your organisation’s performance is kept on track during the next few months.