No organizations are safe from the era of great resignation. However, I’m starting to understand organizations that focus on learning might have the best retention strategy.
Organizations have a big task. Some of the barriers learning organizations faced before the pandemic are even more prevalent now. They must continue to support their people, and right now the people they serve are busy and tired and worn down.
Recently, I’ve noticed people are leaving organizations when they don’t have agency in or over their work environment. If you’re not clear on what agency means, I discuss it at length in this article. In the Work Institute’s 2020 report, career development was the number one reason for people to leave their jobs for the ten years running.
If organizations paid more attention to the learning needs of their people, would people stay? Could supporting our people in their learning end the great resignation? Could their learning take our organizations to the next level?
Learning as Self-Care?
I wonder if learning could be considered a form of self-care. Better yet, maybe learning is a form of organizational care for their people?
When I’m learning something I choose to learn about, I go all in. I find podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, and books. Sometimes I pay to take a course. Then I look for people. People I can connect with about the specific things I’m trying to learn more about. Hours can pass before I feel the need to walk around or take a break. When I’m learning something I want to learn, I often hit a flow state. I’m energized by the information I’m taking in and my plans for making it useful. I’m lucky in that I have a profession that is dependent on me learning and talking about learning all the days of my life.
My LinkedIn feed is currently filled with posts using the hashtag #transitioningteachers. Listening to their stories and seeing their level of burnout saddens me. One person asked if anyone had a great exit survey to use with the people exiting the field. He believed certainly we can learn something from those leaving.
While I think an exit survey is a great idea, I am concerned it’s a bit too late. I also see a need to ask those staying why they are staying. I want to talk with the ones staying and say, “Dream big! What can we do together to make this the best job on the Earth? What can we do to make our work meaningful again? What can I do to help you learn?”
Because right now is the time to dream big. The pandemic is giving us the opportunity to reset and rethink and ultimately transcend into something different.
I’m not asking you to change; i’m asking you to learn.
My mantra for the last 10 years or so has been, “I’m not asking you to change; I’m asking you to learn.”
What do organizations need to do to create the conditions for learning? Let’s do it! Let’s help our people learn?
When people learn, people change.