And let us not forget that turnover is incredibly expensive in terms of time and money as well as disruptive for any organization. But in today’s talent market, turnover presents a new existential workforce threat.
Therefore, it is no surprise that retaining and attracting talent are top priorities for many leaders. And while increasing compensation, offering flexible schedules, promoting from within, and making remote work more accessible are all good talent strategies, there is one antidote that leaders can prescribe that is scalable, affordable, and gives employees something they want: coaching and development.
The development of people is arguably the best solution for many of the problems that businesses face today because it is what people want. According to a recent LinkedIn poll conducted by LHH, 41 percent of the 2,500+ respondents feel their leaders cannot coach and develop them, despite it being their greatest need. Neglecting these needs can have serious consequences. Consider this dynamic: a late 2021 survey by Gallup found that 52 percent of voluntarily exiting employees – the people who are driving the narrative around the Great Resignation – believe their former employers “could have done more to prevent them from leaving their jobs.”
Why are so many skilled workers re-evaluating their careers now?
Burnout and exhaustion – prolonged work-related stress was a problem even before the pandemic; now employees want a new way of working and living.
People feel confident changing jobs - many held off during the pandemic because of uncertainty in the market. Confidence has now returned.
More available jobs - companies also held off on hiring during this period but hiring activity has now dramatically increased.
Inflation and financial stress - as inflation continues to eat away at wages, people are jumping ship for a big enough raise to cushion the blow of rising living costs.
Flexible working options - people do not want to go back to the office in the way they were working before; people expect to have a choice about how and where they work.
This paradigm shift has also led to a greater demand for learning and skill development.
People have had the opportunity to reflect on their career choices and realize life is too short for a job they do not love. Now, many people have begun to question the relevance of their skillset, and they may feel the only option is to move jobs to continue to grow.
Here are three ways you can start to prioritize coaching & development
- Gain senior leadership buy-in: Your employees' desire for career and skills development cannot be satisfied unless senior leaders are communicating their support and backing them up with resources. And they must communicate clearly and directly with their direct reports and frontline managers to let them know that career and skills development are essential for long-term success.
- Initiate regular career conversations: Career conversations should focus on longer-term career goals and not be confused with performance evaluations. While performance and development may overlap, their focus is different enough to warrant their own conversation. Managers should schedule regular career conversations with their teams, identify employees ready to learn and grow, and help plot a path to new opportunities. When organizations proactively focus on employee development and provide the right support, employees begin to take a higher level of self-directed ownership of their career paths.
- Provide coaching beyond the top echelon: Coaching is a valuable resource for everyone, from the top to the bottom of an organization. Coaching helps employees achieve their goals, become more confident, and perform at a higher level. Executives will see the benefits in the level of retention, engagement, and overall performance of their employees. The value of this resource is lost when it is only offered to those in the C-suite.
Many lives and priorities have changed through coaching and development. It is important that employees have something positive, something centered on them and with a focus on future growth and opportunity. Coaching and personalized professional development opportunities will not only attract people to your organization but will also encourage them to stay and take part in a culture that is more fulfilling for everyone.