Lean on Me

Organizations are realizing they need to do something—fast—in order to retain employees as we emerge from the pandemic. Indeed, it is more important than ever for companies to create and maintain programs that foster employee well-being, growth, and engagement.

Some 95 percent of workers are currently considering changing jobs, according to a recent quick poll of nearly 650 employees Monster conducted last month. The most common factor driving a job change is burnout from their current roles (32 percent) and lack of job growth opportunities (29 percent).

Organizations quickly are realizing they need to do something—fast—in order to retain employees as we emerge from the pandemic. Indeed, it is more important than ever for companies to create and maintain programs that foster employee well-being, growth, and engagement.

That thought sparked my inspiration for this issue’s cover lines and image, as the lyrics from the famous song, “Lean on Me,” ran through my mind:

You just call on me brother
When you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

In this July online-only issue focused on employee well-being, engagement, and development, we look at the Talent Ring that helps companies choose, grow, and inspire their talent, Plus, we re-examine talent development strategy to hone in on skills-based hiring and education programs that proactively guide workers on relevant career paths. As the economy re-opens, companies also are looking for ways to hold on to hourly workers. Experts point to prioritizing transparency, open communication, and perks such as early access to wages and flexible scheduling.

Despite the lifting of pandemic restrictions in many states, some companies—and employees—prefer to continue working remotely going forward. So we offer tips on how to ensure a positive remote culture and how to measure remote employee engagement. And we explore how virtual volunteerism can help boost morale and provide professionals with a sense of purpose and connection. (Hot topic discussion: Our next Training Top 100 Insightsvirtual session at 11 a.m. Eastern on July 16 will explore the future of onboarding. Click here to register and join the conversation with two of our 2021 Training Top 100 winners—it’s free!)

After months of pandemic stress, it’s not so easy to pick up where we were before—and maybe we don’t even want to. But employees do need to find their way in the “new normal” and figure out how to get re-motivated and regain the drive and determination to feel good about their work and personal lives. And they may face additional challenges besides the pandemic, including addiction and mental illness. Their organizations can provide needed support and assistance.

Employee health/well-being and engagement are two categories we score in our Training Top 100 application. Click here to download the 2022 application and scoring guidelines and learn more about this awards program that recognizes excellence in employee training and development.

Focusing on YOUR development as a Learning and Development (L&D) professional is also crucial for your success and that of your organization. Join the Skills Evolution at our upcoming TechLearn 2021 Virtual Conference (October 25-29), which features world-class experts who know learning technologies AND how to strengthen core foundational training skills to identify how and when to use them effectively. Everyone can attend 130 learning experiences, including practical breakouts, solution demos, Technology Test Kitchen, daily problem-solving sessions, Adobe maker labs, and thought-provoking keynotes. This event will be fully online, but all of the sessions will be LIVE; plus all attendees can listen to the recordings on demand afterward. Click here to register today.

Last but not least, also in keeping with this issue’s theme, I’m excited to announce a joint research project Trainingmagazine is doing with positive psychology researcher Shawn Achor. Exploring the “Science of Happiness During Challenging Times” will allow us all to consider the best steps to take now to spark optimism, increase resilience, and spread positivity in our personal and professional lives. Please click here to take a quick survey that will provide key insights into how our behaviors shape our beliefs, and how our beliefs shape our well-being. And click here to view a short video from Shawn.

The results will be revealed during Shawn’s keynote at our in-person Training 2022 Conference & Expo February 28-March 2 in Orlando, FL. Survey respondents will receive the findings ahead of the conference, along with a summary and guide designed especially for participants to support a healthier and happier you. And you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card and a $40 Disney gift card. Now that’s something to smile about!

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.