Employers Must Ensure the Workforce is Ready for a New Wave of Disruption

Career Climbers / 11th August 2020

Bussinesses must prepare for a second wave of disruption and distancing as Covid-19 rates are predicted to rise, warns Questionmark, the online assessment provider.

Many employers successfully moved to home working quickly, earlier in the year.  However, because there is now more time to prepare, both customers and employees will expect less disruption in the event of a second wave.   

Employers must ask six crucial questions when preparing:

  1. What do people need to succeed?  Which staff are best placed to cope with the rapidly changing business environment?
  2. Is the workforce ready to make the most of technology?  Do staff have the skills they really need to work from home?
  3. What worked well?  Which innovations and adjustments were successful earlier in the year?  Which staff have the right attitude to pioneer change? 
  4. Are working practices secure?  Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise.  Does the workforce know how to avoid them when working from home?
  5. Have expectations been explicitly set?  There is a need to test ‘work from home’ attitudes among the workforce. 
  6. How can we deliver training and development remotely? The longer the disruption goes on, the more important it will be to help staff with training and development. 

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark said: “Employers need a clear plan to guide the workforce through the next stage of what has already been a difficult year.  Business strategy must evolve to meet changing conditions.  Assessing the skills, attitudes and aptitude of the workforce can provide the essential data to make good people-decisions.  It can ensure the workforce is as prepared as possible for the next wave of change and disruption that is likely to accompany more restrictive social distancing measures.”

To make effective decisions about managing a second wave, employers must start with robust information about the workforce.  Testing and assessing the skills, attitudes and aptitude of the workforce can reveal which workers are prepared for the challenges that may lie ahead.  Assessments can identify:

  1. the strongest performers
  2. which employees have the aptitude to drive innovation
  3. where technology and security weaknesses exist
  4. the different attitudes of employees to working from home

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