- With employee turnover increasing, companies must provide employees ample opportunity for growth.
- Continuous learning can boost both employee morale and the bottom line.
- Software solutions like SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace can personalize career development.
There are many reasons an employee might leave their position, but often they boil down to a core motivation: The employee feels that they can find greater opportunity elsewhere.
This August marked the fifth month in a row of record employee exits. And, that trend doesn’t seem to be stopping: A survey by Bankrate reports that 55% of employees plan to look for a new job within the next year, citing career development as one of the factors.
For companies hoping to retain and attract talent, providing ample opportunity for personal development can reduce not only turnover costs but hiring costs by better using and nurturing the potential of the talent they already have. It can also help increase engagement, retention, and productivity by allowing people to create a career that aligns with their passion.
But simply offering development opportunities is not enough. The opportunities need to be accessible, engaging, and — most important — personalized to the circumstances, interests, and aspirations of your employees. Solutions like the new SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace can be a major boon to a company’s culture and its bottom line.
Employees should not have to choose between their short-term responsibilities and their long-term growth
It’s often challenging for employees to find time for personal growth and development without endangering their immediate duties. A LinkedIn Workplace Learning report found that the top reason employees felt held back from learning was that they didn’t have the time.
This year’s unprecedented rate of employee resignations has made it clear that when workers are forced to choose between their current obligations and the potential for personal growth, they’ll choose the latter. It is therefore in every organization’s long-term interest to provide time for employee development.
For example, earlier this year SAP had its first People Day. All 100,000 SAP employees were encouraged to focus on their development instead of their routine work. They attended sessions to connect with one another and focused on creating development goals and learning.
“People Day demonstrates a commitment from SAP CEO Christian Klein and the executive board to continue prioritizing the development of SAP employees,” said Carolyn Beal, senior director of solution marketing for SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite.
It might seem ideal to present employees with a massive array of options and let them choose their favorites, but too much choice can be a double-edged sword. It’s essential to ensure that searching for the right opportunity does not become a burden unto itself.
Some organizations amass learning resources for their employees from a wide variety of sources and vendors but encounter low rates of adoption and success. “There’s so much choice, so much content, so many solutions available,” said Margit Bauer, director of solution marketing for SAP SuccessFactors Learning. “People are overwhelmed.”
SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace aims to address this problem by offering a central, unified platform through which employees can access all available options for their personal development — and, crucially, a well-calibrated system of individualized recommendations to help sort through it all.
Driven by SAP’s unique whole self model, SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace provides suggestions that are tailored to not just an employee’s current role but their skills, competencies, past experience, and aspirations, and that evolve with the employee as their work and life change.
“Presenting opportunities that are truly individualized ensure that they are worth the employee’s time and attention,” Beal said. “And that’s something technology can help with.”
Hands-on development opportunities can engage employees, reduce hiring costs, and make companies more agile
“People learn in very different ways,” Beal said. “There are some formal courses that people can take, but other people really need to learn by doing things that are hands-on and experiential.”
Employees looking to expand their résumés don’t need to quit or find a new position, she said. SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace can surface opportunities for short-term assignments, gigs, and fellowships.
“They can actually develop themselves within the context of their current role, perhaps by joining a short-term project to enhance those skills, taking on something new for a specific period of time,” Beal said.
This is a win-win for employees and employers: Employees get a risk-free opportunity to gain new experiences, and employers get to explore the full potential of their internal talent.
“Organizations can use this data in decision-making,” said Susan Thomas, the director of solution marketing for SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite. It allows them to experiment without the risks and resource drain of an external talent search. “Think about being able to put together a better team — maybe you don’t need an ‘expert,’ you just need the right mix of people that work well together.”
It also enables organizations to build a deep bench of expertise. A concerted program of cross-disciplinary competency in the workforce means that when employees do depart, they won’t be taking the organization’s entirety of deep institutional knowledge with them.
Whether a business is succession-planning or simply planning for success, investing in employees is among the soundest investments it can make.