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The great resignation: how training can help

Author: ICAEW

Published: 27 Apr 2022

Learn about how employers can use training to ensure that employees don’t leave the workforce while also attracting and retaining talent.

There has been a major shift in the job market over the past couple of years across the world. COVID-19 has accelerated this issue, with millions of people quitting and switching jobs. Every person has their own reasons for why they left their previous job, whether that’s poor work/life balance or burnout.

The Office for National Statistics estimated that there were were a record 1.25 million job vacancies in the UK from October to December 2021. There are things that the employer can do to retain and prevent employees from leaving their jobs. One approach you can take is to incorporate training in your business.

Employers who focus on upskilling their employees will ensure that they’re skilled and motivated to do their jobs. By implementing training programmes and initiatives, it’ll ensure skilled employees don’t end up leaving your company for another employer.

Our latest blog looks at how training can help you retain and prevent employees from leaving the workforce or moving to another employer.

What is the great resignation?

The Great Resignation is a term that was coined by Dr Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University. The term refers to the millions of people who are expected to leave their current roles during or at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that period, employees have re-evaluated their work and life priorities, leading to a greater demand for remote and hybrid work.

When it comes to why people in large numbers have switched jobs or left the workforce, it’s often down to the individual’s personal circumstances. The following reasons behind why employees resigned from their jobs included:

  • Employee experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic led to them re-evaluating their priorities outside of work.
  • Unreasonable demands from employers to get employees to return to the office.
  • Employees who were burned out from their jobs led to them switching jobs that have a better work/life balance.
  • Low-paid employees are now able to earn more by moving between employers. 

How can training help fix skills shortages in the labour market? 

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have been grappling with the issue of skills shortages for years. It’s crucial that the employer has a skilled workforce and that employees can continually develop their skillsets, which can help them deliver results for your business.

There are many ways that employers can deal with skills shortages, but one approach that’s overlooked is training. If an employer is not investing in learning and professional development for their workforce, you run the risk of employees leaving your company for your competitors.

Training can be implemented in a couple of ways, whether that’s through apprenticeships or upskilling existing employees. If an employer has a couple of people that are highly-skilled, then they can use their knowledge to train other employees. It means that the employer can plug any skills gaps they have while saving time and money on your training budget.

Apprenticeships can also be a useful form of training for your business. Incorporating an apprentice into a long-term programme can enable you to train them up so that they become a skilled employee. It also helps you tap into a wider pool of talent as the training is built-in so that they have the resources to grow into a valued member of the employer’s workforce.

Why should employers implement training for employees? 

Implementing training for employees is an opportunity to help them expand their skills and knowledge. Having a productive workforce can be the difference between retaining and losing employees for an employer. Not only will you benefit from having training bedded into the business, but the clients who you work with will too.

The employer that implements continual training programmes and development can bring benefits for your business and workforce. Not only does it show that you value your workforce, but it also prepares employees for senior-level positions and helps them improve their skills and knowledge. 

What are the benefits of incorporating training for employers? 

For employers, the advantages that employers have by incorporating training into their business can enable them to grow and retain employees. Here are some of the benefits that come with having training programmes in your company:

Losing employees is expensive 

The employer is taking a gamble when hiring a new employee. That’s why it’s important that you focus on providing training so that they are trained to deliver high quality services for your customers and clients. Replacing an employee costs money, which is why you should incorporate training to ensure that they do the best job they can.

Improve productivity and quality of work  

Employers who invest in training for their employees will find that it improves their productivity and performance. A well-trained workforce is likely to complete tasks more efficiently in less time, in which the employer is able to maximise their return on investment. It also means customers will be happy due to the high quality service they’re getting.

Reduced employee turnover for employers

Providing opportunities for employees to upskill and enhance their knowledge is essential for any employer looking to retain talent. By investing in training, you reduce the employee turnover rate, meaning that members of your workforce are less likely to leave you for another employer.

While The Great Resignation has shifted the balance of power back to the workers, by continually reskilling and upskilling employees, you’ll avoid losing more talent. Making training a key part of your business means that your workforce will be more motivated and happy to deliver services for both clients and customers.