A new study from organizational consulting firm Keystone Partners establishes the need for strategic investment in employee development for achieving organizational resilience in a world marked by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA).

The survey data from employees and business leaders across generations and industries identifies “Keystone moments” as crucial junctures for strategic employee investment. Investing in employees at these pivotal moments — such as transitional moments where an employee advances in the organization — significantly enhances the employer-employee relationship, leading to a more engaged, loyal, and healthier workforce. The study found 87% of employees who received both career development and career transition services from their employer felt their relationships with their employers were reciprocal.

“Employers today are dealing with more transient workforces than ever, and we’ve found companies are judged by employees less by the length of tenure than by the quality of the employee-employer relationship during that tenure,” said Tim Baldwin, CEO of Keystone Partners. “Employees now expect companies to invest in their growth. When employees feel invested in, our research shows they’re more likely to view the relationship as positive.”

Surprisingly, the findings suggest employers who invest in employees at major career milestones — even those usually perceived as negative, such as a layoff — can result in positive business outcomes:

  • 77% of employees who received career transition assistance from their employer felt losing their job was ultimately a positive experience
  • Additionally, 65% of employees who survived a layoff but knew those who were impacted received career transition services viewed their employer in a positive light

Business leaders can access more insights from the research by downloading the exclusive report.