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July 14, 2022

The One Thing You Can Do To Keep Your Talent Engaged

4 min read
By Khairunnisa Mohamedali PhD

60% of people are emotionally detached from work. Only 33% are thriving in their overall wellbeing. Stress levels have reached an all-time high. In this context, 65% of people are re-evaluating the meaning of work. The culmination of these trend drivers? More than ever, people are changing jobs, changing careers, reducing their hours, retiring, or just quitting the labour market altogether.

What is the one thing employers can do when engagement is low and the labour market remains buoyant?

Articulate your development offering, what we call a Development Value Proposition™ (DVP). A DVP is a simple articulation of your development promise. It’s a subset of your Employer Value Proposition, and arguably more important.

When you articulate your development offering, you are making a clear, focused and strategic development promise to your people. And the payoff is considerable for recruitment, attraction, and retention as well as to development itself. When an organisation has a robust development offering, people are 2.9x more likely to stay in their current company, and 3.6x more likely to report being happy.

Importantly, the value placed on development has never been greater, and this has only intensified as a result of the pandemic. In the UK, 3 in 5 people invested their time and money in growth and learning opportunities over lockdown —among Millennials and Gen Z, the number surges to 77%.

Looking to start better articulating your own development offering? Here are the first three key considerations you should make:

1) Who: Focus on the right people

Be clear on what your talent strategy is looking to achieve. Do you want to build your leaders’ skills in a time where the very qualities of successful leadership are changing? Do you want to retain diverse talent? Do you want to grow your early talent into your future skills pipeline?

Your DVP can be as expansive or focused in its reach as needed by your objectives. It starts, however, with a clear internal alignment on what your objectives are. This then provides the north star for your development offering, and ensures it is fit for the needs of your particular audience.

2) What: Identify the (learning) culture you want to build

Be honest about the type of organisational culture you have, and identify the type of learning culture you want to build. It goes without saying that different organisations have different cultures. Aligning your DVP with your specific organisational culture allows your learning culture a natural place to grow, evolve and flourish. This is a more organic approach than shoehorning learning into your organisation’s day-to-day.

Your DVP sets the foundation for why learning matters, how learning happens, and what learning to prioritise. These then become the cornerstones on which to align your entire business, from senior leaders to early talent, to one shared direction when it comes to development. It’s a powerful unifying force.

3) How: Have a ‘What’s next’, ad infinitum

Have a clear plan, and act on it. Having a DVP that clearly articulates your development offering is only the first step. After all, what’s the value of a recipe if you never bake the cake? In the case of a DVP, baking the cake can take time. The roll-out is a journey that most organisations take one step at a time. But it’s critical to keep taking those steps, so your people know what they can expect, what’s next, and how you’ll deliver on what’s next.

Your DVP tells people what to expect for their growth and development across the company. Build out their development journeys, anchored in the DVP, and deliver on your promise.

Have a strong development offering, but aren’t sure how to articulate it? Perhaps you need help re-thinking your development from the ground up? Drawing on our award-winning work in attraction and development, our 2022 People Development Whitepaper provides everything you need to get started with your DVP journey.

Request your copy of our 2022 People Development Whitepaper:

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