Welcome to The Pivot Pod, where we'll figure out together what's next for small business. Hosted by Frances Cook, there's a new expert on each episode. Today it's how to help your staff get the new skills they'll need to adapt to the post-Covid 19 world.
While it's all very well to say businesses need to be ready to change after Covid-19, any business is only as good as its staff.
So as businesses switch modes and change plans for the new normal, many employees will need to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities.
Listen to the podcast episode here:
There's also the issue of New Zealand's closed borders and the uncertainty about when they'll be able to reopen.
On The Pivot Pod, Competenz chief executive Fiona Kingsford said New Zealand has previously relied a lot on migrant labour, we would now need to invest in making sure locals were up to the job.
That's good news for anyone considering a career change, or wanting to move up within their current industry.
But while businesses will be looking to boost their current workforce, if employees aren't supported through any changes it could quickly become stressful and hold back the changes the business is trying to make.
Kingsford said the Government's support for apprenticeships and training was a good start.
"Fundamentally, every single business is going to have to adapt, post-Covid.
"Prior to Covid, every single one of our industries was facing a skills shortage, they were screaming out for new people to come into their industries.
"If we're going to rebuild our economy, then focusing on manufacturing, producing at home, and the engineers that make all of those things work, they're going to be really critical in the future."
Kingsford said it was key for employers to make sure staff felt heard, and that they knew the future direction of the company and had a say in it.
If that happened, employees were far more likely to embrace any necessary changes and be willing to see them as opportunities rather than an imposition.
She recommended employers start the upskilling conversation with employees by talking about the types of jobs it could open up for them in the future.
If formal training was needed for new roles, she said short courses or "micro-credentials" could get people up to speed in new areas, rather than entirely retraining. It was both faster and less intimidating for employees who were hesitant.
"I think breaking the training down into those small modules, what we refer to as micro-credentials, this isn't years worth of study that people will have to perform.
"If you break down training and study into small bite-sized chunks for people, and hopefully skill them up into roles they find more rewarding, I think that becomes an exciting opportunity for people to rethink what they're doing"
"We no longer have one career in our lives. There's research out there that says people have 15, 20 jobs over their lifetime now."
Listen to the full interview on The Pivot Pod episode above.