As the world is settling into the long-term impacts of the pandemic and dealing with a workforce that consists of a majority of Millennials and Gen Z, organisations are experiencing all-time high attritions resulting from resignations, job switches, and career changes. According to McKinsey, the voluntary quit rate is 25 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. At the current and projected pace of hiring, quitting, and job creation, openings likely won’t return to normal levels for some time.
A few other realities of the world today are that the high cost of replacing an employee has further gone up and as the workforce is now used to remote working or hybrid ways of working, the engagement levels have declined.
Talent Development, therefore, is emerging as the top solution for companies to engage, develop, grow, and retain human capital. Owing to the revenue pressures that organisations are facing in today’s times, the spending on talent development which should be considered as ‘investment’ unfortunately gets labelled as ‘cost.’ This is where in-house learning & developing efforts addressing reskilling and upskilling become essential in solving the talent deficit problem that we are grappling with.
Let us now explore the areas that in-house learning must focus on to be effective in developing talent.
Reliance on technology
Over the past few years, we've witnessed a continual introduction of learning solutions centred around emerging technologies such as AI, virtual reality, augmented reality, and cloud computing. The unveiling of Generative AI platforms has marked an unforeseen disruption.
What drives this sudden surge in technology-based learning solutions? It's aimed at catering to the needs of modern-day learners, who, regardless of their generation, are increasingly adept or becoming so in the digital realm.
Internal learning teams should harness these technologies to provide tailored learning content, bite-sized learning modules, on-demand access, and social learning. This strategy entices learners, allowing organisations to expand their talent pool while effectively managing their investments.
Retention of top guns
Highly skilled and high-performing employees, often dubbed as 'Top Guns,' are consistently in demand. To retain these exceptional talents, organisations must prioritise opportunities for growth and development. Providing a clear career path, assisting in acquiring new skills, and ensuring ongoing engagement and motivation can notably reduce employee turnover. In-house upskilling initiatives demonstrate a commitment to employees' professional growth, fostering a deep sense of loyalty and dedication. Investing in individual learning and growth stands as one of the primary reasons why employees choose to remain with an organisation and contribute to its success.
Getting future ready
To survive and thrive in the BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-Linear, Incomprehensible) world, businesses need to cultivate a culture of innovation. In a competitive labour market and amid a shortage of trained workers, organisations must prioritise the development of the workforce that is going to make its future ready through creative and innovative solutions. Encouraging employees to experiment with new ideas and solutions can lead to significant advancements and In-house learning teams should aim at providing the workforce with skilling opportunities in creativity, and innovation that have elements of design thinking, problem-solving, and risk-taking. A creative and innovative workforce will not only benefit the organisation in meeting the business KPIs, but it will also help it stay ahead in the game and safeguarded from the competition.
No in-house learning can cover everything, and that's okay. Instead, focus on building skill programs that use fun learning techniques like games, working together with colleagues inside and outside the company, and coaching individuals and groups. Games make learning fun and encourage teamwork. Talking to coworkers helps share knowledge, and teaming up with experts outside gives access to great ideas and new ways of thinking.
In conclusion, the expectations from the learning and development function are at an all-time high. The challenge to solve strategic problems around employee retention, productivity enhancement, controlling costs and future-proofing organisations is more than ever. This calls for the learning and development practitioners to come up with digitally enabled creative and innovative solutions for their learners and win the race of skilling – reskilling and upskilling.