A new year always provides the opportunity to start afresh, plan for success, and retire old ways. It is also a case for learning, either as an individual, manager, executive, or anyone responsible for their organisation’s learning function. If you have not already started planning, this period provides you with the chance to look forward with the aspiration of the year, and strategically plan how to build competence and achieve mastery in alignment with defined goals.


The work of the L&D professional has extensively evolved to that of a curator – search, design, aggregation to develop a learning marketplace with opportunities for employees to gain and apply requisite skills in the workplace. For some organisations, working remotely and virtual collaboration is almost becoming a culture while others are still struggling with making it work.


To enable your organisation entrench the virtual work culture, we have put together some competencies/training you can focus on this first month of the year. It is to help turbocharge your teams and organisations for success.


1. Remote Working

We are no soothsayers, but it does seem like the first part of the year might still be influenced by Covid-19 with the second wave raging, thus extending the opportunity for organisations to build/enhance their remote working strategy. Traditionally, remote working presents its unique challenges and adds additional daily complexity, requiring virtual collaboration, resilience, and stress management. Learning interventions on virtual meetings and etiquettes, Living, Learning and Working at Home, organising your digital workspace (and others) will help teams become effective and productive.


2. Virtual Team Management/Collaboration

As an extension of remote working competencies, managers need a fresh approach to digital tools and technology to drive success in a virtual workforce. Conversely, team members need to collaborate effectively and ensure they are responsive and accountable to their colleagues for success.


3. Performance Planning, monitoring and management

Depending on your organisation’s appraisal cycle, some employees are either holding performance (appraisal) discussions or planning their KPIs and goals for the new year. Help your employees learn how to set SMART goals and become intentional with their performance even in a virtual age.  It is important to equip managers with the know-how to develop employee performance plans and monitor ‘ongoing’ employee performance.


4. Financial Planning/Budgeting/Cost management

If this has not happened already, most managers/executives are rounding up their 2021 budgets. However, it is one thing to budget and another to be financially aware and cost-conscious for budget optimisation. It is no longer a C-level discussion; team members also need to develop these skills to help the organisation succeed financially, collectively. Learning resources on basic budgeting for non-financial professionals, finance for non-finance professionals, controlling cost and cash flow, negotiation and bargaining skills will help your organisation ‘disrupt financially’.


5. Digital Transformation

This is the King of the Jungle as we live in the digital age. Unfortunately, while the late adopters are just coming to the table, some early adopters are still struggling with the meal. Leaders in this age also require a unique set of skills to lead a culture of digital execution and innovation. Help your organisation onboard this train with digital tools and technology awareness, artificial intelligence, block-chain, data analytics and other best practices for digital transformation. You can also partner with managers in sponsoring learning across digital initiatives and new technology implementation to ensure everyone is up to the task for full adoption and utilisation.


6. Supporting Remote Learning

One of the ways to increase employee engagement and loyalty is paying attention to their overall wellbeing and helping them adapt to the new way of work. With some schools operating virtually, employees working from home, supporting child’s/wards learning can present significant challenges. ‘Gift’ your employees learning opportunities to develop their tenacity and strategies to manage this intricate work-life challenge.


These are just a few of those skills we strongly feel L&D and Executives need to begin the year. They come with both low-hanging fruits for the year and long-term sustainability benefits for the business.


Digital alternatives make an obvious business case for execution with our current social realities and the general need for talent agility. Off-the-Shelf interactive e-learning courses or virtual instructor-led courses are available for quick implementation, while you can also consider physical sessions for delivery within safety guidelines.


pcl. offers all the options above, which can be tailored to any organisation’s size with effective follow-up and value-engineering. Speak to a learning experience consultant to discuss your needs and let’s chart out a path for you. 


Written by:

Olayemi Olatunji

Head of Delivery, Digital Learning