The chase for talent in the business world is changing. Increasingly, employees have more power over when, and for whom, they work – a development which, in many ways, has been sparked by pandemic working practices and ‘The Great Resignation’. We commissioned an independent body of research to learn more about this months ago, and back then, we uncovered that a staggering two in five UK workers alone were ready to leave their jobs in 2022. The latest figures suggest that the labor market is still going strong, with 4.3 million people quitting their jobs in January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Clearly, this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
You might be wondering, why are so many workers looking to pastures new? The reasons are wide-ranging – while some people may be looking for a new opportunity to ensure that they have more flexibility in the long-term, others will be in search of new roles as a result of the lack of development opportunities they have had access to throughout (and prior to) the pandemic. Another vital factor to consider is that workers may feel undervalued and underpaid for the skills they have, as well as feeling that they are not able to put their real talents to good use in their roles.
So, to retain valued employees, and to ensure that your business is getting the most out of talented workers – what can businesses do?
Carry out a skills audit – with data at the helm
Firstly, your organization should consider carrying out a skills audit. Without this, it’s impossible to gain proper perspective on the full extent of the skills available within your business. In short, by regularly assessing the knowledge that already exists within your workforce, businesses should be able to identify where key employee skills gaps lie and develop the careers of existing employees. If organizations still feel that they need to push ahead with recruitment plans, a skills audit can ensure that they are doing so with a full view of what skills and qualities are required going forward.
The benefits of doing this are two-fold. Firstly, investing in pre-existing employees is likely to significantly improve employee retention as this allows valued employees to build on their greatest talents and gain more job satisfaction – after all, research has shown that 94% of employees would stay with a company if there was greater investment in the right learning. Beyond this, carrying out an audit also gives firms the opportunity to lower the costs and time-burdens associated with the recruitment process – a win-win for all involved.
With this in mind, learning and development (L&D) managers will want to conduct an organization-wide audit with a data-driven approach to determine where their strengths lie, and where they could do with some improvement. Putting data at the helm of your audit will ensure that your business decisions – whether this is driving the recruitment process or investing thousands of dollars into employee development programs in the areas that your business is lacking – are all properly substantiated.
To ensure that the insights collected are accurate, it would be wise to take a three-pronged approach – one that utilizes a traditional questionnaire format to gage employee skillsets, in addition to one-on-one sessions with training managers, and the use of learning management systems (LMS) powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The latter option, which would fully integrate training with the audit process, can capture unique data analytics – this allows managers to identify the online courses that individuals are turning and engaging with the most, as well as their progress and aptitude for certain tasks. While some employees might be diligent workers who excel at the more technical aspects of their roles, they may struggle when it comes to management skills or delivering strong pitches, so it is good to know the lay of the land.
Year-round training should be a priority
Finally, it’s important to re-state the fact training shouldn’t just be a one-off to tick off contractual requirements or compliance exercises. It should be an important part of all businesses, in order to keep things running smoothly and ensure long-term satisfaction. With the right solutions at your side, there is no reason why the Great Resignation should cause any negative disruptions for your business. You can sign up to our newsletter here to learn more about how we’re stepping up to the task.