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For many of us, 2020 has been one long exercise in putting things off. Meetings, events, holidays, weddings – the list of thwarted plans and disappointed ambitions goes on.

News of a potential vaccine has raised fresh hope for an eventual way out of the deadlock, but we’ve been warned not to expect a ‘magic bullet’ to end the pandemic. So, it’s time for businesses to move training back to the top of the agenda.

When we first headed into national lockdown in March, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson optimistically suggested that we might see the back of Covid-19 within a mere three months. At the time, it was a sensible enough approach for people to postpone key events or business decisions until things were ‘back to normal’.

Eight months on, life is very far from getting back to normal, either in terms of our professional or personal lives. In fact, many of us fear that life as we knew it in 2019 might never entirely return. So, how long do we wait before releasing the pause button on our lives and businesses?

For some companies, training was one of the first activities to be put on hold and for understandable reasons. But, as a public health crisis turns into a new way of life, it’s time to stop viewing business training as a luxury and more as a necessity to help you adapt to the post-Covid world.

By the end of the winter, Covid-19 will have stolen a whole year from us, which is a long time to waste in terms of business growth and employees’ personal development. How long can the coronavirus hold business hostage? With a huge amount of what would have been classroom-based training now available as engaging, effective online sessions, there is no reason not to press ahead with your training goals.

The uncertain times we’re living in may have left you feeling that you have very little control right now. Equipping your staff with the skills to drive your business forward is a means of taking back that control. Virtual business training is out there and it works – best of all, unlike in-person training, virtual courses can take place regardless of further lockdowns. No more cancelled plans!

Unexpected skill sets..

Perhaps more importantly, the pandemic has changed the business world in unprecedented ways and created the need for whole new, unexpected skill sets. Rather than treating training as something to be pushed into the background, it should be at the forefront of your mind right now.

Millions of people who had always been office-based are now working from home. Managers are suddenly running teams remotely for the first time. People are having to take on new responsibilities as colleagues are furloughed or laid off. Others have been forced to embrace new or different working practices as their old ones become obsolete.

That’s a lot of people who are finding themselves in need of new skills they didn’t anticipate last year. So, the approach to training in 2020 should not only be considering virtual delivery to keep your training plans on track. It should also be about taking a look at the new world and what it demands of your business and your staff, now and in the future.

If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that a lack of flexibility and agility won’t cut it in times of crisis. By taking training off the back burner and turning up the gas, you can take back control of your business’s future.

Let us help you to get your training back on track

Working in partnership with you, we provide insight and assistance to help you achieve your development goals. Whether you are looking to gain a better understanding of your training and development gaps, build training plans across multiple teams, or need bespoke training solutions for a particular challenge, we can help identify your options and the solutions available.

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Mark Fryer

12th November 2020