Back to resources Date: 06/09/2022

The Era of Employee Empowerment

New research by Protocol shows that people who leave their job frequently (On average every 3-4 years), see almost a 30% higher wage increase than those who stay put. Pew Research found that employees who found new employment this quarter gained a staggering 9.7% wage increase!  If you are a CEO or CHRO I imagine that this makes you feel a little uneasy as you think of your top talent moving on to a new organisation. According to Josh Bersin, (president and founder of Bersin & Associates, leading industry research and advisory firm in enterprise learning and talent management), company leaders are struggling with employee retention, transformation, and challenges with hybrid work.

For Bersin, the answer is clear: develop a learning culture, focus on internal development, and provide career growth potential also known as “Growth in the flow of work”. You might be reading this and thinking but my company has an LMS, we provide regular training etc so what are we missing? 

L&D must evolve into centres of growth, not just learning. Creating a  “learning in the flow” strategy is an effective way to engage employees. Yes, you still have to build compliance training, onboarding, technical training, and operational skills. None of that has gone away. But, you need to put this into the context of growth. According to Bersin,  many of the problems we solved in the last two decades have moved from “exciting and differentiated” to “must-have” or fundamental. An LMS full of content doesn’t cut it anymore.  You have to build a capability team, discuss mobility and career paths, and invest in talent intelligence to understand the necessary skills and careers of the future otherwise you’re fighting a losing battle. 

Broadly speaking the 21st century has been dubbed the “empowerment era”. Values such as work-life balance and flexible employment are now firmly part of the mainstream and since the Covid-19 pandemic, this has increased with hybrid and remote work options skyrocketing. Yet these advances have been offset by the loss of labour power linked to the decline of trade unions and the lack of appropriate development plans within organisations. 

Let’s Dive into Growth in the flow of Work

Before you write this off as another catchy phrase, let us dive deep into what it actually means. Firstly this is not a new concept, this has been in development for almost 20 years. Nehal Nangia coined “Growth In The Flow Of Work”, After a year of research and discussions with hundreds of training leaders, it was discovered that growth is what really matters.  

Corporate training teams are flooded with new technologies now more than ever. With hundreds of vendors, and countless offerings of courses and programs. That’s all great but what to do with the content and vendor that you choose is crucial. Research shows that the factors that drive success are simple: 

  • Relevance= Ensuring your content is targeted and effective for the target learner 
  • Growth= Results are achieved through employee engagement

Relevant learning offerings = growth

So, how do you put this into action? 

People want more from their careers and they want their employers to help them to grow. If organisations can deliver relevant learning opportunities (and this itself is complex) that help their people to grow, then the needle is moving. The following key practices are just a glimpse at the ways to empower employees and produce actual growth:

  • Career management: Career pathways, creating career coaches, giving people self-service career tools. 
  • Management and leadership: Developing leaders at all levels and giving leaders the tools to upskill. 
  • L&D excellence: Adopting new cutting-edge technology, building a learning strategy and learning to publish, organise, and manage content. 

It is time for L&D leaders to put growth first: career mobility, skills adjacency, coaching, and leadership development. This call to action, while quite daunting, is also invigorating putting the learning function of the business straight into the strategic hot seat. The call is clear – L&D leaders it is your time to step up and lead.

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