Sheffield City Region Skills Bank recognises the challenges businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19 and has launched new strands of the programme to help. In this first of a series of blogs for unLTD, the Skills Bank team share the newest support offers

In these times of great uncertainty and change, many businesses are still getting used to new ways of working, communicating with staff, and ensuring colleagues are managing with the new stresses and challenges.

Sheffield City Region’s Skills Bank has recognised the challenges businesses are facing and in May launched two new strands of the programme.

In this first blog, we’ll take a look at one of these new strands, a suite of online training programmes for businesses who want to access training to support them through the challenges of COVID-19, we will also take a look at how Skills Bank’s team of expert advisors can help businesses access the right support.

One of the big challenges that many businesses have been facing is the mental and physical wellbeing of staff. We are living through unprecedented and troubling times and so it is more important than ever that companies play close attention to their staff’s wellbeing.

Courses such as Introduction to Mindfulness at Work, Managing Yourself Through Difficult Times, and Mental Health Awareness – Working in Lockdown are designed for managers and employees who need to know the best way of managing their own mental health, and offering support to others.

During the recent Mental Health Week, research found 44 per cent of people feel more concerned about their mental health than usual, with further research finding that 83 per cent of people felt lockdown had made their pre-existing mental health conditions worse.

More than ever, it is vital that managers, employers and directors check in with staff and colleagues and ensure they are coping. The specially designed courses offered by Skills Bank will guide you and others through the challenges and issues.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and social distancing remains in place, the ability to manage individuals and teams remotely has become even more critical, with a need to keep staff engaged and informed, while accepting that traditional methods like face-to-face are no longer possible.

Managing Staff Remotely brings together the best of traditional management techniques adapted specifically for remote working. The course is designed to enable and equip people with the skills to be more effective leaders when managing teams and individuals without face-to-face interactions.

The other side is the ‘difficult’ conversations with staff that managers need to have from time to time. That’s why Managing Difficult Conversations with Staff Remotely is an essential training course for employers, HR directors and managers, allowing them to approach difficult situations more effectively and with increased confidence.

There are several more courses available and our second blog will look at growing the business and connecting with customers in new ways.

For further help, The Growth Hub’s team of skills and business advisors are working around the clock to help businesses navigate through this crisis – whether that’s with accessing training or understanding which government grant or scheme is the most relevant to their business.

Visit our dedicated Covid-19 webpage for information on what support is available to your business, how to get help applying for government schemes, and what the latest announcements on topics such as furloughing staff means to you.