This post was written by our Director of Behavioural Learning and Head of Perform Division, Roger Ayres.
I am old enough to remember the effects of not just one but several recessions. So with the benefit of experience, here is an important piece of advice… now is absolutely the right time to invest in training and development, particularly for your managers who will play a crucial role in weathering the storm ahead.
Many are predicting we are in for the deepest and longest recession in living memory and usually when money gets tight, training is an obvious place to scale back spending. But in my experience, this short-term thinking fails to recognise that developing your managers ensures the future success of your organisation.
First of all, you are going to need them to demonstrate high levels of resilience, so they are able to lead others, even when the going gets tough. You will want people at the helm who demonstrate a style of leadership which keeps morale high and with an ability to help others manage what could be considerable change.
You will want to send a message to your staff and the world that you are serious about retaining the best talent and that you are prepared to invest in the right people. Even in a recession, people will start to feel less committed and look around for other roles if they sense that their career is stalling.
For many though, enforced change can be an opportunity to step up and step across departmental boundaries, displaying high levels of agility and a willingness to be flexible when it comes to taking on additional responsibilities. To enable them to succeed at this, they will require enhanced people management skills and the ability to manage the most difficult conversations.
They will be under pressure and still need to perform. Therefore, the ability to enhance their self-awareness and Personal Presence, develop a broad range of Influencing strategies and build a climate for success will be more crucial than ever.
The training needs of your organisation will, of course, vary to others. But as a starting point, I would suggest focusing on the skills of deep empathy, listening and resilience so that your people are supported through difficult times.
And if I can leave you with a final thought, when we eventually emerge from recession what do you want your organisation to look like? You should focus not just getting to the other side but what investment you need to make now to ensure you will have the people and skills to succeed during the upturn.
Roger Ayres is the Director of Behavioural Learning at Me Learning and provides a wide range of leadership training for organisations, both in person and virtual.
Contact Roger to find out more – email firstname.lastname@example.org