Randstadt has released some staggering statistics about the current state of play in the employment market. In their 2012 Employment survey they discovered that a massive 86% of staff that are quitting their jobs are doing so because there are insufficient progress opportunities within the business. As well as this, there is further compelling research in the form of the Career Engagement Group 2012 Career Agility and Engagement Report which shows that in these economically challenging times, employee's career development expectations are getting higher.
The report termed this new trend, 'Career Agility' and it was characterized by three attitudes in staff. These were that: 31% of employees want to fast-track their careers, 35% would relish more responsibility and 75% would have prepared to use their own time for additional learning.
These statistics represent a clear call to action for the HR profession and a massive opportunity for the learning and development function to make a real impact on employee retention within their business, at a time when such a high percentage of staff could be considered a 'flight risk '. Obviously, losing talent is a concern.
So, what can the L & D function do to provide career agility and at the same time increase staff retention levels within their business?
Well, there are four ways that L & D can help ensure their company has the appropriate career agility to support and engage career agile staff.
1. Develop a competency development road-map so employees know the exact skills that they must acquire in order to move up the career ladder. Show them what they need to do to excel, and watch their motivation grow, and their satisfaction increase once they achieve their milestones.
2. Ensure that the appropriate DIY self assessment tools are available which allow employees to analyze their own strengths and areas for development. These tools are useful and can go a long way towards an employee acknowledging what he needs to work on.
3. Develop an internal mentoring program so employees can learn from mentors as needed. Remember, guidance is critical so facilitate their progress with those who have been there before.
4. Develop a career toolkit which employees can use and which shows career pathways, training opportunities, e-learning resources, stretch assignment opportunities, secondments, vacancies etc.
By making these four interventions, the L & D function can build a career agile organization which will motivate, engage and retain the modern career agile staff member.