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This Working Life: Forget the Great Resignation, move on to the Great Upskilling

If you want to boost staff morale and bolster dwindling numbers, start providing colleagues with the opportunity to learn, develop and grow in the workplace

You’ve seen the news and heard the warnings. Employees are dissatisfied with their jobs and threaten to leave their employers in search of better development opportunities.

But what if those learning and development opportunities could all be found at your company, so your existing employees didn’t have to leave? Would we see more workers staying in their old jobs because their old jobs always feel fresh and exciting?

Research says yes, so now would be a good time to audit your learning and development strategy.

According to the Work Institute’s 2020 retention report, the main reason employees leave their company is a lack of career development. By providing workers with the opportunity to expand their skills, employers can not only hold onto their best staff but plug the skills gaps within their company with existing talent.

If you want to bolster your dwindling numbers, start providing colleagues with the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow in the workplace.

Don’t just pitch these opportunities to existing staff, either. Learning and development is an additional string to your employer value proposition 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 level 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 career path they wish to follow. 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 learning and development, programmes need to be accessible to everyone. Otherwise, you risk alienating members of staff who wish to develop but don’t have the means to.

Staff being trained

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 still experiencing pandemic uncertainty, digital learning is likely to be the safest bet. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most impactful ways of delivering learning.

Businesses with a sophisticated approach to technology in learning and development 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. The benefits of well-designed and delivered learning and development are plentiful 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 able to adapt to change. With more skills, employees have the capacity to 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 a route out of the great resignation, and towards the great upskilling. A big paycheque is no longer the number one priority for employees, especially the younger generation, who prioritise opportunities to develop above the noughts on their salary. While the digital skills gap threatens employers which can’t source the talent they need externally, businesses that focus on learning and development initiatives are able to source these skills from inside the (home) office.

So, the next time you’re reviewing your learning and development approach, set aside a little more budget. It might just be the best investment you make for your current team and future talent.

Adam Coleman is chief executive at HRLocker, a HR people management software solution company

Original Article by Business Post

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This Working Life: Forget the Great Resignation, move on to the Great Upskilling was last modified: March 24th, 2022 by Ronan McDonnell

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