Let’s Talk Business: Lisa Blakey, of Encompass Training

16th Jun

Many business owners and managing directors will be asking themselves the following questions: Is my business ready to return? Do my employees have the necessary skills? Can we adapt to the level of agility required in the current economy?
The idea that education is essential to developing new skills or retraining is not new. Therefore, I don’t need to go into detail about the fact that employees are proven to be physically and mentally healthier and more productive with a business that invests in their development as opposed to a business that does not. Adaptability, problem-solving, change management and rightsizing are huge factors that businesses need to recover from an economic crisis, particularly the one that is already happening.
Boris Johnson has admitted that despite the actions taken by the Government and their numerous relief schemes, the economy will still take a hit, and there will be many job losses. It is already happening for companies such as British Airways, which could have to let go up to one-third of its staff, as well as job cuts announced by Bentley, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce.
With job losses seen as an inevitable consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to ask the important question of how can we tackle this? The Prime Minister suggested one way to address this is that is an apprenticeship guarantee, and although this commitment is welcome, and notwithstanding the potential numbers involved, we are forced to consider how organisations can balance taking on a considerable number of apprentices while potentially losing huge numbers of their existing employees. Not to mention business owners also face trying to keep all of this on the moral side of “acceptable” to maintain positive public relations and corporate social responsibility.
I am not saying that apprenticeships won’t play an important role in post-pandemic society, because they absolutely will, but I strongly believe that future success post-pandemic will rely heavily on the agility of a business and those who lead that business. Changes and conflicts will be inevitable, and a lot of hard decisions will need to be made – but does your business have the necessary infrastructure and staffing capabilities to put a step-by-step plan for post-pandemic success?
Covid-19 has resulted in schools and business closures across the world, and because of this, further education providers like us have had to adapt our methods of delivering our programmes to survive. Online and distance learning programmes are currently at the forefront of this adaptation, and many are wondering whether the adoption of this will persist post-pandemic. I believe the continuation of online and distance programmes in areas such as project management and change management will be essential to bolster businesses by a) training new employees how to be adaptable and agile; and b) supporting existing staff to cope with new projects and manage change; thus providing them with an army of dedicated, quick-thinking, and qualified employees.
The achievements that Encompass has experienced throughout this pandemic are proof that our development programmes can be delivered to a high standard – safely and cost-effectively. We don’t have all the answers, but what we do have are highly skilled business consultants who can collaborate with your organisation, to make sure that you have that all-important plan in place to return to work prepared for success.
Like it or not, many businesses have still had to pay the apprenticeship levy. At a time where people can ill afford to throw money away, why lose the funds your business has already paid for? Enrolling your employees on to a project management or leadership and management programme will not just make sure that your money is used to invest in your business growth, it will also place one of these highly skilled business consultants into your organisation for free so that we can work with you to make sure that you can hit the ground running when you return.
My point here is that preparation is key. Organisations who get “business ready” will set themselves aside as forerunners for victory and show their employees that they are committed to beating the economic crisis and coming out the other side of it stronger than ever. So as a business, what are you doing to ensure that you’re “business ready”?
Encompass offers training from apprenticeships to standalone awards/certificates/diplomas, to accredited short courses. Whatever your training needs, there is something in our service offer to suit you. We offer programmes in:

Project management
Change management
Recruitment and selection
Leadership and management
Procurement and supply chain
Finance and accountancy

And so many more, these programmes can also be delivered virtually with numerous funding options. Ultimately, the Government must continue to support businesses whether that is through the furlough scheme, grants or an apprenticeship commitment, but responsibility also lies with the business to make sure that they are in the best position they can be to return safely and with impact.
Get in touch with Encompass today to discuss how you would like to get “business ready” by emailing us at [email protected].

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