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Newsletter April 2020

The value of training in the midst of a downturn

You probably read the headline of this newsletter and shook your head. GBMC cannot really be recommending an investment in training when the economics for my organization are grim.

Yes. This is an unabashed attempt to convince our readers that investing in your workforce, even in an economic trough, is one of the best ways to prepare your organization for the future. And we always recommend that any investment in your people be aligned with business strategy.

Here are some tips for how to align training with three different strategies for weathering the downturn.

Reduction in Force – In addition to the toll it takes on those who leave, research has demonstrated that it also takes a huge toll on those who stay. Reassure those who remain that the organization has a plan, and their ability to take on additional duties, or switch duties, is being supported by training. This investment signals confidence which, in turn, can improve motivation, which leads to per­­­­form­­­­ance. Show your resources they are valued and worth the investment.

Change Over in Products or Services – If your strategy is to focus on markets
that have greater need or potential, you’ll need a capable and willing workforce to execute that strategy. Re-tooling takes care of the operational system, but our experience shows that if the human system is not re-tooled, most change strategies falter. Throwing your workforce “into the deep end” with no floaties is counter­­productive. Communicate and train for change.

Ride it Out – If your strategy is to hold tight and stay the course, you can still reap benefits from investing in training. Perhaps the downturn means a reduced workload. It’s a perfect time to have your workforce catch up on the training they’ve been putting off. Provide positive incentives, and push some personal and professional development training to their training plans. Deeds, not just words, communicate confidence in the future.

Now comes the harsh reality.

How do we pay for training when the organization’s economics are so poor? Money-saving solutions are readily available:  online, on demand, micro learning, royalty-free training, and so on. We all know the real cost is seat time. How do you fund your workforce on an already stressed overhead?

April 2020

April 2020 - 2

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