The State of Employee Retention and Engagement

January 31, 2022 Hans Mundahl

graphic of cogs containing images related to engagement

The pandemic created seismic shifts in the workplace—from where we work to how we relate to each other to which tools and training boost our productivity and success. The status quo is no longer enough to sustain us. We need to revolutionize the way we work and how we think about the workplace; otherwise, we risk losing valuable employees to The Great Resignation. 

According to a December poll of 1,250 American workers, 23% of employees will seek a new job in 2022, and 9% have already secured a new position. That means one in four workers plan on quitting this year, and the education sector is predicted to be among the areas with the highest turnover with 32% of employees planning to leave their current positions.

As leaders, we have the ability and the responsibility to stem the tide through employee development and retention efforts. With nearly nine out of ten executives and managers indicating that their organizations face or expect skill gaps within the next five years, professional development and reskilling are crucial to ensuring that your team has the knowledge needed to prevent role disruptions and the loss of talent.

According to Jennifer Moss, author of The Burnout Epidemic and Unlocking Happiness at Work, “the mismatch of skills and job responsibilities is one of the eight reasons for systemic burnout in the workplace.” Jennifer recently joined EMA’s Hans Mundahl and Mission and Data’s Ari Betof for an episode of our Impossible Questions Podcast: “How do we not burn out in an endless admission cycle?” [S1.E6]

New data shows that learning opportunities help improve employee engagement and retention. When people see a chance to learn and grow at work they are 3.5 times more likely to report that their company can help them meet their career goals and 2.9 times more likely to report staying with the company in two years. 

A recent study by LinkedIn Learning found that 64% of Learning and Development professionals globally agree that professional development shifted from a “nice to have” to a “need to have.” However, only 40% of learners feel that their managers encourage them to learn new skills. 

Making Learning a Team Effort Drives Engagement 

In LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report, they discovered that “Learning and Development professionals globally, deeply understand the power of community and the benefits of learning together beyond pure engagement. They believe that learning is more engaging when people learn together (86%), that employees who learn together are more successful (91%), and that it helps create a sense of belonging (92%). Even better, employees who feel a sense of belonging are 5.2 times more likely to be engaged. The data clearly demonstrates a beautiful virtuous circle of learning, belonging, and engagement.” 

By developing your team’s skills, you help your organization retain valuable employees, reduce and remove gaps in skills, and improve employee satisfaction and confidence. If you need assistance in finding the right courses for your needs, put EMA’s professional development services to use. We offer a wide range of resources, courses, and learning opportunities to support your development needs, including our free Learning Pass mini sampler course It's Go Time: Winter Enrollment Planning Guide to help you succeed with file reading, financial aid decisions, and more. 

Contact a member representative today for more information.

About the Author

Hans Mundahl

Hans Mundahl is the Director of Professional Development at EMA. He has been an educator since 1995 when he first stepped into the classroom as a Fulbright exchange teacher in the former East Germany. Since then Hans has done just about every job possible at an independent school from teacher to administrator. Most recently Hans was the head of school at a K-8 day school in central New Hampshire. Hans’s spare time is usually spent with his family but he is also passionate about the outdoors and protecting the environment.

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