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How skilling can help organizations through the ‘Great Resignation phase’

With work culture undergoing a series of changes such as work from home, hybrid, and now back to office, organizations are compelled to evolve to accommodate and nurture the talent. The constantly changing operating models have brought in new patterns of thinking and behavior as talent adapts to the new normal. This has given rise to the latest buzzword in the industry – ‘The Great Resignation’.

What exactly is the Great Resignation?

As per worldwide research, in 2021, a massive number of individuals have willingly quit their jobs. As per the Gartner’s recent report, in this period the attrition rate jumped from 10% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. Further, the gravity of the situation is only expected to intensify in the coming years.

As per a media article, while money is one factor, it is certainly not the only driving force behind the great resignation phase. There are other crucial factors such as greater need for career development and autonomy, acquiring future-ready skillsets, enhancing job roles, and being rewarded with more challenging opportunities. This is where upskilling and reskilling has taken center-stage in enabling organizations to meet the evolving needs of the talent.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, nearly 7 in 10 workers globally are willing to retrain and learn new skills on the job. Yet many of these workers are leaving their current jobs to pursue advancement elsewhere. Clearly, businesses need to relook at their training and skilling initiatives to offer superior avenues to employees for skill development and cultivating new areas of expertise.

Here’s how skilling of the talent empowers organizations to manage the great resignation:

It builds employee loyalty – Post the pandemic, due to multiple shifts in the work culture, employees are often confused about their growth path. As per industry experts, employee turnover will continue at high rates throughout 2022 and possibly beyond. Organizations can take this as an opportunity to innovate new paths for employees’ advancement. They need to invest in employees’ growth and progression charter. Ambitious employees seeking excellence would always be tempted to stay with an organization that is committed to their growth and have a detailed strategy for their career progression.

It reduces hiring and on-boarding costs – It’s a known fact that hiring new employees is always more expensive than retaining the existing talent. Hiring and onboarding a new employee is a costly endeavor for an organization as it involves a lot of hidden costs in terms of training and hand-holding. New employees not only require job-specific training but also extensive briefing to understand a company’s culture, its values and brand ethos. And, despite all of this, they may still not be the best fit for the organization. Whereas reskilling and moving an existing talent to a bigger role is cheaper for the organization as they save on the training costs, and since the existing employee is already familiar with the brand, he/she does not require the ‘grace period’ to get acquainted.

It builds a more versatile workforce – As employees expand their skillsets through reskilling, they become more versatile in their roles. They gain knowledge and perspective about other departments and roles in the organization. In this process, they gain useful insights and holistic view of the organization. Such employees have the potential to become the best problem solvers as they have in-depth knowledge about the company, and hence can bring out fresh ideas and perspective.

It creates future-ready workforce and improves the reputation of an organization – By developing skillsets of the existing workforce, organizations can fulfil the ‘ever-evolving’ needs of their customers. Reskilling not only prepares employees for future challenges but also empowers them with the skillsets they need to be agile and adaptive at the workplace. Further, by taking a keen interest in the training and skilling of employees, organizations can build a positive image, which will make them more attractive in the eyes of both current and potential employees.

In conclusion, by conducting training and skilling initiatives and promoting them as a core benefit, companies can emerge from this period with a highly ‘skilled and resilient’ workforce.



(The author is Mr. Lakshmi Mittra, VP and Head, Clover Academy and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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