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Managing Employee Training and Performance Amidst “The Great Resignation”

Human resources departments are looking to retain and reinvigorate top talent in the midst of “The Great Resignation,” a phenomenon seeing a record number of workers leaving their jobs or changing careers completely.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of May 2021, close to 4 million people had quit their jobs while 9-plus million jobs were available.  Driven by economic changes spurred by COVID-19, PwC’s 2021 U.S. Pulse Survey says 65% of employees are looking for a new job and 88% of executives are seeing higher turnover.  

The specific causes?  According to multiple reports, the number one factor is burnout followed closely by a lack of job growth and the desire for more workplace flexibility.  There is a greater focus among employees on personal and professional satisfaction, mental health and wellbeing, and greater engagement within a hybrid work environment.  

Inevitably, employees and employers are engaged in a dance of shifting priorities and realities post-pandemic.  On the flip side, as we’ve reported before, this means new roles, skill sets and even career paths.  And that requires, ultimately, new opportunities for training, new metrics for measuring success, and understanding of job performance and effectiveness. To build and optimize a modern workplace amidst the current employee exodus, HR executives have to be prepared to redefine performance, success and the training delivery required for both.

We begin with skills transformation. A 2020 Deloitte report on human capital trends showed that 53% of companies polled saw an upcoming need for their employees to develop completely new skills and capabilities in the next three years. While some of that slack can be picked up by hiring people with those skills already developed, the reality of most workplaces is that recruitment cannot keep up with rapid economic transformation and innovation. To stay current, most companies will have to support their existing workforce to develop those skills themselves. At Workday, this process is referred to internally as “creating talent,” in direct contrast to “acquiring talent.”
While this might sound like a quick and easy solution, helping current employees to learn new skills has its own set of challenges. Many employees, especially those who have spent years specializing in one area may not be interested in or will be slow to adopt new ways of approaching their work; others may see opportunities elsewhere to grow, and still others will decide to change career paths completely.  Coaching platforms, like Viveka’s, allow employees and leadership alike to acquire expertise across fields – from executive leadership to mindfulness. This is a powerful tool for helping team members grow, professionally and personally, all without having to bring in full-time outside help to develop new skills and methods. By investing in human potential already on the payroll, companies can increase the relevancy, productivity and capability of existing teams that already have an effective operating structure in place.

But coaching requires an understanding of what skills need to be developed, too. Corporate talent and learning analyst Josh Bersin has identified a variety of AI-assisted tools that allow employees to test their current skills and find deficiencies that could become a problem as their workplace changes. One platform even identifies the potential student’s learning styles to best apply specific coaching methods that would best suit their skill development.

All of these tools and investment are effective only if the employee comes away empowered to use their new skills to also help move their teams forward. This process of “restructuring” or “re-architecting” the way people work requires a level of open-mindedness among leadership who may not fully grasp the value of the outcomes and success metrics of their newly-trained staff. Strong and visionary leaders will instead give their teams room to breathe initially as they flex their newfound strengths and produce different sets of results — these may be in the form of targeted, purposeful, but less rapid growth or more efficient, remote work with the support of automation and AI.  

In the final analysis, HR executives are having to shift from a recruitment focus alone to a more effective L&D focus.  With a properly trained, managed, and monitored internal team, they can more effectively integrate the new skills that will be required moving forward and provide a more welcoming, sustainable environment for new hires.  Thus, eventually, stemming “the great resignation.”

Viveka is now actively partnering with HR departments to help them accelerate their L&D activities with V-Corp, our automated ecosystem that allows HR executives to train, manage and track performance in a plug-and-play platform.   To learn more, check out our video, our corporate brochure and then request a demo.