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​The COVID-19 pandemic changed how and when HR professionals delivered training and development in 2020. Employees needed new skills and information, fast. Here are seven articles readers turned to for help in working through these challenges as well as for navigating career development in general.


No. 1 Helping Displaced Workers Get a Fresh Start

Layoffs and furloughs swept through workplaces as businesses were forced to close during the pandemic. Some employers turned to outskilling—company-sponsored training that can help employees find another job, or a new career, with a new organization.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing Employees]

No. 2 Changing Workforce
Training During a Pandemic

The spread of the coronavirus challenged organizations to rethink their approach to training as governments mandated travel bans, telework and social distancing. Simply turning a lecture into PowerPoint slides on Webex is ineffective—and Millennials hate it, said Jim E. Guilkey, instructional design expert. "The key is to use innovative, effective instructional design to maximize learning," he said.

[HR Magazine article: Lessons Learned in Moving Learning and Leadership Coaching Online]

No. 3 COVID-19 Changes
Internships, Apprenticeships

Travel restrictions and social-distancing mandates prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic made organizations change their approach to apprenticeships and internships, which typically involve hands-on, in-person participation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers saw a steady push toward moving internships online or limiting them in size and duration. Some organizations considered micro-internships that condensed a 10-to-12-week internship into a one-to-two-week experience. 

[SHRM Online article: Employers Engage Interns with Zoom Lunch-and-Learns, Speed Mentoring]

No. 4 How Are Companies Handling Performance Reviews During the Coronavirus Pandemic? 

Everyone faced new stress and pressure this year. That left human resource professionals wondering if and when it was appropriate to conduct performance reviews. It's OK to delay formal performance reviews, according to experts, but don't skip regular check-ins. 

[HR Magazine article: Conducting Better Performance Reviews During the Pandemic]

No. 5 Managers Must Delegate Effectively to Develop Employees

Effective managers know what responsibilities to delegate to allow themselves time to plan; to collaborate with others in the organization; and to monitor the performance of their employees, making sure to give them adequate feedback and development opportunities. But rather than merely assigning tasks, real delegation is assigning responsibility for outcomes along with the authority to do what is needed to produce the desired results.

[SHRM Online article: Delegate Effectively]

No. 6 Viewpoint: Your First 90
Days as a New Manager

The first 90 days is long enough to offer meaningful indicators of how a new manager is doing. Some new managers do not realize the impact of their early words and actions, and inadvertently send colleagues the wrong message. Others focus on a new strategy before earning trust and support from the team. Still others expend too much energy on the wrong projects and neglect the priorities of stakeholders.

[SHRM Online article: 5 Keys to Effective People Management]

No. 7 HR Business Partner
or HR Director?

Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, explains in this career advice column the difference between an HR business partner and an HR director, and the roles the two jobs play in supporting organizational success.

[SHRMStore: Your Personal Career Coach: Real-World Experiences for Early Career Success

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