Your business needs to survive first, then thrive.
With the current financial uncertainty, you might be thinking that your business will soon be in a fight or flight mode. A probable recession is what seems to be one of your prime enemies at this point.
Some business functions are more easily affected. Employee training is one of them. As companies try to reduce costs, the training budget is among the first ones to take a cut. However, training shouldn’t be viewed as a liability in times of recession. Instead, it should be viewed as a strategic move, especially in times of recession.
But what does a recession look like for businesses? Depending on the size of your organization, a recession can change the way things have been happening so far. You might witness lower sales and cash flow, payment delays, or a hiring freeze.
Even if there is no particular need or pressure to cut down costs, the overall pressure from lower revenue, hard-to-get sales, and financial imbalance might bring you feelings of pressure to start rolling back spending. And training in times of a recession is the most obvious choice not to invest in.
On the contrary, there’s great power in training. By changing how you approach employee training and development, there’s a high chance you’ll overcome that period and find yourself one step closer to success.
Investing in training can help build a recession-proof business
By investing in training, you will create more room for growth, stability, and a brighter future for your organization.
According to Eran Galperin, founder of Gymdesk, “it can be tempting to cut back on learning and development initiatives during an economic recession; however, this is most often a misjudgment.”
“Employees need to feel they are a part of a thriving company, even in tough times. The reassurance and appreciation come through the L&D initiatives the business is prepared to invest in.”
Let’s see what kind of training will help recession-proof your business.
Soft skills training
Training people on specific soft skills like resilience, tolerance, emotional intelligence, and adaptability can help overcome challenging situations. Moreover, according to an article by CNBC, economists believe that flexibility, project management, and communication are some of the most “recession-proof” skills that employers will be opting for in the next years.
The development of such soft skills will help your teams develop and be prepared for any upcoming challenges and hardships. Adaptable individuals, with great communication skills that can deal with any crisis with flexibility and resilience, are your key to success for a recession-proof business.
By implementing interactive types of training, you help employees get more prepared for less expected or less regular situations. You can achieve this with simulations. Your teams can exercise in a realistic scenario how they would approach a specific situation, according to Galperin. This initiative is one of the best experiential learning activities as it takes place in a completely safe environment.
“Simulations can be a useful method for training employees to deal with difficult customer experiences, tough endeavors, or other types of challenges,” Galperin adds.
Upskilling and reskilling
“First and foremost, we plan to invest in upskilling our employees,” Michelle Hague, HR Manager at Solar Panels Network USA, states.
“We understand that times are tough, which is why we’ve adopted a “train now, pay later” approach to ensure that our workers have the skills they need for the future. This will help us remain competitive as the economy evolves.”
More and more companies are thinking about investing in upskilling and reskilling programs for their teams. Such L&D initiatives will assist employees in staying ahead of the curve and equip them to deal with any changes that may come up.
By implementing this initiative, you will not only get to boost motivation and morale but also prepare well-rounded teams for the future by investing in your current workforce. As a result, you will end up having a learning culture that gives employees a chance for ongoing training and professional development.
Financial wellness training
In times of financial downturn, it’s common for people to feel stressed, frustrated, and lost. The process of managing finances is a particularly time-consuming and stressful process. As a result, employees bring their worries into their work.
What could help your organization stay ahead of the challenges and become a recession-proof business is to provide financial wellbeing training. Your employees will learn how to manage their money more effectively and focus on their job, making them more productive and happier.
According to a TalentLMS, Enrich, and Tapcheck study, “financial wellness training improves job satisfaction: 83% of employees who got it are satisfied with their job, as opposed to a satisfaction rate of 63% who did not receive training.”
Companies like Cloud Peak Law Group prioritize mental health and wellness initiatives. “We’re focusing on mental health and wellness initiatives, which include providing education and classes for employees.” Mark Pierce, the CEO states. For example, they deliver financial wellness training to help employees learn how to cope with rising stress levels that impact both their personal and professional lives.
But (how) can we reduce training costs?
While you may want to invest in training to build a recession-proof business, it goes without saying that you don’t want to—or, can’t— spend a fortune on this investment.
Luckily, there are ways you can cut down on employee training hidden costs without compromising on quality and effectiveness.
Focusing on online training
Technology has made learning available anytime, anywhere. With that being said, now is the perfect time to make the transition or focus your efforts on online training.
By using an eLearning platform, your learners can have access to training from anywhere in the world and reap the benefits it has to offer. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about spending money on travel expenses, or planning fancy in-person training sessions in a physical location.
One more perk of online training is that it can be conducted asynchronously. Your teams can dig into learning without worrying about the difference in time zones or their busy schedules.
“This type of training is cost-effective and can be accessed by employees at any time, from anywhere. It’s also flexible, which is important when employees’ schedules are constantly changing,” Edward Solicito, CEO of To The Top, says.
“By investing in online, asynchronous training, we can make sure that our employees have the skills they need to be successful without breaking the bank.”
Relying on internal experts
Outsourcing your training initiatives can be quite costly if you wish for a recession-proof business. What you can do is leverage internal experts for course development, presentations, mentoring, and knowledge-sharing opportunities.
Riley Beam, a managing attorney at Douglas R. Beam, supports that this looming recession has set up the perfect opportunity to create an in-house knowledge-sharing program where inexperienced or new personnel can learn things faster from their teams’ experts.
“As a managing attorney, I have often wondered how to channel all this expertise so that the newbies and relatively inexperienced personnel in our firm can learn things that would otherwise take decades,” Beam adds.
Moreover, by having in-house experts assist in training, you encourage employee collaboration and knowledge sharing. You also get to create a continuous learning environment that helps employees discover new skills and grow through a lifelong learning journey.
Using ready-made courses
Time is money.
And money is a pain area when it comes to recession.
Save time and focus on more crucial business aspects by using pre-built courses. Ready-made course libraries cover a variety of topics you can use for training your employees, in a bite-sized and interactive way that will make training exciting. At the same time, you won’t have to spend hours wondering how you will manage to reuse content or build a course from scratch. It’s a win-win situation.
“We’re moving away from longer recorded sessions to a range of microlearning modules that are easier to digest and less time-consuming (15 minutes or less).”
“To increase engagement, some of these modules will include gamification and tasks to be completed in real-time,” Alex Douville, manager of Onboarding Experience and Altis Academy, at Altis Recruitment, states.
You’ve gotta fight for your right to survive the crisis!
As scary as it might sound, this economic downturn shouldn’t be that hopeless. With proper planning and proactiveness, you will be able to face any pressing challenges that may come your way and manage to keep your business running and thriving.
“I believe that the most important thing to do right now is to keep your eyes on the prize,” Gauri Manglik, CEO and co-founder at Instrumentl, believes.
“Instead of worrying about how things are going to be in six months or a year, I think it’s more important to focus on the big picture: you want your organization to be able to weather the storm of this recession and come out stronger on the other side.”
A recession-proof business is a challenge that is coming your way. The good news is you have a plethora of solutions on your side, like training and development.
Crises leave room for out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, and renovation. By investing in your people and assisting them in growing their potential during these times, you’re most likely to come out stronger on the other side.