Upskilling is Essential for Small Businesses During COVID-19

Upskilling is Essential for Small Businesses During COVID-19

Upskilling is Essential for Small Businesses During COVID-19

While so many workers all around the world were displaced last year thanks to COVID-19, it’s unfortunately quite likely that this trend will persist in 2021.

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, many firms have found that upskilling or reskilling their staff has become increasingly vital to their economic recovery. With that in mind, here are a few examples of upskilling helping small businesses to survive.

Commit to Upskilling

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In order to survive the pandemic, access to learning and growth in this demanding climate has turned out to be more than critical. That’s because there’s never been a better chance for companies to ensure their employees are reskilled right now, as there can be lots of extended downtime with flexible employment conditions for many staff. 

When the virtual distribution of these learning opportunities is prioritized by small businesses, it will help with staff engagement by developing essential skills to help businesses excel in the future. Those small businesses who have started upskilling now will most likely be best positioned to benefit when the economic climate does eventually start improving. Depending on  your businesses needs you could consider developing skills in IT and project management — as teams are going digital and using a whole suite of tools, such as:

  • Asana: Project management.
  • Slack: Team communications.
  • Harvest: Time tracking.
  • Zoom: Video conferencing.

Seek Collaboration Opportunities

There are many companies out there who had no choice but to find new ways of addressing huge spikes in demand for the front-line staff or those with specific skills. Some of the most sought after staff were in the healthcare industry, but there was also a very high demand for supermarket workers, call center staff, as well as people in cleaning or delivery services. 

Some businesses within these industries decided to expand their staffing resources through partnerships and collaborations with others. By working together, these organizations were able to offer temporary employment of staff wherever needs were immediate. This innovative method of expanding networks helped to keep businesses going in the short term while creating new opportunities that may end up existing for many years ahead.

Develop Digital Abilities

As the digital transformation of business environments continues to expand, many employees will have to develop new skills online when working remotely. The variety of new cloud-based technology available combined with updated eLearning content tools will help ensure small businesses can more effectively manage daily workflow processes as well as staff training. 

Reskilling will not only increase employee understanding and overall productivity, but it is also necessary to ensure staff can successfully operate in their new roles with no skill gaps. Investing in digital skills will most likely be a cost-effective solution for many businesses over the long term because they will be useful skills even if the staff does end up returning to normal office environments.

Identify Recovery Skills

Businesses that are most likely to survive in a post-COVID-19 world and ultimately flourish will most likely be much different than it was before. With solidified skill strategies in place, workers will expand their current skills to meet all of the changing demands. Small businesses will then be able to ascertain crucial value drivers for their employees by quickly identifying which activities will be required as well as anticipated shifts in behavior. 

As companies and businesses of all sizes start making these strategic decisions for recovery, they will need to decide which skills will affect them the most in order to drive them forward. Simply by specifying the contributions and the value creations in each role, they will be able to reimagine how daily workflows will ultimately change in the future as a result.

Skills for the Future

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While this pandemic will continue to be extremely challenging for many small businesses, it’s important to remember that surviving is still possible. As long as you understand the existing skills of your small business staff, you can focus on their development which will boost your chance of success. 

Simply by targeting all of your extra energy on the upskilling of your employees, you can negate some of the biggest risks that lay ahead. Just remember to remain open-minded to opportunities as we all adapt to the new normal, now and in the future.

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  • Tony Mulholland

    Businesses have underestimated digital skills

  • Sam Kelly

    The UK government has promoted upskilling employees ever since the start of the pandemic. Australia and Canada are following this trend.

  • Liam Asquith

    Asana is a great project management tool

  • Stuart Hooper

    I am flexible and want a new challenge.

  • Andrew Hopkins

    During tough times such as lockdown, employees need to do what they have to.

  • Lisa Lavie

    Is Asana free? I use Restyaboard which is an opensource software with more free features.

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Luke Fitzpatrick

Tech Expert

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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