3 Ways to Combat the Great Resignation Through Learning
If you’ve been following the headlines in the HR world recently (or observing what’s going on within your own company), you’re probably all too familiar with the Great Resignation. The basic concept is that the pandemic has led employees worldwide to reevaluate their priorities, and as a result, they’re leaving their current roles en masse.
The numbers back this up. In a survey from Indeed, 74% of recruiters, managers, and decision-makers surveyed say the Great Resignation is a “real and present” issue. And according to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, the top reasons employees are leaving include burnout, lack of advancement opportunities, and compensation.
So what can you do to keep your employees engaged and motivated to stay at your company? Heads of learning from Klarna, 3M, and Capital One discussed this topic in a recent Udemy Business Forward session, Combatting the Great Resignation with Robust Learning Programs. Here are three strategies they discussed.
1. Make internal mobility simple and easy
Employees today are often bombarded with messages from outside recruiters, and companies are turning to sign-on bonuses and other shiny ways to lure people away from their current roles. So how can you compete?
Filip Lam, Global Head of Learning & Development at Klarna, says the key to retention is to help employees develop new skills and find new roles within your company. “We made it super easy to change jobs internally,” he says. Klarna set up emails that automatically go to both employees and their managers once they’ve been with the company for 18 months. The emails include a link to Klarna’s internal job site so employees can learn more about different roles. “You’re basically nudging people to think about opportunities inside the company,” says Filip. Providing ongoing opportunities for employees to learn and grow is an essential part of any retention strategy.
2. Invest in leadership development
Managers heavily influence employee engagement. Gallup found that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Dissatisfaction with managers has been a driving force behind the Great Resignation. “This is a mass acceleration of what we’re seeing coming out of the pandemic and the transition from the third to the fourth industrial age. People are looking for a different deal, and part of that different deal is better leaders,” says Samuel Ragsdale, Head of Enterprise Learning at 3M.
Samuel says today’s leaders need to fulfill three main criteria: they need to model the culture, actively coach and develop employees, and show they care. Not feeling valued by their manager is one of the top three reasons employees cite for leaving their workplace in 2021. Investing in leadership development can give your managers the skills that will help them successfully engage and retain their teams.
3. Build a feedback culture
Learning doesn’t just happen in formal training sessions. It can — and should — be a part of everyday work. In fact, workers have come to expect regular feedback as a way to supercharge their careers. “Employees are looking for constant development, feedback, and opportunities to advance their careers,” says Samuel.
Keep in mind that in a remote setting, feedback can often get forgotten. “It’s important to give more and intentionally seek it from others,” writes Shelley Osborne, former VP of Learning at Udemy. Shelley suggests framing feedback as “fuel” and making it an essential part of how you work with your team.
Make learning your secret weapon against the Great Resignation
The Great Resignation is here. And it’s causing employees to question what matters most. Eighty-five percent of employers agree that the pandemic has altered beliefs about what constitutes a good job. But this presents a real opportunity for learning and development professionals. Creating ways to learn and grow in the workplace — like the strategies discussed here — can reaffirm employees’ commitment to your organization and minimize the impact of the Great Resignation.
Looking for more actionable tips from HR and L&D leaders? Check out the rest of the content from Forward, available on-demand here.