There are many factors which can affect the outlook for a business. Some of these are controllable, such as the product or service being sold. Others, such as economic and demographic factors are difficult to forecast let alone manage.
Two topical examples are the impact of the US presidential election and the ongoing implications of Brexit. Both campaigns had long, drawn-out and often very critical and derisive elements. Both campaigns have divided national opinion. Both campaigns had surprising results which defied predictions and expectations. Both campaigns have created a significant amount of business turbulence and business uncertainty around the world.
So how should businesses react, what should they do? What is the best way to react to uncertainty? eLearning can help in some obvious and some not so obvious ways.
Office IT Skills
Word, Powerpoint and Excel. It may seem strange to suggest developing these as a good cost-effective reaction to uncertainty. However, improving understanding as well as developing learning tips and shortcuts should help employees become more efficient and more productive. Greater confidence in day-to-day tasks helps with employee resilience, motivation and ability to manage change.
Business Forecasting and Risk Management
Alternatively, there are more in-depth courses available, designed to replicate the feel of a longer workshop, but again with financial and time advantages versus classroom training. Examples might include Management of Risk, Project Management, Finance for Non-Finance Managers and so on. Such courses can help develop a broader understanding among employees enabling them to better plan for and manage business uncertainty.
Some soft skills, such as sales and marketing knowledge can have direct impact in mitigating the effects of difficult market conditions. Sales (and marketing) skills development can often require more direct classroom or on-the-job interaction such as role play. However, eLearning courses can provide a great platform to introduce new ideas, techniques and best practices as well as encourage employees to actually take the time to think and plan.
Learning a new language may not seem an obvious response to business adversity or uncertainty, but for companies dealing with Europe, perhaps Brexit provides a timely stimulus. A basic level of introductory conversation demonstrates a willingness and commitment which could be appealing to potential customers and provide them with some reassurance and the company with a point of difference.
Often less thought about, business uncertainty can also have a direct impact on employee satisfaction, engagement and commitment. When people are unsettled, this can affect their concentration and output. There is an extensive selection of HR eLearning focused on managing employees, grievances and so on. However, there is also eLearning focused on change management and coping with business uncertainty available for companies to use in managing unexpected business situations and change.