Don't Neglect Professional Development During the Pandemic

August 5, 2020

 

The need for social distancing has brought many changes to the business world. Many employees are still working from home. Businesses are operating in a different climate with required masks, social distancing, and reduced staff. But you don't have to abandon professional development and continued growth. Virtual presentations provide a safe opportunity to motivate your workforce while growing their skills. 

 

Why Professional Development Matters

In the current crisis, businesses may be hesitant to spend money on conferences and seminars for their employees. Yet, now is the time organizations need a motivated and productive workforce.

 

Professional development helps in the following ways:

•   Improves morale. Employees can feel inspired and get new ideas from virtual presentations and webinars they attend from their desks. When employees that are excited about their work tend to put more effort into it.

 

•   It helps employees to feel valued. Investing in the development of your workforce will show employees they are valued. This will benefit not only with improved productivity but retention of your top talent as well. 

 

•   Continued growth. Growth is an ongoing process. And professional development will help your employees not only to maintain their skills and knowledge, but to excel in them. By emphasizing that your organization values growth, you are creating an environment where improving professional skills is valued. 

 

 

Why your organization needs to continue professional development through the pandemic:

•   Improve motivation. Don't let the current crisis create a stressful workplace for your organization. Help your employees to feel motivated and hopeful during these difficult times.

 

•   Keep your workforce safe. By avoiding large in-person gatherings and holding virtual presentations instead, you can keep your employees safe and productive. 

 

•   Reduce travel. Now is not the time for travel, but you don't have to give up motivational events. You can still conduct conferences and seminars online. The dynamics may have changed, but video technology provides a method for successful online training.

 

•   Reassess the way things are done. Now is the time to think creatively and find ways of moving forward. Organizations that are on top of performing digitally have an advantage among those that are still playing catch-up. Now is the time to evaluate your processes, try out new methods, and consider keeping the ones that fit even when the current crisis has ended.

 

 

Hire a Professional

 

A live event, even conducted remotely, is preferable to simply watching a recorded video. Although you aren't meeting in-person, virtual presentations can be extremely effective. But there are some challenges to presenting virtually. You can't see nonverbal cues from the audience, it's easier to talk over someone during group discussions, and maintaining audience engagement can be demanding.

 

However, there are ways to make a virtual presentation interesting and informative. From using more imagery such as charts, graphs and short videos to keeping things more concise, a professional presenter will know how to keep your audience engaged virtually. To stay competitive, organizations need to adapt to this new normal. When your online presentation has a clear message, is conducted clearly, and includes audience participation, you can be sure your organization's message is going to be heard loud and clear. 

 

The Takeaway

 

The trend of working digitally was already beginning, but the pandemic crisis has accelerated it at a rapid rate. Many experts have suggested that telecommuting may be the new normal. It's time to shift your thinking from how things used to be, to how your organization can continue to thrive in today's changing landscape. 

 

 

 

Feel free to comment or add more useful information and examples.

Motivational Speaker, Ian J. Humphrey is available for virtual keynote presentations, workshops and breakout sessions for your next event. If your school, business, or organization would like more information on availability, please email us today.

 

 

 

 

 

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