It’s clear that the world of HR and recruitment is facing a serious challenge. The developing financial crisis is tightening its grip on wages, inflation is outpacing pay-rises, and the concept of an office culture has become more contentious in the wake of the pandemic. Many businesses are now struggling to reward their employees, to retain their brightest talent, and to attract new candidates through purely financial incentives.
It has led, in part, to what many are calling the ‘Great Resignation’. According to a January 2022 report from Microsoft, 41% of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer in the next year.
Learning and Development (L&D) can pose a fantastic way to halt this mass exodus, and even to turn it around.
It is estimated that by 2025, millennials will represent well over 50% of the global workforce, and – as a pivotal 2016 Gallup report found – millennials care deeply about the opportunity to learn and grow in their job. That means that a good L&D offering is a crucial factor in recruiting and retaining talent from the most dominant sector of the labour market.
In other words, it’s really important.
With the world becoming ever-more technologized and the traditional office splintering into remote and hybrid working, digital has become both a focus of L&D and a key method of delivery.
Recent years have seen a significant shift away from face-to-face training, towards online courses. It is a type of learning that allows for greater accessibility, flexibility and personalisation. Paradoxically, it also allows for greater communal or ‘social’ learning – an experience that seems to be a priority for each generation of workers. According to Linkedin’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report, colleagues who use social learning features watched 30x more hours of learning content than those who don’t.
With the right infrastructure in place, businesses can offer a chance for colleagues to more easily learn together through digital forums, online courses and video call technology.
There is also a huge importance placed on learning digital skills. L&D professional have identified up-skilling and re-skilling as the biggest priority for successful companies. Amazon will invest over $1.2billion in upskilling employees by 2025, whilst PwC have committed $3billion to future-proofing their workforce, with the mantra of “New World, New Skills.”
Of course, these are some of the biggest companies in the world, able make seismic changes rapidly. It can be more difficult for a smaller business to move fast, to create brand-new learning content, and to invest in something that may seem a lesser priority in times of financial pressure.
However, with L&D being such a striking priority for a young, hungry and mobile workforce, choosing not to invest in the right tools and training is a false economy. Great digital L&D helps you stand out from the crowd. It shows that you value your employees and care about their job-satisfaction and their prospects. It’s also a way of increasing productivity, both through improved morale and slicker, more efficient working.
In short, with L&D, now is not the time to stand around and wait.