If the Great Resignation taught us one thing, it’s this: People are no longer prepared to do jobs they hate.
Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in employee turnover rates in many organisations as people look for roles that are more fulfilling and aligned with their career aspirations and personal needs.
In new research from 360Learning, UK professionals who had recently quit their jobs or were thinking about it cited lack of fulfillment, burnout, and limited internal mobility and growth opportunities as key reasons for their departure.
This is a wake-up call for employers everywhere. With the UK hitting record-breaking numbers for the number of vacant roles to fill, employers will need to show people they are willing to provide flexibility and invest in growth opportunities to engage and retain talent.
Luckily, there are several ways to overcome these retention challenges and 360Learning and HiBob recently teamed up to showcase what they are. Read on to learn why fostering peer-driven collaborative learning, upskilling from within, developing an employer brand, and focusing on motivating and engaging employees are all key to employee retention.
1. Foster peer-driven collaborative learning to retain talent
Peer-driven collaborative learning with a focus on improving employee performance helps retain people. The benefits of collaborative learning are plentiful, not least because the approach is about peers sharing and learning from each other through creating courses rather than turning to off-the-shelf content or generic learning.
With peer-driven learning, professionals are able to self-direct their own learning towards their career development and work goals. L&D teams can foster a culture of peer learning by allowing people to self-direct their development and declare their own learning needs.
Through peer learning, people can gain new perspectives, which is key to supporting inclusivity in your organisation. The experience of peer learning offers employees an opportunity to interact and build meaningful connections in turn promoting teamwork and building stronger company culture.
So, how do you get started with peer-driven collaborative learning?
Start by understanding the skills gap and the challenges your people face which prevent them from performing to the best of their ability. Then, leverage the subject-matter expertise you have to fill those skills gaps.
2. Focus on upskilling to increase employee satisfaction and close skill gaps
Upskilling from within helps to bridge the skills gap in your organisation with institutional knowledge, making these types of programmes one of the best solutions for organisations that want to retain their talent.
During the pandemic, employee upskilling and reskilling became a short-term strategy for organisations to fuel and sustain growth. But now, businesses have seen that there are strong benefits to investing in professional development programmes long-term, improving reliability, performance, and productivity.
What’s an example of an upskilling program in practice? For instance, you may find that individual contributors who are moving into managerial roles are struggling to make the transition. In this case, you would identify managers with a great track record to create interactive workshops so they can share their knowledge and provide tips to the new managers.
It is evident that the future of work is now, and upskilling is an integral tool for retaining and developing your people. As your organisation considers opportunities to internally upskill your workforce, empowerment, engagement, and planning are critical. Listen to your people’s needs and act on them to position yourself for future success.
3. Develop a strong employer brand
Employer branding is thinking about how your organisation is perceived by current and potential employees. It is the value proposition that goes beyond salaries, benefits, and development to express the emotional and inspirational essence of why people choose to remain at your company. Your employer brand creates a common language amongst your employees and potential employees.
Although your employer brand will bring onboard new talent, it needs to go the extra mile in order to retain them. While recruitment plays an influential role in nurturing culture and ensuring right-fit talent is brought on board, reinforcing values that your new hires can resonate with will retain them.
To effectively build a strong employer brand, start by speaking to existing employees. Encouraging your current team members to build the brand will reinforce and constantly remind them of why they want to work where they do. In addition, consistently communicating the right values will help your new hires and existing team members feel more aligned to your company.
As we’ve already discussed, investing in training and professional development will undoubtedly help retain a high affinity of employees. Be sure to speak with your people about the growth opportunities you as an employer have created as this will also contribute to fostering effective employer branding.
Branding will take time and effort, especially for new organisations, to develop an employer brand that is authentic to your company and strikes the right balance between reality and aspiration. With a clear development pathway, it is easy to build a company with purpose not only for your employees but also for customers of your brand.
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4. Focus on motivating and engaging your people to reduce quit rates
High levels of employee engagement promote talent retention, foster loyalty, and improve organisational performance and stakeholder value. A successful employee engagement strategy makes use of a range of people management as well as learning and development practices. Today, employers do not hold all the cards, and professionals now feel more empowered when taking employers into account in various aspects of the business.
While it is obvious that unmotivated people leave, motivation has traditionally been linked to salaries. But a new notion has stirred the conversation in which employee motivation now goes beyond just a salary. With the changing workplace models, employers now have a smaller window to source talent and meet the demands of today’s workforce. The window to motivate professionals is slowly closing, and it will not take long before people leave, if employers do not implement engagement strategies.
In today’s market, candidates often engage with numerous companies, and often have multiple options to consider before accepting a job offer. One of the biggest considerations now is company culture, with as much as 80 percent of candidates contemplating culture before accepting an offer letter. The hybrid work model has even made it easier for people to engage other companies from the comfort of their homes. With the culture of instant gratification, today’s professionals are quicker to take their skill sets where they are appreciated.
Organisations should adopt a culture of conversing with their people to understand what they want from work and act on any issues raised. Giving your people an open line of communication will give them the assurance that you care about them and can meet their needs.
Furthermore, help alleviate the human interaction challenges that come from working remotely, particularly if you have a combination of remote-only and office staff, so people don’t feel left out or lonely. For example, you can encourage face-to-face meetings on a particular day in the month where remote employees can interact and discuss any issues or concerns they may have to ensure they feel they still belong to the team.
The best single thing you can do? Invest in your people.
L&D and HR teams have a key role in employee retention. Together with senior leadership, they need to look into the demands of the current workforce and implement strategies that will not only motivate and retain talent but also encourage business growth.
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From Freddie Campbell
Freddie is a content strategist with a strong passion for engaging and building trust with audiences through thought-provoking content. She loves family time, city breaks, and curling up with a good book.