Covid-19 lockdown an opportunity for learning to boost workplace skills

Employees working from home or even those not working as their operations are shut down may look at the lockdown due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as an opportunity for learning, to improve current skills, or to build new ones.

“Think about those valuable learning opportunities that usually compete with productive working like unconscious bias, process compliance, understanding the company, its history and its products and personal development,” advised a report titled “IOE Guidance on surviving COVID-19 and coming out strong” shared by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE).

It said the lockdown is also an opportunity to get all out-of-date personal information up to date.

“How many of your workers would invest their own time in learning to code if you provided the materials, they are available at low costs and will pay back later,” the report asked the employers.

They are also being urged to take care of their executives and managers who are probably working long hours outside their comfort zone and dealing with new and stressful situations ­both at home and at work.

“Give them guidance on how to manage remotely where you have workers at home, there are plenty of short training modules. This will go on for at least three months, make sure you build time off into their schedule. Managers and Executives will fall ill or be quarantined, make sure you have a list of people who can step in and also cover for time off,” the report added.

Considering the Covid-19 lockdown as an opportunity for learning and looking after the executives and managers are among the practices, taken from leading human resources (HR) professionals in the world, listed in the guide that can aid employers in overcoming the coronavirus challenges.

This advice was shared by Sherill Quintana, President of Philippine Franchise Association, saying employees should not think they are on vacation during the lockdown while everybody is thinking how they are going to survive the pandemic.

“This is a good opportunity for you to learn,” she said in a webinar on Market Adjustments and Sustainability: Where do WE Sell from Here. “You have to equip yourself with new skills while you are at home because the trend would be after this, there will be a need for multi-task employees.”

While entrepreneurs or the employers want a 100-percent employee retention after the Covid-19 pandemic, Quintana said some may have to streamline and look toward having multi-task staff.

“Nimble workforce will be the trend after (Covid-19),” she added.

This free webinar is part of an eFora series #ResilienceAndRecoveryPH organized by the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).

Other topics slated in the coming Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. are Skills Upgrading: How Covid-19 is Reshaping Work and the Talent Pool (May 6); Institutionalizing Business Continuity Plans: Whole of Society Approach (May 13); and Plugging the Bleeding: Quick Wins and Long-Term Plans (May 20).

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