“Quiet quitting” has seen increasing numbers of people push back against the high-stress environments of modern work, and instead get by on doing the bare minimum.
A third of employees in the UK described themselves as quiet quitters in recent study, while in the US, the national resignation rate went up from 1.6% to 3% between April 2020 and November 2021.
But why is this happening now, and what does it tell us about managing people and in 2023 and beyond?
Many leaders say the health crisis is to blame, arguing that the pandemic exposed a burnout culture that has prompted many to reconsider the value of work.
But Pew research finds that 63% of professionals handed in their notice in 2021 because of a lack of career advancement opportunities. This dovetails with Docebo data showing that two thirds of UK staff want more learning and development (L&D) pathways.
For VP of Sales EMEA at Docebo, Mike Byrne, the stats illustrate “how important L&D are…and how much career development is a non-negotiable when it comes to staying with an employee. HR analyst Josh Bersin picks up on this thread, attributing the issues to a broader “recruitment and retention crisis” that threatens worldwide economies.
At this delicate and decisive period for HR departments and the companies they serve, L&D must form the foundation of future business strategy. Only then can we begin to restore meaning, improve engagement, and generate the resilience that’s so vital in these challenging economic times.
Below are four considerations that should be core to all L&D revamps:
- Modernise or miss out
Covid-19 has forced a “rapid change in the use of digital learning technology”, with increasing numbers of British firms turning to webinars or virtual classrooms for training delivery.
Organisations should respect this shift by updating resource materials – personalised learning pathways and gamification are two great ways to involve groups such as Millennials and Gen Z, many of whom may be entering their first hybrid setup.
Studies report a decrease in L&D budgets among 31% of UK businesses through the last 12 months. This withdrawal can lead to “decreased motivation, reduced loyalty and stagnation in professional development”, notes Talent Acquisition and Development Manager, Elmira Abdullina.
By investing in learning management systems such as LinkedIn Learning, firms can ensure employees have foundational competencies, before addressing skills gaps.
“Successful approaches start with defining your technology strategy in line with your learning strategy. Target your investment and be clear on the business case. Start small, pilot and experiment before scaling up,” Accenture guides.
- Strengthen soft skills
Soft skills are critical for corporate agility. Workers that receive better coaching on communication, collaboration, evaluation and similar attributes will be far better equipped to realise their potential, and will contribute more effectively to projects they are involved in.
Failure in this area can mean individuals missing out on £280,000 over a lifetime’s earning, YouGov research finds. “There is nothing ‘soft’ about skills that are essential to life. [The YouGov study] proves, in terms of pounds, progression and personal wellbeing, the rewards of early opportunities and lifelong learning,” Tom Ravenscroft, SBP founder states.
- Social learning
Social learning is about a natural interaction with others – observing, asking questions, sharing knowledge and experiences.
It’s by no means new, but its principles take on new definition with today’s mass participation technologies such as blogs, discussion forums, wikis, web conferencing, and more.
“Understanding how social learning works and incorporating it into our L&D practices will provide breakthrough results in learning/retention, community building, culture building and preparing a workforce to become agile learners, able to approach a myriad of unforeseeable challenges” says leadership strategist Shaun Mader.
Pathway to purpose
Quiet quitting has awoken us abruptly to the need for cultures that create value and a future that functions for us all.
This must begin with taking care of our own talent through a dedicated L&D drive that merges human skillsets with technical expertise.
Those that get it right stand to create a virtuous circle that enables us to grow and be proud of what we achieve together, helping to forge a future of real substance.
At HR Spectrum, we know that through collaboration with individuals and companies who you know and trust, you can achieve smoother, more effective workflows and lasting success.
To find out more about the fantastic opportunities available through HR Spectrum, contact us today.