A recession is on the horizon, but the ‘Great Resignation’ is showing no signs of slowing down. The latest data found that 4.2 million US workers quit voluntarily in August – this is only slightly lower than the peak of 4.5 million in March 2022.
A leading cause of the ‘Great Resignation’ is a lack of career development opportunities. Ultimately, workers don’t just want a job, they want a career. As a result, they expect their employers to support their personal and professional development.
Thankfully, despite the economic pressures they themselves are facing, many employers are on board. Research by City & Guilds found that 96% of HR and learning and development (L&D) leaders expect their training budgets to remain the same or increase in the next financial year.
The study of 600 leaders also found that 65% employers are aware of employee expectations, and therefore are producing tailor-made in-house training programs that are focused on technical and role-specific skills.
City & Guilds managing director David Phillips tells UNLEASH: “It’s really encouraging to see that so many employers are investing heavily in learning and development at a time when businesses are having to tighten their belts.
“This demonstrates that there’s a growing recognition of the critical role that training and upskilling can make to employee retention, business productivity and overall resilience.”
The problem is that while a lot of this training is bespoke, it is missing the mark with workers. 99% of respondents said they had seen ineffective or failed in-house training programs within the last five years, while 54% said they had seen three or more in-house programs fail in the last three years.
Phillips adds: “It’s certainly concerning that nearly all businesses surveyed reported examples where training is failing to deliver on objectives over the past five years.
“After all, while it’s great that employers are planning to invest in their training programs, there’s a real danger that this important investment is not achieving maximum impact.”
How to do L&D right
The City & Guilds’ report digs into what employers must do differently to avoid producing ineffective training programs, which, in turn, cause low productivity, low morale, and ultimately resignations – all of which is incredibly costly for employers.
According to Phillips, “the most important part to get right is evaluation: you need to ensure that you’re clear on objectives for the training and that you’re then consistently measuring against them.
“Getting this right will also mean that you can effectively learn from mistakes and identify where further improvements and developments are needed.”
The second thing is to focus on learner experience – make sure that the program is fun and engaging, and that it is accessible to all no matter if they are remote or office-based.
In addition, L&D teams need to make sure people are being invited to relevant training; make sure the requirements for enrollment are right so that only employee who will actually benefit from the training are in attendance.
“If you want training to also support employee engagement and retention, it’s also worth considering how you recognize achievement. By giving employees the opportunity to work towards and achieve a recognizable credential, this can help to drive both participation and engagement,” notes Phillips.
Currently employers are missing the mark on this and it’s impacting their attrition rate; City & Guilds’ report found that 71% of employers are not giving workers the opportunity to be externally recognized for their learning achievements.
“Finally, the most successful L&D programs are those that have the backing of senior leaders. Not only from an investment perspective, but also for planning – ensuring that training is aligned to the overall strategic goals and the needs of the business,” concludes Phillips.
“As an added bonus, when employees witness their seniors’ investment and involvement in their development, this can boost morale and loyalty, and inspire a sense of pride and confidence in their work.”
Are you ready to make a change and reap the benefits?
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