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Investment in learning and development the solution to the UK’s Great Resignation, recent research reveals

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash.

More than half of Gen Z are considering resignation in the next six months due to a lack of future-orientated skills.

Research released today reveals that over one third (37%) of UK employees plan to resign in the next three months, amounting to an estimated 12 million people. This figure is highest amongst 16 to 24-year-olds, of whom over half (54%) stated they would consider resigning in the next six months.

The research commissioned by Avado, investigated office workers’ experiences with People Teams. The report identified three key areas of improvement, some of which were catalysts for what is currently known as the ‘Great Resignation’. These included: learning and development, fostering relationships between managers and employees, and encouraging positive work culture.

As one of the most cited reasons for resignation, the research demonstrated that a lack of learning and development opportunities has become common across the UK workforce. Research suggests that 16 to 24-year-olds are the most affected – 26% said they would resign due to the need to gain more future-oriented skills. Similarly, almost a quarter of those from ethnically diverse backgrounds attributed their intention to resign to a lack of development opportunities. As the two demographics with the highest proportion of intended resignations, the report finds a lack of learning and development opportunities as the major catalyst.

Dean Corbett, Chief People Officer at Avado, said: “For those aged 16 to 24, the value of developing future-focused skills is evident, to the extent where a large portion of people in this demographic would consider leaving their role if upskilling in areas like data analysis wasn’t offered. As a people leader, it remains a priority to get young, diverse and moldable talent into the workforce. But as HR departments consider how to embed a learning culture within their organisation, they must account for all levels of the business, from interns to the C-suite. Learning is an invaluable tool for people and businesses alike.”

This call for further learning and development opportunities is reflected in the large proportion of employees across industries who do not feel valued by their organisation. This was most highly reported by those working in retail, catering and leisure (30%), and manufacturing and utilities (32%). There was a general feeling that People Teams could improve on disciplinary measures, relationship management, and ensuring a people-first approach to decision making. The research also emphasises how People Teams’ remit has widened, but this has not been matched by an equal focus on their learning and development.

John Ingham, Director of the John Ingham Strategic HR Academy and report spokesperson, said: “From managing hybrid work to furloughs, whilst maintaining a good business culture and fostering positive relationships amongst employees, HR has a lot riding on their shoulders. And this notion was made clear by this research. If businesses do not invest in HR, and HR do not receive investment in upskilling themselves to keep up with these evolving demands, businesses do not stand a chance at keeping their people satisfied. Training HR departments will be critical in 2022 and beyond.”

For People Teams to make a significant contribution to strategic success, they must be equipped to lead the workforce through turbulence. Only by investing in their development can this be possible.

For the full report, please visit: Avadolearning.com/unlocking-the-value-of-hr

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