The pandemic has allowed employees a rare opportunity to reevaluate what they want in a workplace. They’re no longer satisfied with being a “worker bee” for any organization, and are demanding to be heard, valued, and developed. If they can’t get that at their current job, they’re out the door.
As such, businesses are being forced to recognize these developments and either transition with them or potentially lose good employees and, perhaps, even their business. Times are changing fast, and companies must be able to change with them if they want to continue to thrive.
A staggering two-thirds of people leave a company due to a lack of career development opportunities. Clearly, employees want the chance to grow and improve themselves.
Now, human resources departments are transitioning once more to accommodate the current changing times and the benefits of doing so are becoming clear. “Upskilling is a longer-term investment in augmenting the knowledge, skills, and competencies that help employees advance their careers. When employees are offered and encouraged to take advantage of upskilling opportunities for their personal or professional growth, people metrics, such as employee engagement and retention, also go up,” said Susan R. Vroman and Tiffany Danko in their recent Harvard Business Review article.
Incorporating these investments in people is something that should be moved on sooner rather than later, as the Great Resignation continues on, if not permanently damage, many organizations that are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Addressing employee needs has become urgent to keep businesses running smoothly.
“When employees are offered and encouraged to take advantage of upskilling opportunities for their personal or professional growth, people metrics, such as employee engagement and retention, also go up."
Knowing what, exactly, to include in these investments can be confusing. Especially because this is a new role managers need to take on and they likely need their own development support in order to answer the call.
In the past, managers were selected and promoted based on their ability to manage and evaluate the performance of employees who could carry out a particular set of tasks. However, within the last few years, HR executives began to hire managers who were poised to be great coaches and teachers. Why? Because employees were getting frustrated with the old management style and began looking for a new type of manager.
Queue the pandemic, which brought about not just a search for a new type of manager, but a demand for it. This new manager would have not only skills to lead, but would also be able to be supportive, encouraging, empathetic, and be able to build genuine relationships with their employees.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), “a 2021 Gartner survey of 4,787 global employees assessing the evolving role of management, only 47% of managers are prepared for this future role. The most effective managers of the future will be those who build fundamentally different relationships with their employees.”
Technology will herald a new era of management - one in which “it’s less important to see what employees are doing and more important to understand how they feel.”
The article goes on to say that by 2024, new technologies could have the “potential to replace as much as 69% of the tasks historically done by managers, such as assigning work and pushing along productivity.” That being the case, these technologies will herald a new era of management - one in which “it’s less important to see what employees are doing and more important to understand how they feel.”
Traditionally, senior leaders and upper management have received the most amount of leadership training toward the end of their careers, as opposed to during their early years when they need it most. But investing in employees at the beginning of their careers shows them that you’re committed to them and to their future with your organization. This, in turn, reaps potential benefits for the company, such as improved productivity, reduction in turnover, and attracting new talent.
Investing in employees at the beginning of their careers shows them that you’re committed to them and to their future with your organization.
When employee, as well as leadership, development becomes part of your benefits package, it shows potential hires that you are a competitive company that is not only looking to hire people who are willing to work hard for you, but that you, as an employer, care about the people who work for you.
Investing in your people is, and will continue to be, a priority for business leaders as they choose to attract and retain talented, loyal employees. When your employees are excited about your business and know that you are invested in them, they will be motivated to do their best. This feeling will ultimately be conveyed to customers and clients, which should, in turn, inspire them to want to do business with your company.
In the long run, it’s a win on every level.