It's Time for Organizations to Lean in to Change

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In today’s rapidly changing and lucrative job environment, quitters are winners. At least that’s what the numbers suggest. Depending on the source, the average person obtains a 10-30% salary increase when changing jobs. So, it’s no surprise people are quitting their jobs more than ever before. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the proportion of Americans who quit their jobs hit a 17-year high in May at 2.4%, with the annual quit rate rising from 16.2% in 2009 to more than 26% in 2017.

Is this a Millennial Problem?

Well, millennials are certainly at the forefront of this shift given that almost 7% of people under the age of 35 changed jobs in the first quarter of last year alone, compared to 3.1% in the next age group. Further, the median tenure for people aged between 25 and 34 is only 2.8 years, significantly lower than the national median of 4.2 years, which is also decreasing.

This “the grass is always greener” mentality that employees are increasingly adopting is costing employers… a lot. A recent article published by Forbes puts that number at an average of $800,000 annually per company, due to factors such as loss in productivity, loss in institutional knowledge and the cost of recruiting for job openings that remain vacant for over 12 weeks at a time. While this number may be skewed towards larger organizations, turnover on average costs 21% of an employee’s salary, regardless of the size of the company. Moreover, turnover is especially costly as you climb up the hierarchical ladder, with that same number reaching 74% of annual salary for executives

Why is the Grass Greener?

Or, why are more people quitting faster than ever before? According to a report by Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory company, two of the five main reasons outside of compensation listed by employees as drivers of attraction to new roles are “Challenging work” and “Opportunities to learn new skills”. This holds particularly true for 43% of millennials, who, driven by their hunger to be challenged, are likely to leave their job in under two years because they are not learning fast enough — and they’re not alone. According to Deloitte, only 21% of new hires are willing to stay in a role that does not have proper training and career development in place.

Another large driver of retention and employee satisfaction is remote work. Specifically, employees are 48% more likely to rate their job a 10 on the “happiness scale” if remote work is included in their benefits. In fact, remote work is likely the most noteworthy employment shift of the last decade, with the number of people telecommuting more than doubling. While this privilege only used to be common to the consulting industry, as a result of the major shift to cloud-based technologies, more and more industries are hopping on the telecommuting bandwagon. In 2016, over 43% of US workers reported working partly or fully remote, with the highest increases reported in Insurance, Finance and Real Estate.

To battle this trend, some notable companies like Yahoo and Bank of America, recently reported turning their back on their remote work policies. But will these companies continue to attract top talent given that 90% of existing remote workers plan on continuing to work remotely for the rest of their careers?

Instead of resisting change, it’s time that companies start investing in training programs and scalable solutions and technologies and that support the modern-day worker and allows them to continue to attract and retain top talent.

Prioritize Learning and Career Development Programs

With the world changing faster than ever, our skills have a much shorter lifespan than they used to. While Salesforce used to be a luxury for many companies 10 years ago, it is now the 7th most in-demand software skill in new job postings. Demand for specific roles within the Salesforce ecosystem are even growing 10.7x faster than the average job posting. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see large corporations like Salesforce, voted Forbes #1 best company to work for in 2017, and AT&T leading the charge on training and development programs.

AT&T has committed to investing $1B into their Workforce 2020 program that’s designed to re-train and develop their existing employees to replace the 50% of skills that will soon be replaced by technology. Similarly, Salesforce is proactively addressing the important gap of skilled Salesforce developers and CRM administrators in their ecosystem that are a critical ingredient in Salesforce’s path to hit their $60B revenue trajectory. In terms of training and career development, Salesforce is ahead of the game. Trailhead, their online learning portal with a high gamification aspect to it, is designed to make it easier than ever for anyone to learn and master Salesforce’s CRM system — and it’s working. Nearly every day a new success story is shared on social media by a trailblazer who went from being unemployed to becoming a Salesforce Administrator, one of Indeed’s Best Jobs of 2017 with a $89,700 average base.

With these larger companies leading the charge on learning and development programs, many others are following behind — and rightfully so. According to IBM, companies that invest in training programs experience a 35% decrease in time spent by employees searching for sales content and 22% faster roll-outs of products and processes. Despite these encouraging statistics, 69% of the companies we surveyed reported having little to no CRM documentation and training – with “thrown in the fire” reported as their onboarding strategy for new users on more than one occasion – a costly and risky strategy considering the increasingly important role that the CRM plays in an organization.

Invest in solutions (and people) that increase the ROI on your CRM

More and more companies are moving to cloud-based CRM systems to serve as the connective tissue around data for their organization. In fact, CRM was the fastest-growing software in 2017 outpacing traditional database management with a growth rate of 16%. Yet, 50-80% of CRM implementations fail, in large part due to end-user adoption.

Traditionally, CRM systems simply served as a system of records to manage company accounts and contacts. Today, the highly customizable and increasingly no-code nature of CRM systems like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics has encouraged companies to move an increasing number of their processes and teams to these systems. As such, many companies are now utilizing CRM as their core database, customizing and building out applications to manage everything from inventory management to their sales processes.

This holds particularly true for small and medium-sized companies, the fastest growing segment in the CRM space with a forecasted 18% compounded annual growth rate. This increased adoption is largely thanks to the many businesses who have created supporting applications with a single goal in mind: to help you maximize the value of your CRM investment and encourage end-user adoption. For example, using your CRM data to automatically generate documents, manage your product development process or make it easier for your Sales representatives to enter and sync email data without ever leaving their inbox.

In fact, for most companies, their CRM is a living, breathing reflection of their business, one that contains a large portion of their terminology and changes with new product lines or pivots that the business takes. Despite this, documentation of the system itself is often neglected. A surprising fact, considering the highly lucrative job environment aforementioned for Salesforce administrators and developers- one that might encourage them to walk out with the tribal knowledge on your system. More importantly, onboarding new hires onto the system is costly as well. Many companies we’ve spoken to say claim that it takes upwards of four weeks for a new user to familiarize themselves with their customized CRM, processes and business jargon.

Documentation and Training has its own Lifecycle

So where does an organization with no CRM documentation or training start? The typical approach is creating spreadsheets to store important information about your data model and data points — such as, who enters the information, how the data is used, and why it’s important. In addition, creating step-by-step powerpoints or training manuals for your end-users is helpful to supplement hands-on training.

However this stagnant, siloed and manual form of documentation struggles to keep up with the rapidly changing nature of today’s CRM and geographically distributed teams. In other words, while CRM has made great leaps in terms of technology, the documentation and training tools required to support them have not.

This gap in documentation and learning technologies is our inspiration behind Spekit, a new software designed to give companies a dynamic and scalable solution to documentation and training, that’s directly tied to their CRM. Using Spekit’s Salesforce integration, companies can easily document their data model and create a shared vocabulary around their data as changes are made to their data model and configurations in real-time. Providing the data governance of a data dictionary and the crowdsourced knowledge of a wiki, end-users can access this knowledge for training purposes directly, in context anywhere in their browser, using our Chrome extension.

With up to 50% of Fortune 500 companies expected to be replaced in the next ten years, it’s now or never for companies to lean in to change and start taking proactive steps to ensure that they continue to scale with these new employment and technological environments. More importantly companies that are investing in training programs or leveraging proper learning technologies might also come out as winners in the job market given that they report a 16% increase in employee satisfaction. Lean in, folks.