The “great resignation” — why ‘role fit’ and upskilling opportunities, as well as pay scale, matter to employees in the wake of the pandemic.

  • The latest term being bantered around by industry analysts and education providers is ‘the great resignation’ and its impact on employment and training trends.

What is meant by the ‘great resignation’ — and why does this mean providing training is more important than ever? (Source: NPR)

The ‘great resignation’ relates to people voluntarily quitting their jobs in the years after the pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to countries and organisations. “Roughly 33 million Americans have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021…”

In this NPR article, the journalist argues that the trend of ‘resignation’ is more about ‘renegotiation’ than about outright resignation.

Key factors that are influencing the competition levels for attracting, and retaining, experienced employees, include:

  • Less people in the workforce
    • Higher demand for employees who have attained their preventive vaccines
    • A minority of employees refused to vaccinate, and hence are no longer eligible to attend their workplaces or perform specific job roles)
    • The loss of employees who chose (or were circumstantially forced) to stay-at-home to care for others in their households due to the impact of the pandemic (e.g., death of a spouse, unavailability of child care centres, etc.)
  • The drive for increased flexibility and work-life balance
    • Increased demands for remote working arrangements and/or part-time schedules
    • Flexibility became pivotal during the pandemic (related partially to frequent workplace shut-downs and to a world where digital connection was easier, safer, cheaper, and better for the environment)
  • Heightened fears in terms of commuting and office-space risks, including but not limited to risks of daily commutes (particularly via public transport or airline travel), and the risks of customer-facing roles, in an environment where supply shortages and low staff-to-customer-ratios led to violent outbursts from impatient consumers/patients

Is there a personnel shortage in the Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry?

In terms of regulatory compliance, pharma industry employers are facing the same shortages of experienced personnel (along with supply chain delays and other challenges) as other industries.

The biggest challenge to date has been to help key personnel (such as chemists and drug-development experts) also learn to manage operations and other team members.

So it pays to hold on to your employees; especially when you can upskill and/or reskill your employees for another vacant job role. Alternatively, when you discover you can modify reporting structures so that an employee can take on new responsibilities in quality management arenas.

Courses GMP compliant employers should add to their training catalogue to engage both new and existing employees, and support their career goals.
  • Online life-science regulations and GMP compliance courses
  • Zoom delivered GMP compliance sessions (1-day intensive GMP courses via Zoom OR via onsite small group training courses) – not a hybrid – training calendar
  • Skill development opportunities to help empower, and motivate, employees.

Recap and summary:

  • Offering skills training also reaffirms to your workers that you understand their value
  • Offering upskilling shows you value your team members as individuals who hold unique career path objectives, varying past experiences, and future goals
  • Upskilling and reskilling can help combat employee turnover AND reduce redundancy hassles or recruitment challenges (and costs).

Remember, turnover is not only very costly (3 to 5 x the annual salary of the employee in terms of recognised costs) — but also has a detrimental impact on production capacity AND quality management activities.

  • Upskilling: trains employees to learn and use new skills so they can improve performance or reduce errors; benefits their current career path progression. Example: new technology training; data integrity for a recordkeeping administrator or IT person, etc.
  • Reskilling: training employees to perform a new or unique role within the organisation and can ehlp ‘redeploy’ an individual who’s original position is made obsolete or redundant; or to overcome ‘role boredom’ when the talented employee is in need of a change

And the good news about upskilling your employees?

“Companies who invest in upskilling and reskilling and report improvements in a variety of areas, including performance, company reputation, and—most importantly in the current climate—employee retention.” SOURCE: Science Daily 

Further reading:

The critical link between effective training and retention (Lin Grensing-Pophal)

The retention effect of training (Science Daily) University of Würzburg (2020)

Last updated on April 7th, 2022 at 07:24 am

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