The forces of The Great Resignation continue to significantly impact employers across the country. In fact, a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021 alone. Perhaps what’s most surprising when talking to learning and development (L&D) professionals is the sense of helplessness they feel as more and more staff resign. L&D professionals are uniquely skilled and positioned to help support employees in a way that can directly combat the Great Resignation.

Too often, L&D tends to be narrowly defined as just “creating the training” and “delivering the training.” In reality, it also encompasses the ability to coach your staff to support them in the ways and at the times they need it most. Here are the top superpowers that your L&D team already has and can use to ease the impact of The Great Resignation.

Superpower No. 1: Coaching for All

Traditionally, and incorrectly, coaching was seen as an exclusive perk for upper-level management and the executive class. This is not the case now, nor should it have been that way in the first place. Coaching should be equitable — a lever designed to help all employees grow.

A previous objection from organizations when it came to coaching was how cumbersome and complicated it was to source and manage multiple coaches offering different types of coaching, and all managed on various platforms. The good news is, this is no longer the case. You can now find robust coaching marketplaces and different formats of coaching all in one. By making coaching available to your entire team, you not only reinforce your commitment to their long-term career paths, but also empower them to excel in ways they couldn’t have without coaching.

Superpower No. 2: Recognize the Good Stuff

Coaching is not siloed from employee recognition. In fact, it is a key component of the employee experience and the two must intertwine. With 36% of employees stating that the top reason for leaving their jobs was lack of recognition, it is clear that employers need to take action. Supporting your team on their career goals and development tells them they are valued. Having specific tactics and tools — such as coaching — ready for them to use shows them that they are valued.

Try offering all employees an assessment to first see where they are in their career journey as well as what they want and their unique goals. Use coaching and upskilling as a means of supporting learners on areas of development as well as a way of recognizing their strengths. Yes, coaching improves employee performance and productivity. But it also helps identify what career paths employees envision for themselves and allows you to address their needs and wants in a timely manner. Remember: 40% of departing employees cite the lack of future career development as a key driver of job dissatisfaction.

Employers show they value employees by investing in coaching for them, focusing on long-term goals rather than short-term tasks and functions. This in turn recognizes the good work employees have already done, while also encouraging team members to continue the good work and continue on their learning journey. This motivates employees to stay on course — and stay with the organization.

Superpower No. 3: Learning in the Flow of Work

L&D teams are key in implementing coaching and upskilling programs successfully and effectively. Putting mandatory training in place that is not relevant to the employee’s aspirations or is not sustainable for them to maintain with their workload is a quick way to ignite turnover. As we’ve witnessed over the past two years, employees value flexibility and want to work when and how they prefer. The same goes for learning.

For coaching to work, it must be timed correctly with work schedules and workloads. It also must meet employees where they are for it to be relevant and beneficial. As employees need uninterrupted time to learn, the biggest gift you can give to your employees is the time to learn — whether it’s an hour a week or a bucket of time each month. This illustrates the priority an organization puts on learning. It must be clear to the team that development is mission critical for the success of the individual and the team as a whole.

Another way to encourage engagement with coaching is to put the employee in the driver’s seat. By providing a learning stipend, you empower the employee to take charge of their learning journey. They can spend the stipend when and how they see fit. This autonomy is great for dispersed workforces and for meeting employees where they are today. Some great use cases for learning stipends are for any recent graduates in your organization, providing them a learning stipend and ongoing coursework allows them to build upon what they learned in school and bridge that with the skills they need today.

 Invest in and Retain Your People

Coaching is often overlooked and undervalued when it comes to dealing with the impact of The Great Resignation. With L&D teams already in place, organizations are already primed to combat turnover. By making learning and development accessible to all employees, by delivering it in a way that makes sense for their personal and work lives, as well as using it as a tool for employee recognition, organizations can begin to retain their valued staff.

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