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Thought Leadership, Change Management 24 March 2020

The world just changed: invest in your people to get through it

We all know that times are strange; Coronavirus is changing everything that’s familiar to us, and our working lives are central to the shift.

Many, perhaps even most, of us are currently remote from our colleagues, and who knows for how long. Existing projects are being shut down in favour of something that’s more pressing; customer relationships are under pressure and can’t be improved by frank discussions over a coffee; budgets are being slashed as sales drop and non-essential businesses close their doors.

In times of difficulty, it’s often the case that learning and development budgets are the first to be cut. However, if you’re a practitioner of Insights Discovery, or someone who leads people or teams, you’ll know building strong workplace relationships just isn’t something that can wait. And if you’re looking for ways in which to demonstrate that your L&D budget isn’t expendable, here are some reasons to give the budget holder in your organisation.

Events may be cancelled; learning doesn’t have to be

In an immediate response to the current situation, our in-house experts have flipped how Insights Discovery is delivered. We’re now taking a virtual-first approach to learning, meaning that your traditional workshops can now be delivered entirely virtually, but with the same immediate and deep impact you’ve come to expect. 

With all of your employees at their desks for the foreseeable future, there will never be a more convenient time for them to focus on developing their strengths, challenges, and workplace relationships, than right now. People aren’t going anywhere: meetings are removed from diaries, conferences and events are cancelled right through to 2021, even holidays might not hold the same sway while normal life is on hold.

With your people firmly at their desks, the best gift you can give them is time and space. Now is the time to help them harness their strengths, encourage them to acknowledge and address their challenges, and put plans in place for how they will improve key stakeholder relationships.

Resilient people will be your organisational superpower

Many companies are dealing with a crippling lack of sales, and budgets are becoming tricky to manage. But when this period of crisis is past, the strongest organisations will be those who come roaring back to life, ready to respond to the new and urgent needs of their customers. To be agile in the face of pressing demands, and resilient in the face of constantly shifting circumstances, your people will need to be self-aware enough to know when they need to pull on a strength, or put their energy into something they find challenging.

By developing your people now, not only are you sending the message that they are worthy of investment, you’re priming them to be on top form when the economy shunts back to life. If your competitors haven’t found the imagination or budget to do the same, you’ll be streets ahead in the months and years to come.

Invest in your human community for long-term benefit

Putting business needs aside for a moment – as your leader, what do you see in your people right now? A lot of anxiety, fear of the unknown, a desire to protect themselves from others, a strong urge to stay home where it feels safe. People are hunkering down, turning to quieter pursuits, and looking inside themselves to find the strength they’re going to need over the longer term.

You can help them with all of that. When people are frightened, understanding themselves better will let them know the healthiest way to respond. When others lash out at them in fear, they can become more understanding and empathetic to that. Self-aware people can be stronger for themselves, and for those around them – and we’re going to need a lot of strong people as we head into an uncertain future.

It’s a difficult thing to do when there are so many demands on your time and budget, but if you can treat your people – first and foremost – as a community of human beings no different to yourself, you can build a strong community, which can come together as one in the face of unprecedented challenge.

Talk to us – virtually

The world has just changed – for all of us. We can help leaders and Insights Discovery practitioners look after those in their care while things are difficult, and prepare them for the fast pace of life we’ll all have to get used to once things normalise. Contact us today to learn more about our new virtual approach to learning and development.

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