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Navigating the shift: From the Great Resignation to the Great Reskilling

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HR Executive – by Ashley Kontos

Navigating the shift: From the Great Resignation to the Great Reskilling

As the Great Resignation winds down, the traditional workplace is at a crossroads, faced with the challenge of adapting to a new era of employee expectations. In its 2024 Trends Report, the American Psychological Association found that workers want meaning on the job, and employers must “design roles” and “cultivate work environments” that will successfully retain employees.

Beyond the paycheck, workers today crave roles that promise purpose and pathways for growth. This pivot to what’s become known as the Great Reskilling is not just a trend but a momentous transformation, calling for a redefined talent strategy and an ecosystem that prioritizes continuous learning and personal development.

What the Great Resignation left behind

Even though the Great Resignation is fading from headlines, the monthly numbers of workers quitting are still high relative to the past two decades. Resignations at the end of 2023 were similar to levels just before the pandemic—around 3.5 million—but that is still elevated compared to the period going back to December 2000, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking “quits.”

The pandemic reshaped what employees expect from their workplaces, propelling demand for jobs that deliver satisfaction on multiple levels. The Great Resignation also offered a chance to redesign the workforce, with employees more encouraged to acquire skills needed to climb the corporate ladder. On the other hand, organizations eager to fill the recently vacated jobs were offered the chance to train existing employees.

This new dynamic has clarified that companies must balance personal employee fulfillment with professional productivity. As a result, innovative talent-nurturing strategies are imperative to reduce turnover costs and foster a culture of growth and innovation.

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