The working world is currently undergoing what some people are calling the ‘Great Resignation’ with surveys showing that “55% of Americans expect to search for a new job in the next 12 months”. This isn’t just affecting America either, a recent study by Personio found that over a third of UK employees are looking to change their role in the next 6 to 12 months. With these statistics in mind, we can confidently say that the time to focus on employee retention is now.
Organisations are becoming more and more people focused (rightly so). They are beginning to understand that empowering and investing in your employees can have a huge ROI. In this blog, we are going to discuss how low code programs can help you empower your employees, keep them engaged, increase retention, and improve your business, all at once.
Introducing Citizen Developers, A Citizen Developer is an employee who creates application capabilities for consumption by themselves or others within the business.
Entrusting your employees with the ability to streamline processes within your business is a hard step to make. Those processes are usually in place for a reason and it’s sometimes hard for the people who they were created by to see how tedious they can be or how they can work better. Employees that use these processes daily know it like the back of their hand, they will be able to identify what works well, what doesn’t work well, and how it can be made more efficient.
A business with a budget may look into creating new systems to make these processes easier but they can still miss the mark, and this can be a costly endeavour. Allowing an employee to become a Citizen Developer would mean that someone much closer to the challenges can collaborate with their colleagues and find a better solution that will work for them all. All this may cost you is the employees time, but what it provides is an employee who is more invested and engaged with the business and is able to prove their worth in a way that is their own. As well as this they can spend more time on the engaging, valuable work that they actually came to do now that they have eliminated laborious tasks.
Retaining employees with learning.
Following on from the idea of Citizen Developers, there is a direct correlation between the ongoing development and upskilling of employees and retaining them. The more businesses are willing to invest in their employees the more willing employees are to stay with the business.
It’s been noted across many blogs that there is a surge of new, young employees who have an obsessive work ethic. Many of them want to learn as much as they can so they are better equipped to move forward in their careers and their aspirations. This isn’t exclusive to young employees either, there is a new wave coming across the general workforce and it’s the need to learn. People don’t want to feel like they have become stagnant in their work and development. Providing these employees with the freedom to learn, create and automate their way down the career path they have chosen is a valuable way to retain your workforce and better your business as people will apply what they have learnt into their role.
Everything in the aforementioned sections all comes back to culture, as most things usually do. Not only should a business provide the opportunity to grow and develop, whether it’s in the development space of elsewhere, they should also advocate for it. This way employees can see that their employer is ready and willing to invest in them, this can make an employee feel valued and empowered. A business that takes feedback and encourages ideas from their employees will have a better all-round culture, it creates an innovative and psychologically safe environment for employees and your business to thrive.
Obviously, with everything that has been said, we are not suggesting that the only way to retain employees is through letting them develop applications and/or putting them through learning plans. This does not work for everybody, and some people react better to other incentives. Retention and the forecasted labour shortage is a problem that needs to be addressed on a contextual basis, these are just some solutions that we can see being applicable in the right business.
If you are reading this and feel your business would benefit from looking at culture and employee retention from a new angle, we are able to support you by advising on the technology and resources available to you through your Microsoft 365 licenses to help this solution become a reality for you. We also offer training and consultancy within the Microsoft Power Platform, which is a fantastic way to introduce people to low code applications and there are many documented low code Citizen Developers that have created unbelievably valuable applications for their business. Your employees could be next to do that for you. What are you waiting for?