Feature Article: Top 5 tips to future proof your RTO in 2022

With the new year already upon us and the pandemic enduring both in business and the wider community now is the perfect time to set your sights on the year ahead and refresh your RTOs direction.  Here are a few tips to help you plan your RTOs priorities and objectives that will sustain your business in 2022.

Preparing for the unexpected:

Recent events have taught businesses not to get complacent with COVID-19 normality. As seen lately everything can change once a new strain emerges or case numbers start rising, which highlights why RTOs should get comfortable with the uncomfortable. RTOs must be constantly prepared for change, whether that means rapidly adjusting your delivery due to restrictions, increasing your online presence, or continuing to service your clients during uncertain times. RTOs can strengthen their resilience by implementing strategic and operational plans for 2022 that account for the unexpected.

Develop and refine your COVID-19 crisis strategies:

If you haven’t already developed a Business Continuity Plan for your RTO now is the time. Have you got a clear strategy or operational direction on how to handle on-going restrictions, lockdowns or new COVID-19 situations? Having a clear plan in place that ensures your RTO continues to operate in the event of a crisis or other disruptive event is essential these days. The plan ensures that your staff and assets are protected, and your RTO is able to function quickly in the event of a crisis. If you have an existing plan in place, ensure you review it now to reflect the current pandemic state and seek feedback from your staff on its effectiveness.

Planning RTO strategies and goals: 

Business confidence is shaky at present and economic recovery uncertain surrounding the impact from the Omicron strain coupled with concerns over the inflation and interest outlook. A lot of industries that RTO’s service are operating in ‘survival mode’ and, as such, are reluctant to invest in skills training or professional development due to their conservative spending habits and cashflow management priorities right now. Your RTO planning for 2022 should provide a system for aligning priorities that prevent COVID-19 impacting your strategies and business imperatives. 

Take care of your talent:

RTO staff have endured many challenges during COVID-19 with job uncertainty at an all-time high, work hours extended, and workloads increasing. As such, many are feeling fatigued and burned out, with too few holidays due to border restrictions. Now is the time to invest in your talent. RTOs should consider the importance of staff mental health and well-being this year. With social isolation and anxiety running high, it’s important for workplaces to create environment’s that have a strong emphasis on emotional care and wellbeing to negate the threat of the Great Resignation. With many people facing mental health issues, due to COVID-19, it’s important for businesses to genuinely show care and concern for their staff.

Embrace technology:

An important goal RTOs should consider includes ensuring your organisation stays up to date with the latest technology, applications and programs relevant to your operations. One of the biggest lessons from the pandemic has been the importance of having data and applications accessible in the cloud. RTOs who continue to resist implementing remote work options will continue to struggle during the on-going COVID disruptions and risk further impacts to business sustainability and longevity. Your customers also expect you to have up-to-date online practices, to ensure your RTO operates efficiently. The start of the year is a good time to do an IT systems audit in your RTO to see where you could be saving time and/or money by using better programs or processes. Reach out to VET suppliers for advice and assess what your competitors are using. While it may cost you initially, the return on investment in the long run will create smoother, faster, and easier processes that will  improve your business exponentially. Remote work is likely here to stay and now is as good a time as any to begin your transformation especially for back-end systems.

Other feature articles:

Planning essentials for RTOs

How your RTO self-assurance systems can help drive revenue and business growth

RTO financial viability in a crisis

A business continuity plan should form part of your overall business plan

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/news-events/news/webinar-recording-available-moving-and-staying-online

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/covid-19-restrictions/current

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-06/australia-businesses-forced-covid-closure-as-cases-climb/100740866

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-07/covid-food-supply-chain-woes-hit-hospitality-businesses/100742134

https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/how-badly-is-australia-missing-international-students-20211026-p593f8.html