One of the most difficult circumstances for an individual is uncertainty. Over the past few years, I’ve had several customers working for companies being divested, merged, or acquiring another. It’s stressful, it’s confusing, it’s frustrating, and most people in this environment, at all levels of the organization, feel helpless. What most people do is NOTHING. They wait. They watch.
Rather than being bootstrapped by organizational uncertainty, there is a different message that we as Talent and Learning professionals are in a unique position to convey that can flip the script.
In uncertain times, the best thing to do is take control. What can we control? Our own personal development. What you want to promote is that they have the opportunity, right here and now, to develop their skills – whether that is in their current role or to prepare them for their next role, wherever that may be.
Even if classroom opportunities are unavailable, there are usually tremendous resources including online learning, learning assets such as tools, templates, and job aids, as well as collaborative learning by working with mentors and managers.
Here’s the message and plan you can share:
Inventory your skills for your current role or the role you want next. If you have access to a competency assessment, do it. Know your strengths and any skill gaps.
If your own organization doesn't offer one, and you're in HR, Talent, or Learning roles, use the ATD Skill Tracker. Other associations provide competency assessments for other roles, such as IRI (innovation leaders), NACHC (healthcare), NAIFA (insurance agents and financial advisors), OD Network (organization development professionals), and PEAK Grantmaking (grant writers/managers).
Build a manageable plan to grow your strengths (be a mentor) and close any gaps. One activity each month. Just one. Document it and put it on your calendar, so you can hold yourself accountable and use it, should you need it, as part of your interviews.
Work your plan by completing each activity and adding/scheduling one more for next month.
Not only does this plan best prepare you for whatever may come, but it puts control back in your hands.
Eric Hoffer says, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists,” a beautiful testament to life-long learning.