How Learning and Development Can Help Keep Younger Employees Engaged

Organizations have the option to proactively address quiet quitting by providing learning and development opportunities for young employees.

Training Magazine

“Quiet quitting” has been the major buzzword of the last few weeks, with the term trending heavily on TikTok and Twitter and taking over headlines across the Internet. Quiet quitting doesn’t involve leaving one’s job, and definitions of the term vary. However, the overall idea is about “rejecting the notion that… employees should go above and beyond what their job descriptions entail,” according to LinkedIn.

Opinions on the term vary as well, with some seeing quiet quitting as a reaction to the “hustle culture” that dominated the pre-pandemic workforce. These people frame quiet quitting as setting healthy boundaries and prioritizing work-life balance, largely in response to stress and burnout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others see quiet quitting as an alarming trend, indicative of low motivation, diminished morale, and decreased productivity, especially from younger workers such as Gen Z.

Whatever your views are, quiet quitting is undoubtedly tied to a lack of employee engagement and the latest challenge that organizations will need to address. But how can companies maximize employee engagement and motivate younger workers to deliver exceptional results? Learning and Development opportunities can help.

Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction in Decline

According to a Gallup poll, the number of engaged employees dropped from 36 percent in 2020 to 34 percent in 2021 and again to 32 percent in 2022. Additionally, 19 percent of organizational workers are actively disengaged, meaning they do not enjoy their work, do the bare minimum, are disgruntled and disloyal, and often hinder productivity and morale.

60 percent of workers report being emotionally detached at work, and 19 percent are “miserable.” Of course, a lack of engagement affects the bottom line of businesses. Disengaged employees cost their company the equivalent of 18 percent of their annual salary, with these employees costing the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. In addition, businesses with engaged workers have 23 percent higher profits compared with businesses with disengaged workers.

While quiet quitting may mean establishing healthy boundaries and work-life balance for some workers, for employers, it remains a source of employee disengagement that threatens organizational performance and growth.

Workers Want Learning and Development Opportunities

Various studies have found that Learning and Development opportunities are in-demand and increase employee engagement and job satisfaction.

And younger workers, in particular, value these opportunities for learning.

If employee disengagement and lack of job satisfaction are both causes and products of quiet quitting, then employers should take note of the above statistics to engage employees optimally.

Training and eLearning Opportunities to Increase Engagement

Organizations can give employees ample learning and development opportunities to keep younger workers engaged, motivated, and productive and mitigate the effects of quiet quitting. These can be provided through eLearning or virtual instructor-led training to engage a global or remote workforce.

Structured, strategic, and comprehensive training programs can give employees helpful and engaging learning experiences, thus increasing employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Formal training programs can be delivered through virtual instructor-led training, allowing face-to-face interaction and real-time conversation with subject matter experts.

Instructionally designed skills training videos also help engage young workers by providing them with learning opportunities they can pursue at their own pace, at any time, anywhere, or in the format they prefer. 56 percent of Gen Z find learning material more engaging if the video is included.

To go one step further, companies can develop custom eLearning content tailored to their organization’s business goals, branding, and workers’ individual roles and skills needs. Personalized eLearning content specific to younger workers’ roles and applicable to their day-to-day work will engage them much more than generic or “off-the-shelf” eLearning courses.

Focus on Health and Wellness and Work-Life Balance

In addition to providing role-based learning opportunities, organizations should also be sure to focus on delivering specific health and wellness and work-life balance training.

Studies show that 66 percent of Gen Z would like a culture built on health and wellness and 42 percent of Gen Z workers prioritize work-life balance over other job perks. eLearning courses and training videos focused on health and wellness and maintaining work-life balance can be provided to management and reporting employees to address concerns over stress and burnout.

By implementing learning opportunities centered around health and wellness and work-life balance, employers can show younger workers they are taking the initiative to invest in their well-being, reducing employee disengagement risk.

In Conclusion

Whether you agree or disagree with quiet quitting, this trend remains a movement that stems from a lack of employee engagement and threatens to disrupt business productivity and growth. But organizations have the option to proactively address this by providing exactly what young workers are looking for: engaging opportunities for learning and development.

Phillip Carmichael, Jr., is the Marketing Assistant at Intellezy. His role involves research on the training and learning & development industries, identifying trends and implementing strategies for growth. With 30+ years of experience, Intellezy is an award-winning learning solutions company that provides a robust online video library, custom e-learning development, blended learning services, and learning and development (L&D) and change management consulting services. Clients effectively train, upskill, and reskill their teams using Intellezy’s custom e-learning development services and online video library of 10,000+ lessons that focuses on popular business applications, including M365, Google Workspace, and Adobe Creative Cloud. Intellezy’s partner-based approach to training ensures clients realize the full value of their organization’s investments.