How to retain employees looking to change careers

January 20, 2022 | 5 minute read
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A recent Oracle study made it clear that most employees are up for a professional upheaval, with 83% of respondents saying they want to advance their career or make career changes over the next year. It’s no surprise why “The Great Resignation” has been in the headlines recently. 

As the report states, “It’s up to organizations to step up and offer the right tools to help their workforce thrive. Those that don’t will risk losing their greatest asset—their people.” Luckily, if you dig into survey respondents’ answers, you can find the factors behind the drive for change. 

Here are the two findings of the report that say it all:

  • 87% believe their company should be doing more to listen to their needs.
  • 85% of employees aren’t satisfied with their employer’s support of their careers.

Do you want to retain your company’s top talent? Then listen to their needs and work to support their careers. 

What Do Your Employees Need?

Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents say their meaning of success has changed and is now more aligned with achieving a work-life balance, good mental health, and flexibility at work. And the 85% of people who reported not being satisfied with their company’s support are looking for the following:

  • Increased opportunities for relevant education and skill-building
  • Better and more competitive salaries
  • Opportunities to increase responsibilities and adopt new roles within the company
  • The chance to take on new projects
  • Greater flexibility in scheduling
  • Technology to support career development

More importantly, people have become so conscious about professional growth that over half of the respondents would give up perks like vacation time or a monetary bonus in exchange for more career development opportunities. In fact, 43% would even be willing to give up part of their salary to accomplish this.

It might feel unsettling, but what these statistics come down to is this: the meaning of success has changed for the vast majority of employees today (88% of workers, according to the report). The study clearly defines the needs of the employees. Now, what is the task before you as an employer? It’s time to integrate and accommodate this overall mindset shift of the workers into your workplace culture, strategies, and processes if you wish to retain your talent and keep your employees engaged, fulfilled, and productive.

How to Show Employees You Support Their Professional Goals

If we look at the above-stated employee priorities closely enough and narrow them down to their basic elements, we can see that they revolve around two main goals: professional growth and a healthy work-life balance. Looking at your employees’ needs in this way will enable you as an employer or an HR professional to focus your priorities on meeting these needs and retaining your top talent. 

So, what can you do to fulfill your employees’ basic needs?

Upskill

Three-quarters of the study’s respondents reported feeling stuck in their personal and professional lives. Many of them have this sense of stagnation due to a lack of growth opportunities. There’s nothing more essential to facilitate company growth than upskilling your workforce

Increasing the upskilling opportunities across your company will also increase your employees’ confidence in remaining with your team for the long term. It will empower them, personally and professionally. Moreover, it will have a lasting impact on their drive for continued professional development.  

Of course, methodology and planning are prerequisites for any successful upskilling initiative. You might find it helpful to research your employees’ interests, passions, and past performance to design targeted upskilling plans. Additionally, career coaching can be a great option for uncovering hidden talents. 

You can also facilitate employee training by curating industry workshops, webinars, and conferences and encouraging participation. These initiatives will create an atmosphere of creativity and innovation while opening windows of opportunity for the workforce, increasing your company’s overall talent and drive. 

Infuse technology into culture

While nearly half of employees (45%) are worried that the rise of robots and technology will make their skills redundant, a majority (85%) want technology to help define their future. This is supported by 82% of respondents who believe robots can support their career development better than humans. Whichever way you look at it, technology is increasingly present in the minds and lives of employees. 

This is your chance to step up and offer them all the tools and resources they need to master the technological needs of our time. You can easily solve the challenges they face with solutions like Oracle Journeys. However, you’ll also want to motivate your workforce to increase their technological skills by removing any remaining fears they might have about becoming irrelevant. Your task here is to build a culture of trust and positivity around technology. 

Tailor the upskilling curriculum for your employees with the specific technology they must get acquainted with to stay relevant. You can even arrange counseling sessions or workshops for employees who are experiencing anxiety regarding the onward march of technology.

Offer lifestyle design guidelines

Designing a lifestyle that supports an optimum work-life balance is essential for your employees to stay happy, positive, and productive. Offering the flexibility of work styles or working hours may not always be enough; a lot depends on the psychological aspects of the balance. For example, an employee may be working flexible hours (and often remotely), but they might be perpetually worried about ongoing projects to where they never find a mental reprieve.  

What’s needed is a proactive push from HR and management to take up the responsibility of employee wellbeing. Proactively offer guidelines on lifestyle design and mental wellbeing practices. Educate and arm your employees with essential knowledge and information on the most advanced techniques of bringing balance into their lives. Seek ways to show them how their professional and personal lives can stay peacefully separate. 

How? Foster the formation of employee resource groups–or take advantage of those already existing to encourage communication and sharing personal growth narratives among the employees. Create a space of safety and trust so that current worries and future uncertainties cannot take hold in the robust companionship of group members.  

Around 80% of employees say the past year negatively impacted them. Many talented workers are struggling financially, suffering from declining mental health, and lacking career motivation. While you cannot fix every aspect of your employees’ lives, you can help alleviate these problems by taking sincere action to support and meet their professional needs. When they know you care about their growth, they will be far more likely to stay with the company and contribute to growing your business. 

Retain your workforce today

Are you an HR leader looking for ways to retain your workforce? With so much having changed over the past two years, employees have reflected on their priorities and re-evaluated what success means to them. Read the AI@Work study today to see how you can support their needs through technology and more.

With their re-evaluation of success, employees also value their workplace experience more than ever. Whether you’re just beginning to listen or are looking for additional guidance, Oracle can help. Learn more at www.oracle.com/hcm.

Enjoyed reading this blog? Stay in touch and subscribe to our newsletter, HR matters.

Liz Hogan

 

Liz Hogan is a CPRW and the Community Manager at Find My Profession. She regularly shares her advice on job search strategy and resume writing with others. She is also passionate about volunteering and learning new languages.


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