Are you watching employees vote with their feet? Are you seeing those you thought would never leave – put in their notice? Perhaps it is time to ask yourself if your organization is doing all it can to prevent high turnover.

Today, learning and development (L&D) leaders can be the deciding factor to whether a worker leaves the organization or stays long term. Providing developmental activities to employees at all levels can help combat The Great Resignation and retain a workforce. For this to happen, L&D programs must align with business objectives to help employees learn new skills and develop their existing ones. This is key to connecting learners to the organization’s mission, enabling them to better contribute their talents and feel more engaged in their role. Without these types of investments, employees may continue to feel uninspired by the company’s offerings, leading to mass quits like The Great Resignation.

As employees continue to quit their jobs in hopes of a better opportunity, here are some ways you can turn The Great Resignation into “The Great Retention.”

The Skills Gap

According to a recent report by McKinsey, 87% of global companies know they have or will have skills gaps within a few years. So, this begs the question: How are you preparing your employees for a future in which job security is nonexistent?

Today, the top three reasons people continue quitting their jobs in the U.S. are uncaring leaders, unsustainable work performance expectations and lack of career advancement. With millions of workers needing to be reskilled, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of L&D opportunities can help retain your workforce.

Reskilling in A Hybrid Workplace

People are always in search of growth and opportunity. That’s especially true in a hybrid workplace where new skills and knowledge are needed to be successful. L&D programs aren’t just about training; they help people build their personal learning networks (PLNs). When your employees build their PLN and increase their professional knowledge, they can move beyond complacency in their careers.

So, why do employees seek learning and growth opportunities in times of a crisis? It might seem strange that employees want to develop their skills sets and learn new things during unprecedented changes. After all, they’re more than likely already stretched thin with a heavy workload. However, in times of a crisis, new changes can highlight new skills that a business may need to operate. And that’s what makes L&D so critical.

In recent research, employees indicated that career growth and job security were even more important than financial stability. As the world changed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, so did the world of work. When companies undergo rapid changes, it typically requires employees to build new skills sets to mold their organization into a winning team with a competitive edge to also attract new talent. Having a plan to upskill and reskill existing employees into new roles can be the cornerstone of any transformation strategy.

3 Strategies for Upskilling and Reskilling

1. Offer Internal Job Opportunities

If your organization is facing high turnover, and recruitment is at a stalemate, don’t overlook internal candidates.  Employees frustrated in their current role can be reskilled for another department or position within the company. It could be just what they need to stick around.

With the opportunity to reskill and develop new skills set, employees can continue to align their career development within the organization. This allows them to find their passion and calling without having to leave the company to find a new position aligned to their career goals.

Reskilling employees for upward mobility also provide the chance for more seasoned employees to mentor new hires and help acclimate them to their role. This dynamic can build connectivity amongst team members, thus promoting engagement, a huge factor in retention.

2. Promote Learning in the Flow of Work

Learning and work are two sides of the same coin — they’re inseparable. The problem is that in traditional workplaces, learning is limited to training sessions and workshops outside of work hours. This separation can cause employees to miss the connection between learning and their work. That’s why we need to provide more opportunities for learning on the job to keep employees engaged.

Effective learning and development (L&D) programs can offer impactful ways to engage employees in learning opportunities directly related to their day-to-day responsibilities. Without doing so, learners can get burned out trying to apply what they’re learning to their role.

3. Invest in Leadership Development

Happy employees are more productive and motivated. According to a Gallup report, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. This knowledge has inspired many workers to switch companies so that they can work for managers who encourage a positive work environment.

Your company needs future leaders now more than ever before. This means you have to invest in leadership development programs that help foster talent within the organization. Effective leadership training should include formal training, like coaching, workshops and on-the-job training from other leaders in the organization who already have experience dealing with people management issues.

In the end, it is about matching your employees’ motivations with the organization’s. Investing in your your workers’ desire to reskill or upskill is a key indicator that you understand the needs of both your employees and the business. Offer your workforce career development and learning opportunities to keep them motivated as contributors to the company’s success.

It’s all about perception. Employers must understand why their employees are leaving and what teams are losing talent the most. Understanding that your employees are looking for industry best practices in their careers will help exceed expectation and retain top talent.