Are Your Learning Paths Still Relevant?

By Natanya Rutstein

COVID 19 is changing the way we do our work and is pressuring organisations across the globe to adapt their business models in order to survive and prosper in the face of increasing change and uncertainty. Although many of these changes were already underway before the virus descended upon us, the pace at which they now need to be introduced has greatly accelerated. This begs the question- Do our managers have the right skills to succeed and successfully lead their teams in this new environment? If you’re not sure of the answer to this question, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your learning paths and ensure that your managers are adequately equipped to not only survive but thrive in today’s increasingly competitive and fluid business environment.

When designing or re-designing your manager learning paths, whether on an individual or generic level, give some thought to including some of the following skills:

Risk Management: Traditionally the risk management function within an organisation is set up to deal with all the major business risks. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, Every manager is a Risk Manager. Your managers need to be able to identify and prepare for the mitigation of less visible risks on a day-to-day basis. Such risks may include – health and safety in the workplace, project risk, reputational risk, customer risk, staffing or skills gap risk, supplier and budgetary risk. COVID-19 has conceivably deepened the level of risk your manager’s face in their day-to-day operations.

Employee Wellbeing: There is an increased responsibility on managers to foster employee well-being whilst driving performance and productivity. They must be able to swiftly recognise the signs of employee stress and respond accordingly. This includes staying up-to-date on COVID- 19 public health and safety measures as well as all available company wellness resources.

Strategic Thinking: With increased future uncertainty your managers should not only be tending to the day-to-day operational job requirements but also considering all possible future scenarios and planning for their impact with carefully considered responses.

Digital Proficiency: Increased remote working necessitates that managers must be able to master a wide array of technological tools in order to manage their team and achieve operational efficiency. Reduced budgets, shrinking teams and constantly changing business models require managers to be able to leverage technology in order to re-design and simplify business processes.

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving: Re-defining the way we do things requires a substantial amount of creative thinking and robust problem solving skills. Consider adding design thinking to your manager’s toolbox. Design thinking is an iterative process which seeks to redefine problems through challenging assumptions and developing new ways of thinking in order to identify creative and innovative solutions to the challenges faced.

Stakeholder Management: With the predicted increase in remote working as well as a possible reduction in stakeholder interactions, all in the hope of minimising contact and the spread of the virus, managers must find new ways to network and stay on top of all stakeholder (e.g. employees, customers, suppliers, unions etc.) perspectives, changing needs and priorities in order to stay competitive.

The Talent Hub has extensive experience in the design of customised Learning Paths for all levels of roles in organisations. These plans are competency and –proficiency based and will ensure that your employees achieve proficiency as quickly as possible enabling successful business results in today’s rapidly changing and increasingly competitive business environment.

We are excited to announce that we are now offering a web conference series that you can complete at your office or home. The series shows you how to make your learning organization more effective by applying the principles of Learning Paths. For more information call/text 0827078156 or email admin@thetalenthub.co.za