You’ve seen the news and heard the new buzzword. Workers are dissatisfied with their jobs and are silently protesting. Unlike The Great Resignation, they’re not leaving their employers in search of better development opportunities they’re staying – Quiet Quitting is in full swing.
But what can companies do to counteract this trend? Would we see more workers happily engage with their work if it always feels fresh and exciting?
Research says, yes. According to a recent Work Institute Retention Report, one of the main reasons employees are dissatisfied is a lack of career development. By providing workers with the opportunity to expand their skills, employers can not only energise their best staff but plug skills gaps in their company with existing talent.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t more obvious and critical aspects that need addressing if your workforce is currently resigned to doing the bare minimum. In this instance, you really need to examine your organisation from top to bottom and reassess your policies and practices. Learning and development aren’t a silver bullet antidote to the Quiet Quitting pandemic.
What I am saying though, is as part of a risk mitigation strategy wherein you bolster productivity, providing colleagues with the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow in the workplace is a way of immunising your personnel against Quiet Quitting.
Don’t just pitch these opportunities to existing staff, either. Learning and development is an additional string to your employer value proposition (EVP) bow. Now more than ever, potential recruits are looking for personal growth in their next job. For Gen Z, the next big demographic to join the jobs market, learning and development is a top priority.
Of course, how these initiatives are delivered will depend on your industry, the needs of your staff, and your business goals. Employers should assess their teams’ current skill levels and determine the desired skill level they’d like employees to reach. For example, if you’re a small business rapidly shifting operations to the cloud, your employees’ digital skills are the first thing you’ll want to upgrade.
Make sure you also consult with your employees to figure out what takes their fancy. If an employee is interested in a lateral move within your company, you’ll want to ensure training opportunities outside the scope of their usual job are available too.
To reap the full reward of L&D, programs need to be accessible to everyone. Otherwise, you risk alienating members of staff who wish to develop but don’t have the means to. Employers should implement a combination of social learning (learning on the job, through others), on-demand learning (resources, apps, and e-learning platforms), and individualised learning (from industry experts in person, via podcasts, and in written formats).
For businesses experiencing uncertainty, because of the cost of living crisis, looming recession, and slow down in investment, digital learning is likely to be the safest bet. Fortunately, it’s also one of the cheapest and most impactful ways of delivering learning.
The CIPD 2021 Learning and skills work survey shows businesses with a sophisticated approach to technology in L&D are more likely to have a supportive learning environment. In turn, this inspires a greater desire for learning and development, enhancing the supportive environment further. One big, beautiful circle of learning and engagement!
The benefits of well-designed and delivered L&D are ample for employers and employees alike. When teams are equipped with the skills to take on bigger and bolder challenges – like the ones experienced during the pandemic – leaders can task them with a range of new, exciting opportunities that keeps their role feeling fresh and inspiring. At the same time, employers future-proof their business by cultivating multi-disciplined employees who are more adaptive to change.
With more skills, employees can engage with a broader variety of work. Through learning initiatives, particularly social ones, co-workers can build strong relationships that transcend training and enhance the working culture.
Learning and development offer an inoculation against Quiet Quitting and embrace The Great Upskilling. After all, research shows that a juicy paycheck is no longer the number one priority for employees, especially the younger generation, who prioritise opportunities to develop above the noughts on their salary.
So next time you’re reviewing your L&D approach, set aside a little more budget. It might just be the best investment you make for your current team and future talent.
By Adam Coleman, CEO of Lahinch-based HR software solutions provider HRLocker