Move over the Great Resignation, the Great Re-evaluation is taking place

move over the great resignation, the great re evaluation is taking place

I recently shared with you that during August, I would be writing about supporting employees who are also students. In a Forbes 2022 article written by Mark C. Perna, it highlighted that 55% of employees reported they need additional training to perform better in their roles. Additionally, 76% are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training.

Stabilising employee retention remains a challenge in the shadow of the Great Resignation.  According to a Glassdoor 2021 article, employees believe they have more power in their relationships with their employers. 65% of employees believe they can leverage this control to their benefit.

This played out in 2022 in what is referred to as the Great Re-Evaluation. In the CIPD HR Practices in Ireland 2022 report employees are reconsidering what they want from life. They  are reevaluating or changing their expectations and as a result, employers are having to react.  

Re-engagement and Reintegration on the rise?

The report states that re-engagement and reintegration of employees has moved to the centre stage.  Employee engagement has become a higher priority at 30% when compared to 22% in the 2021 report. I wonder about the remaining 70% – how do they view employee engagement as a matter of urgency?

The report continues by saying the “market for skilled workers has become very competitive”. 85% of respondents are experiencing shortages and are having to adapt recruitment strategies, exploring not only a wider geographical area and a more diverse external talent pool but “70% are looking more at developing talent in house”.

“70% looking to develop talent in-house!?” – that is a significant investment. One, I am sure organisations would want to protect and ensure they can yield a return on their investment.  

What developing in-house talents means 

Having worked in a previous role as administrator of applications for further education, I appreciate that education is an expensive outlay but the rewards that are recouped are worthy of this investment. Organisations are poised to gain staff who:

  • Are more knowledgeable and are now linked to a wider peer network beyond their own workplace.
  • Have had exposure to the latest research, new ways of thinking and working.
  • Better understanding of new technology and its application in their work environment.
  • Have a renewed sense of energy and loyalty.
  • Will advocate to others to consider their own professional development.
  • Career succession and employee development is easier to plan for and manage.

Something to Bring to Your Attention

 

According to a joint new study by SHRM and talent lms, employees now see a vibrant learning & development (L&D) culture as a key part of what makes a company a great place to work in 2022—and beyond.

If organisations are willing to provide access to or part-fund training, they will want to ensure their employee turned student is successful. By taking a proactive approach to supporting their employee-student, this can be achieved, however, it is worth asking some questions of the organisation to ensure it is best placed to deliver any promise to its employee-student – and vice versa.

Let’s Consider These Points

  1. How can the study demands of the course be managed effectively to reduce the risk of stress – because there will be stress at some point!
  2. How can the risk of absenteeism due to stress be limited?
  3. Will the productivity of the employee-student be impacted?
  4. Will energies spent on studying mean an increase in presenteeism? 
  5.  How can the organisation support the well-being of their employee-student?
  6.  Is it possible to assign a mentor or coach to your employee-student to enhance their learning experience?
  7.  When completed, how can the organisation capitalise on the employee’s new learning?
    Will the organisation be open to change, new ways of thinking / working?
    Will the employee be given flexibility to try new things?
  8. What can be done to retain the valuable employee and their new found knowledge?
  9. How can their learning and development be implemented to support career progression, succession planning in a way that is meaningful for the employee and adds value to the organisation.

Today’s employees are constantly seeking new opportunities and prioritising education. 

image of a student-employee

Providing education opportunities is mutually beneficial to employers and their workers.

The benefits are plenty, and from a recruitive perspective, is a competitive advantage.

In summary, supporting your employee’s education will boost knowledge and productivity in the workplace.  

New opportunities for employees can lead to improved satisfaction, increase confidence in on-the-job skills, in turn leading to higher retention rates/lower absenteeism.

Watch as you elevate your business agility, fix any weaknesses within the company and improve your ROI by implementing this effective strategy.

Let’s Wrap Up

As a final note, here are some tips for consideration.  Whether you are the Employer or Employee, support is the key to mutual success!

Tips for you – the Employer

  • Ensure a Study Leave policy exists within your organisation, so potential employee-student will have clarity on what supports are available to them e.g. days off for study, exams or other accommodations.
  • Is the policy inclusive and allow for training to be accessed in a variety of formats to suit the diverse needs of all staff.
  • Is additional assistive technology required to support an employee with a disability?
  • Allowances – acknowledge that there might be days when your employee-student might be struggling because it is coming up to exam time – they may be feeling a little stressed!
  • Recognition of the extra workload they are managing – talk to your employee-student about time management, encourage them to raise concerns they may have as early as possible to minimise risk of stress or overwhelm.
  • Be Flexible.  Think of this as a point in your employee’s life cycle when they might need a temporary accommodation to get them through their studies, e.g. not scheduling late meetings on days when classes need to be attended.
  • Recognise their achievement when the studies are over and talk about how their new found learning can be introduced into the workplace, across departments or multiple work-sites.

Tips for you – the Employee

    • If you are thinking of signing up for a course, talk to your TL about the programme, what your expected time commitments are, what you hope to learn from it and bring back to the workplace.
    • Talk to family members or people you spend most of your out of office hours with – let them know of your intentions to study and time commitments – you are not going to be as available to them so they need to know!
    •  Acknowledge that there might be days when you might be struggling because it is coming up to exam time – you might be feeling a little stressed so let your TL know.
    • Recognise the extra workload you are managing – talk to your TL about time management, raise concerns you may have as early as possible.
  • Consider commute times on days you may have to attend lectures or if on-line, where is the best place to be – not at the kitchen table when everyone is trying to get dinner.
  • Be KIND to yourself.  It does not matter if you have taken on a short or long term course, there are extra demands on your time, now more than ever you need to be aware of your need to eat properly, exercise regularly (even if it is only stretch breaks) and sleep.

Good luck to any of your employees who might be embarking on a return to further education.  It is a busy time, but with my tips for you above, I trust it will be a success for you all.

Please do share this article if you know of somebody who would benefit from reading it. Let me know your thoughts on the above – what did you find most interesting ?  Has it been helpful? Email [email protected] !

Sources:

CIPD HR Practices in Ireland Survey 2022

Glassdoor – Employers Support-professional-development

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markcperna/2022/04/12/why-learning–development-is-now-a-competitive-differentiator-and-how-to-get-on-board/?sh=4ef8110630ff