New research by e-learning solutions platform imc suggests that working in partnership with employees on their learning and development could be key to overcoming the current crisis of talent engagement, amid a climate of ‘quiet quitting’ and the Great Resignation. 

The Great Resignation saw almost 20 percent of working adults looking for new roles in 2022, as people sought work that was more fulfilling and aligned with their lifestyles, values or passions.

The subsequent talent scarcity crisis, with shortages of appropriately skilled candidates to meet the skill requirements of businesses, hit multiple industries, exposing sectors that are more vulnerable to employee disengagement and thus higher staff turnover, including hospitality, construction and healthcare.

However, research by imc suggests that the ‘Great Resignation’ presents an opportunity to highlight and address where businesses are not meeting the evolving needs – and working potential – of their workforce.

A side effect of the Great Resignation was greater emergence of ‘quiet quitting’ – completing the minimum amount of work as contractually required by your employer, without working ‘above and beyond’.

What does quiet quitting actually indicate?

While the concept of ‘quiet quitting’ is often used to highlight a disengagement from our working lives as a whole, it could actually be an indicator of individual employers not developing a mutually beneficial relationship between their company and the employees in a post-pandemic working environment.

The changing priorities of the workforce may therefore be embraced through empowered, individual-driven L&D pathways. imc’s survey of 2,000 UK workers, from a range of sectors, found that there is significant appetite for personal and professional development – something that would not be the case if ‘quiet quitting’ was systemic.

Also, 86 percent of workers reported that they would work for their employer for longer if they were given more L&D opportunities, while 94 percent felt that training would benefit them and the wider company.

The importance of L&D is becoming recognised

The study also revealed that managers are, on the whole, aware of the importance of promoting learning and development. A significant 59 percent of managers use training to keep their employees engaged in their roles, with 78 percent of managers acknowledging that training impacts their own commitment and engagement to their roles.

While there is awareness in a majority of managers of the importance of training, this does not necessarily mean that L&D is appropriately utilised on the whole as a tool for employee engagement, retention – or even skills maximisation.

In fact, while 51 percent of managers believe that their business is good at employee development and see a positive impact on retention, only 29 percent actively involve employees in the selection and integration of training, while 42percent of employees report they have no active involvement in training beyond participation.

Russell Donders, Director of International Markets, imc Learning, noted that:

“We work closely with businesses to offer bespoke training and development pathways for a range of industries, and the feedback from customers, and our research, is clear: training is a key contributor to employee engagement and business development. Each of us wants to fulfil our potential, and we see huge success in the businesses who understand how to implement that on a personal level.

Bespoke training packages, rolled out across all levels of operation, is a simple and effective tool to engage and retain talent. It even feeds into the recruitment process, in fact, 92 percent of job seekers now consider L&D opportunities to be a dealbreaker – so it makes sense this would also feed into engagement for existing talent. Empowering individual-driven learning and development pathways is a simple but effective solution to address changing priorities and reverse, or avoid, quiet quitting. “





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.