In the world of work, the ‘Great Resignation’ is a challenge that many employers are up against. Almost one in four UK workers said that they were planning to change jobs according to research from Randstad UK, while half of UK workers said they were considering leaving their role in search of a better work-life balance, Airwaves data found. Yet, although there are a significant number of workers on the move – possibly looking for employers that can offer greater flexibility, better pay and work-life balance – this means that many are also seeking work too. But, what exactly is it that talent is looking for from employers?
Well, 2018 data from TotalJobs found that 68% of employees have changed jobs due to a lack of learning and development opportunities. Elsewhere, for existing talent, Glint’s Employee Wellbeing Report showed that employees consider opportunities to learn and grow to be the top driver of work culture – data which points towards the growing appetite for L&D at work. With research showcasing employee demand for greater L&D opportunities – and other statistics pointing towards the organisational benefits of having a solid L&D strategy in place – employers and HR should think about how to build a skills-first strategy that can deliver for staff and the business. To help with this, a recent LinkedIn Learning Blog spoke to several experts to find out how to build an L&D strategy that delivers for staff. Read a summary of the main points below.
“Learning is no longer viewed as a separate event that requires you to pause life”
An important aspect for HR to consider is the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on L&D and its consumption. Prior to the pandemic, Bersin by Deloitte data found that a mere one per cent of the working week is all that staff had to focus on training and development. Yet, with the pandemic paving the way for greater flexibility regards working structures, one expert has suggested that this has resulted in more time for other activities to take place, with learning being one example of this.
Gogi Anand, Senior People Science Consultant, from LinkedIn’s People Science Team, said: “Learning is no longer viewed as a separate event that requires you to pause life. Instead, people watch Netflix documentaries to learn about wellbeing, read posts on LinkedIn to guide their careers, listen to Ted Talks about leadership, and consume podcasts to understand financial markets. Easily accessible and readily available content is shifting the way we learn and grow,” Anand added. With the Senior People Science Consultant alluding that easy to consume and on-the-go content is “shifting the way that we learn”, it is important to consider what this means for L&D going forwards and how businesses can deliver for staff too.
When it comes to achieving this, the LinkedIn blog post acknowledged that creating personalised learning paths – that have a range of content formats, lengths and types to appeal to different learning preferences and schedules – could be a good way to achieve this. It could also boost the time spent engaging with L&D offerings. Not only does this provide staff with an offering that better satisfies their needs, but L&D pros are actually witnessing the business benefit of doing so. For example, a survey of L&D professionals at the Learning Technologies exhibition – reported on by eLearningIndustry – found that almost four out of five can see an obvious link between personalised learning and improved employee engagement levels.
Another crucial element is drilling down to find out what makes employees tick. It’s no secret that over the last few years during the pandemic, employees have been re-evaluating what is important to them both in their home and professional lives. For example, previous research from Bright Horizons found that the pandemic had sparked many workers to re-evaluate the importance of family life. As such, the LinkedIn blog post explained that by understanding these employee motivations, L&D is able to offer programmes that acknowledge and align with a staff members interests and passions.
Kate Feeney, Senior People Science Consultant, said: “With the increased opportunity for self-reflection that lockdowns thrust upon employees, we had an opportunity to consider the impact that we want to have, and what skills we would need to achieve our goals.” She went on to say that this is a time for L&D to encourage a human approach to learning and development.
“With the increased opportunity for self-reflection that lockdowns thrust upon employees...”
When it comes to achieving this, the blog post suggested that self-reflection and self-assessment within performance reviews and career growth plans could also be good. In addition to this, the post acknowledged the role that managers can play in L&D. Therefore it said that managers should encourage and support direct reports to take on new responsibilities that will help them to grow. Data has pointed towards the important role that managers play in the growth of staff members. For example, LinkedIn’s ‘The Skills Advantage Report’ found that 91% of employees said its crucial for managers to inspire learning and experimentation.
With these tips in mind, it is also important to note how offering good L&D channels can help the business, whilst also keeping staff happy and engaged. This dovetails with data from Udemy which found that 80% of staff said that L&D opportunities would help them to feel more engaged at work. Additionally, a separate survey from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) – reported on by Shifte Learning – found that firm’s offering comprehensive training programmes generate 218% more income per employee than those who don’t, highlighting the benefit that L&D can bring to employers.
For data and advice to guide this journey, download the full Skills Advantage report.