By now, we all know that 2020 taught the business community many valuable lessons about the need to plan for and adapt to unexpected circumstances. Not surprisingly, the need for a solid Business Continuity Plan sits at the top of the list of lessons learned. My colleague Cesar Guzman recently authored a blog post on this very subject.
Appropriately, the majority of discussions regarding Business Continuity Planning have focused on ensuring that mission-critical functions such as customer service, technology, finance, and operations are not disrupted, no matter the circumstance.
However, now that companies have had nearly a year to adapt to our new normal, I believe it’s time to replicate this commitment to traditional Business Continuity Planning across functions that may not necessarily meet the traditional definition of mission-critical…but still play a critical role in a company’s success.
With more than 30 years of employee and leadership development experience, it should come as no surprise that I see employee training as a perfect candidate to build a continuity plan around.
In fact, I urge companies to strongly consider implementing an Employee Training Continuity Plan.
First of all, there is no shortage of research that proves the importance of properly and continuously training employees. From employee retention and company profitability to increased productivity and efficiency, it’s clear that training makes good business sense. This article, The True Cost of Not Providing Employee Training, does a great job of summarizing statistics to support this.
Secondly, many companies have had successful training programs in place for years that rely on one method of delivery, most commonly in a live/in-person setting. After being forced to shift to a remote workforce virtually overnight, I suspect that the training process suffered dramatically for many of these companies.
If you are one of these companies, use this as an opportunity to adapt to our current environment and plan for potential future uncertainty. It’s clearer than ever that companies must be able to able to provide training through multiple delivery formats, whether it’s traditional face-to-face classroom, mobile learning, online learning or micro-learning, to name a few.
In the customer service and contact center industry, the need for training continuity has been heightened due to the convergence of increased call center volume and evolving customer expectations.
Research suggests that inbound call volume to contact centers has increased by several hundred percent since the start of Covid. But understandably, today’s customer still expects timely answers from knowledgeable representatives who are capable of getting them all the information they require and putting their mind at ease, rather than being bounced from department to department before finally finding the person who can solve their specific issue.
This has given further rise to the need to train Universal Agents who are cross-trained to handle virtually any request that comes in. This is an important consideration to ensure that a Training Continuity Plan lines up with an overall customer engagement strategy, and we will cover this topic in more detail in a future blog post.
As you develop your Employee Training Continuity Plan, ensure that the process can be sustained as an ongoing venture no matter the environment and that the skills taught line up with current consumer preferences. I’m a firm believer that training needs to be a living and changing venture, never static. Only then will it have the appropriate impact on your organization and support a process of continuous improvement and learning.
In a previous blog post, I shared some tips on how to convert face-to-face training to virtual training, and explained how Servicing Solutions was able to keep our invaluable employee training process moving forward and continue hiring and successfully deploying agents in the midst of a pandemic.
For more information about Servicing Solutions’ unwavering commitment to employee training and development, click here.