- Generation Z and Millennial workers are less satisfied in their jobs, and upskilling opportunities are critical to employee retention
CGS, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services, unveiled new insights from its 2021 CGS Workplace Learning Trends Survey. Amid record-high quit rates in a phenomenon known as the “Great Resignation,” the survey revealed new insights into what has been causing these departures, generational gaps in retention and the role that training and skills development plays in employees’ decisions to leave their jobs.
“Business leaders need to foster a culture of continuous learning to keep employees engaged and satisfied in their careers,” said Doug Stephen, president, Learning division, CGS. “Immersive technologies such as augmented reality are great assets in building remote learning programs to enable cross-team collaboration. However, a one-size-fits-all approach to learning does not exist in the age of digitization, and companies should offer a variety of online and in-person learning formats, as well as opportunities for workers to learn on their own, at their own pace.”
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To gauge consumers’ current sentiment around the modern workplace, CGS surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. individuals. Key findings include:
Younger workers are cynical about the future of work
Employers will need to be sensitive to employees’ needs in an effort to retain talent, especially among Millennial and Generation Z employees. When questioned as to their current job satisfaction, less than one-quarter (24 percent) of Generation Z workers reported being happy to remain in their positions during the pandemic, compared with nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Baby Boomers.
A majority of Generation Z and Millennial respondents reported they were worried about current trends affecting their career growth. Specifically, the survey found that nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of Millennials and Generation Z cited concerns around AI and automation affecting their career paths. This demonstrates that younger workers are more concerned about remaining employable in a volatile job market and may need additional support from employers in learning and development to remain confident in their positions.
Lack of training and upskilling also contributing to the Great Resignation
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, civilian wages and salaries have increased 3.7 percent from September 2020 to September 2021. However, the Bureau’s November 2021 jobs report reveals that unemployment in the previous month remained about 3.5 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels in February 2020, despite widespread job growth in various industries.
While pay and benefits remain the largest employment draw – with 72 percent of respondents saying that these are the most important factors when considering a new job or remaining at their current employer – the CGS survey found across all income groups that 46 percent want flexibility in their schedules, followed closely by a desire for gaining new skills. Respondents in the $75,000 to $99,000 range of annual household income noted compensation, pay and benefits as the top reason for departing a job (20 percent), with work-life balance and upskilling following closely behind at 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Those in the $150,000 to $199,000 income bracket are most likely to have changed jobs due to lack of upward advancement and/or opportunity to learn new skills (18 percent).
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As business leaders plan for investments in 2022, training tools and opportunities must be prioritized to enable employees to more effectively do their jobs and feel supported and optimistic about their careers. Employers must be vigilant about providing training and upskilling opportunities in the current volatile job market, as more than one-third (35 percent) of respondents expressed a need or desire for technology/tools training and 30 percent said their current job does not align with their long-term career aspirations.
“Talent acquisition and retention continue to be top of mind for businesses looking toward a post-pandemic world,” said Regina Nowlan, Senior Learning Strategist, CGS. “Employers cannot assume the status quo will suffice in supporting today’s workforce. Employee needs will continue to evolve, and companies must invest in their talent with training and upskilling, continuous development opportunities and flexible work environments, among other incentives, to meet the shifting business landscape.”
The CGS Enterprise Learning division serves as a trusted partner to many of the world’s most dynamic companies, delivering innovative, custom learning solutions essential for scaling people, processes and performance. Through tech-forward engaging programs, leveraging AI, AR/VR, machine learning and gamification, CGS provides professional development solutions, blending emerging technology with essential shoulder-to-shoulder training. Each solution is custom-tailored and designed to engage employees and keep clients’ employee-related business fundamentals strong in an ever-changing corporate environment.
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