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Philanthropy News Digest: Leveraging Skills-Based Volunteering Programs During the ‘Great Upgrade’

By Common Impact | August 15, 2022

By Tessa Vithayathil

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The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an unprecedented shift within the U.S. workforce. No industry or sector has escaped as a record number of people have left their jobs in what’s been called the “Great Resignation.” Perhaps you have witnessed this exodus among your colleagues or been part of it yourself.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of “voluntary quits” reached 4.5 million in March 2022, continuing the record highs posted during 2021, which closed out its last two months with an astonishing combined total of almost 9 million workers leaving their jobs. National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti has pointed out that people are using this opportunity to change their employment situations for the better. Perhaps the Great Resignation would be better termed the “Great Upgrade.”

One of the top reasons so many people are changing jobs is they’re seeking more purpose and advancement in their careers. Professionals are putting more emphasis on the meaning of their work and pursuing opportunities to further develop their skills… Today’s professionals are also very attuned to aligning their work with their values… Employers not currently taking notice of these undeniable trends risk seeing their ranks depleted by the Great Upgrade.

How, then, can employers not just talk about their values but also take tangible, meaningful actions that show their employees and their communities that they are serious about making an impact? How can employers create opportunities for team members to develop existing skills, build new ones, and create lasting connections with colleagues, all proven solutions for employee retention? Skills-based volunteering.