Capacity Building Opportunities In Times Of Crisis
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Capacity Building Opportunities

This article is written primarily for organizations operating in countries where there is a lockdown situation and employees are not allowed to come to work. Human character is essentially a mental and spiritual muscle that you can't see, but you experience it in yourself and others when resilience is required during tough times. In fact, people of significant character see tough times as character-building. Stories abound of people of physically modest stature helping seemingly big, strong people through tough times. It is about character, not size. Similarly, organizational capacity does have a financial/physical asset component, but, more importantly, it has a character component. Whilst a strong balance sheet will definitely assist organizations to weather storms, it is the character aspect of organizational capacity that will enable your organization to emerge stronger and more resilient.

Consider leveraging your LMS to engage in these 5 capacity building exercises:

1. Reskill And Upskill Your Employees

This is obvious and does not require discussion other than to say that unless it is carefully planned and coordinated, it will not happen. Your employees will welcome the opportunity to refresh and enhance their skills. This is a constructive activity that stimulates all of those employees forced to stay at home. It will be good for their mental health and your organization will benefit significantly from this increased knowledge and skill capacity in times to come.

2. Create New Microlearning Programs And Upgrade Existing Ones

Engage with your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and challenge them in this regard. They will relish the challenge and stimulation whilst they are being forced to work remotely. Again, your organization will benefit from the increase and improved learning capacity that will reside in your organization's LMS.

3. Create New Micro-Support Programs And Upgrade Existing Ones

Again engage with your SMEs to improve and create new programs that will support employees in completing tasks, without them leaving the workflow. This is a huge opportunity to get your SMEs to turn their intellectual wisdom into organizational capacity that will benefit relevant employees now and in the future.

4. Engage In Organizational Development Activities

LMSs have the capability of running survey-guided organizational development exercises. This is a unique opportunity to engage staff to apply their minds, whilst they are removed from the workplace, to how the workplace can be made more effective and healthier. If your organization does not have a systematic, holistic, inclusive survey-guided approach to organizational development, then develop one or buy one. Times like these offer unprecedented opportunities to engage in serious organizational development that will ensure that your organization emerges stronger and healthier.

5. Engage In Practices To Build The Effectiveness Of Teams Working Remotely

Many employees around the world, who have never worked remotely, are currently being forced to—and, they are struggling. Help them to come to grips with it. It will be a new reality going forward. This is the subject of an article on its own. Organizational capacity can be significantly enhanced through building a sense of community in which your staff communicates with each other and helps each other cope in these difficult and uncertain times, as well as to come to grips with working remotely. Use technology to open new and creative communication and support channels and build simple rules of engagement that will facilitate ways of working remotely that work for everyone.

In times like this, it is not about your organizational culture, it is about the sense of community that you create. It is about finding ways to reinforce that your employees still have a sense of belonging and a feeling that they have influence over things that matter. It is about helping them to feel that they can still do work that is worthy and worthwhile. In this way, you will build a stronger emotional connection between employees and the organization. It is this positive emotional connectivity between employees and with the organization that forms the foundation of the organizational character that underpins organizational capacity. It is an emotional connectivity that facilitates the levels of trust and communication that enable people to work together from remote locations.

In Summary

The fast-forward button has been pushed on the reality of people working remotely. Let's use this opportunity to embrace it.