After a pretty, (dare we say), unprecedented year, the industry has seen some highs and lows. With the announcement of lockdowns and ‘work from home’, teams had to quickly create new systems and processes to stay connected and employers had to refocus energy to keep up with the day-to-day activities. This has impacted talent management across the UK, and now businesses need to get used to this ‘new normal’, and readdress their staff development and culture strategies to reflect this.

    Staff training can be tough at the best of times - finding the time and skill set to create, deliver and maintain training is quite the challenge (we’ve been there!). And now in a post-COVID world, it is even more crucial to motivate staff, make them feel valued and part of the business (especially with the remote working culture that lockdown has created), and to develop high performing, compliant teams.

    We often find that businesses can be victims of their own success when it comes to staffing and training. They work hard to build their business, and then (what feels like overnight!) there’s too many clients and not enough hours in the day and not enough capacity internally to service them all. Often there are individuals with untapped potential in the team, eager to take on new roles, but lack the skills, knowledge and experience to step up – which is where effective talent management and staff training is essential

    Training or upskilling your team not only helps to address any skills gaps you have to build internal capacity and resources, but it also comes with lots of other benefits too, such as:

    • Empowers employees to take ownership of their own career progression, giving them confidence to go for promotions, take on new projects and be a more effective member of the team.
    • Creates a more loyal and motivated workforce – a recent study by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if they invest in their training. Staff who feel valued and invested in by the company will stick around longer, work with discretionary effort and are likely do it with a smile on their face 
    • Upskill your team – recruiting for new roles externally can be undoubtedly expensive and time consuming, but if you have existing employees who can build the skills and knowledge to take on new roles, then not only will you avoid expensive recruitment costs, but you’ll likely retain staff longer too. 
    • Increase in company profits – investing in employee training and development can lead to a rise in company profits, as increased staff retention also lea ds to higher productivity – so it’s a win, win!

    How has staff training shifted since COVID?  

    Digital and virtual learning programmes were already on the rise before COVID-19 struck, and smart companies were already questioning traditional approaches to training and developing their people. Forward thinking managers knew you couldn’t simply push the pause button on critical workplace learning, and training providers such as The Art of Finance, have responded and adapted to this by creating more online training solutions. Change can naturally be a bit daunting as business make the switch from face-to-face to online learning, but ultimately it comes with many benefits for your team:

    • Flexibility – for many, the freedom to study in the comfort of their own home/office is just one of the many appeals to independent online learning. And even as we move into a more ‘normal’ way of life post-COVID – the modern world is a juggling act for many, so the ability to invest in their professional development without impacting other areas of their lives remains incredibly attractive. 
    • Communication and engagement online platforms allow learners to stay connected, ask questions and learn through much more interactive formats. 
    • Options - it allows people to access a much wider range of courses and programs that would have been limited with traditional face-to-face sessions due to travel/diary clashes, etc. 
    • Cost savings – with no travel expenses to factor in and online courses generally priced lower that physical events, it can help to make your training budget go further with more long-term reward to the business. 
    • Overview of your team’s training and competency – with the acceleration of technology in the training sector, bespoke platforms are available that allow managers to have oversight of their teams training progress and pass rates. This streamlined approach helps save time and takes the stress out of staff training. The Art of Finance’s Business Licence does exactly this, and enables you to complete the full Certification and Fit & Proper processes, in one easy to manage platform.

    What should you be doing?  

    As we continue to welcome (and actively encourage!) younger, more tech-savvy individuals into the finance world, having a structured and engaging staff training programme, with digital/online options and that supports career progression is crucial to your recruitment and retention plans, and something we just can’t shout about loud enough!  

    Simply putting people-development on hold until we ‘get back to normal’ is not an option, because we’re creating a new normal and it’s in your best interest to involve your staff in this journey, to make them feel motivated and empowered – trust us! While it’s not entirely clear what the new ‘way of working’ will look like in this post-COVID world, we know that companies should be asking the difficult questions about how best to invest in their people and develop internal resources, including skills to lead change and stay resilient in difficult situations (but let’s hope we won’t need to face another worldwide pandemic anytime soon!). 

    One more thing… 

    As part of our ongoing commitment to bridge the advice gap by creating training solutions for financial services, we’d love to know your thoughts when it comes to training your team. The good, the bad and the ugly we want to know what challenges you face and what you think is missing to best develop your staff. Click here to complete our short 2-minute survey and receive 20% off any of our online courses.

    For more information about The Art of Finance, including our new Business Licences (a dedicated platform to easily deliver and coordinate your team’s training and competency activity) check out our website 

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