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    From Turnover To Opportunity

    The pandemic taught us some painful lessons. Employers learned that the status quo could change unexpectedly in any industry. It also ushered in what experts are calling the Great Resignation. The numbers are staggering. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 47 million Americans left their jobs in 2021. Of those employed, over 60 percent are looking elsewhere for work.

    Perhaps a reprioritization or turnover shock is a more accurate way to view the Great Resignation. Individuals are reassessing their lives and seriously considering the drawbacks of their current situations. A Pew Research Center survey provides some valuable insights into what motivates employees to leave their jobs. Low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and disrespect were the top reasons given.

    Inadequate pay is a valid concern, given soaring inflation. However, the others point to a need for managers and business owners to undergo a radical paradigm shift. It’s critical to meet the changing demands of their workforce. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers ( PwC) survey, nearly 90 percent of employers struggle with higher attrition rates with an average onboarding cost of about $4,000.

    Employee retention is a high priority for businesses to protect their bottom line.

    Invest in Your Employees

    The findings of the 2021 Gallup State of the Workplace Report provide employers an inside look at what it can take to reduce their turnover rate. One of the key takeaway messages is professional development, a benefit that 45 percent of millennials rank as very important for job satisfaction. It’s worth noting that over 66 percent of employees would consider quitting because of a lack of training or upskilling opportunities.

    According to The Industry Report, employers invested $92.3 billion in training in 2021, up over 10 percent from 2020. Organizations realize its importance not just for the business. It is also an excellent way to improve employee engagement and productivity.

    Employee Development Programs & Upskilling

    Successful employee development programs depend on highly skilled managers becoming effective coaches and mentors through leadership development. It also involves an accurate assessment of the current value of team members to identify skill gaps to benefit employees and employers. It’s an excellent way to define career goals for individual workers.

    Training and retraining opportunities could help protect organizations from high turnover while providing employee development opportunities. However, investing in upskilling, employee education, and leadership development programs aren’t just perks to increase worker retention. It’s critical to the long-term survival of an organization. It behooves employers to incorporate employee learning into their regular workflows.

    Another mutually beneficial strategy is succession planning. This process allows businesses to identify and cultivate future leaders by focusing on industry-specific skills and company-specific knowledge. Organizations benefit by retaining their top talent and building for growth. It’s worth noting that outside leaders don’t always bring value and a strong foundation for your company.

    Upskilling offers organizations an excellent way to plan for their future and provide selected employees a defined career path with advancement a top goal. It’s also an effective way to attract new talent with educational development that many jobseekers highly value. These programs could be the boon employers need when faced with labor shortages and a competitive job market.

    Employee Development & Improved Well-Being

    Another critical aspect of employee growth is leaders’ investment in the well-being of their staff. The pandemic's unprecedented events left unintended consequences, including a severe toll on mental health. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), nearly 80 percent of individuals reported significant stress caused by COVID-19 and its aftermath.

    It’s no surprise that these issues would surface in the workplace. Workers want their employers to not only understand the importance of their mental and well-being but to offer support and flexibility around maintaining and improving them. A survey by Amdocs found that 61 percent named health and well-being the top programs they wanted from their organizations. Interestingly, training and career development ranked second at 56 percent.

    These intangibles provide benefits for individuals that go beyond the workplace. Perhaps they are a by-product of the Great Resignation and evidence of the paradigm shift in people's decisions for their lives and employment. It’s no wonder that emotional intelligence is a highly desirable skill in leaders who can bring soft skills, such as active listening and empathy to the table. Emotional intelligence goes hand-in-hand with a healthy, wellness-focused, and satisfying company culture.

    Conclusion

    The Great Resignation was long in the works before the pandemic. The pandemic simply acted as a catalyst and gave individuals the time to reflect on their priorities and find that sweet spot for work-life balance. The result is a workforce with new priorities, and employees focused on their well-being with a greater desire to learn, which fuels employee satisfaction and better job performance. It also allows employers to nurture their workers while fulfilling a need, which means all parties benefit in the long run.

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