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Digital learning can help firms overcome the Great Resignation

Digital learning can help firms overcome the Great Resignation
4 Mar, 2022
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A few years from now, when a historian sits down to write the global history of the 2000s, the year 2021 will be a pivotal chapter. The chapter may easily be titled ‘The Great Resignation’. 

But how did this happen? Why would employees, who were expected to hold on to their jobs for the fear of joblessness, during the COVID-19 pandemic decide to resign?

It was first in December 2019 when the world came across a mysterious virus named COVID-19 that spread in no time and turned into a pandemic. The healthcare crisis soon snowballed into a socio-economic crisis in 2020, forcing businesses to temporarily halt operations or find new ways and a different path of continuity. The brutal virus claimed lives, caused massive economic loss, and rendered millions of people jobless. As life gradually adjusted to the new normal in late 2020 and 2021, businesses witnessed a very contrary trend, i.e., ‘The Great Resignation’. The global phenomenon refers to the unusually high number of resignations from talent across the board.

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Industry estimates indicate that the biggest loser due to The Great Resignation was the IT sector. Two major trends emerged: first, skilled talent has plenty of opportunities and can choose and pick on what aligns with their career priorities. Second, many employees quit their jobs even without figuring out an alternative. So, what is motivating these people to move out of their jobs amid a challenging economic outlook?

Reduced sense of belonging

While the new normal - with hybrid and remote working environments provided many people with work-life flexibility, reduced commute times, and reduced metro city rentals, it also required them to work in silos resulting in faster burnout. Over the course of two years, the silos aggravated and diminished many young employees' sense of belonging. In other words, rather than being mission-driven, their jobs have devolved into transactional relationships with their employers.

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Shifting Priorities

The pandemic has prompted a large segment of the corporate workforce to reconsider their current job expectations. They now seek jobs that will provide them with a sense of purpose, overall well-being, and better long-term career prospects. In other words, they are looking for much more than a 9 a.m.–5 p.m. job that will allow them to pay their bills.

Borders not Boundaries

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The pandemic provided a significant boost to global job opportunities. More businesses became willing to broaden their talent pool and hire people from different parts of the world. Of course, there was a silver lining to global talent. As a result, the workforce had the option of switching to global companies in order to gain exposure and experience.

What’s the solution?

Faced with the new challenge, CHROs were on their toes to prevent their valuable employees from drifting away. Investments in the learning and development of employees increased incrementally as a way of ensuring continued growth and countering the many challenges of remote & hybrid working. The following initiatives emerged as a promising way to deliver a more fulfilling employee experience and undo the effects of the Great Resignation. 

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Customised Skill-based Training 

Today, Learning Management System (LMS) and e-learning solution providers work closely with CHROs to develop technology-driven solutions that assist in providing customized training for meeting current skills requirements and preparing employees for future career opportunities. More importantly, the focus is now on promoting collaborative learning to bring back the sense of belongingness and break silos.  

Collaborative Learning 

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Many advanced e-Learning platforms offer peer-to-peer learning solutions, where individuals can learn from their peers on the basis of real-life successes they have achieved in their careers. This shared experience leads to high emotional engagement as well as near-real positive workplace relationships that people could build in a physical setup. While these attributes may seem intangible, they play a vital role in managing attrition and building a long-term relationship between employers and employees.  

Get to the root of the problem 

While leveraging these e-learning solutions to help employees upskill, businesses should also take a data-driven approach to understand other reasons that force people to look at alternative career options. These probes can provide organization-specific insights and help the management take a corrective course of action.

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Even with all the technology investment, it is essential to understand that employees are humans first and then resources. Thus, it is necessary not to let go of the human touch. This is perhaps the most crucial pillar in building a competitive employee experience and should be the centre of all employee initiatives. 

Sameer Nigam

Sameer Nigam


Sameer Nigam is the chief executive officer of Stratbeans