This article is focused on the growth and retention of the workforce and how that impacts corporate growth and success. Empowering a learning and development team to build an employee development strategy is an important step in strengthening your team. Ensuring that training is designed to engage the learners by letting them own their learning experience becomes even more important. Gone are the days when trainers can lecture to their audience. Today, involvement and problem solving by the trainees is needed and required if learning is the goal.
With the skills gap that we are seeing today, recruiting competent employees has become a challenge. Retaining your current employee base is even more important so investing in their growth becomes a high priority. Most employees are interested in career advancement in a company so their professional growth is an important part of their career goals. The pathway to this is through on-going training along with potentially special project work that lets them get the experience needed for their next step up the ladder.
Providing a professional development program gives employees the growth opportunities they desire. Ongoing training keeps them from feeling stagnant and gives you a ready-made pipeline of people to fill progressively higher positions as they become available. Not only does this give you a pool of people who have invested in the company, but it positively impacts employee retention because people are more likely to stay with a company that invests in them. This positively impacts the challenges of the skills gap.
We all know that recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees is an expensive proposition. In fact, a Society for Human Resource Management study states that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129, and it takes about 42 days to fill each position. Imagine if your own company had a pool of talented, trained individuals, who you had already invested and who had already proved their worth! That’s the value of a solid learning and development strategy and that value is significant today given where the economy is with people leaving their employment in droves and the skills gap impact.
Many companies don’t practice what they preach when it comes to company culture, and that inconsistency is a major contributor to employee discontent.
According to BambooHR, the top six factors that contribute to employee dissatisfaction are:
- Being underpaid
- Having an unsupportive or untrustworthy boss
- Limited career growth at an organization
- Lack of meaning behind a role
- Lack of work-life balance
- Poor management
Notice that reasons two, three, and four have a direct correlation with inadequate training and professional development. An unsupportive company does not show any interest in their employees’ advancement. This lack of interest leads to limited growth potential within the organization, which results stagnant corporate growth or expensive recruiting practices. High-quality, relevant, and actionable training can be a solution to the feelings of negativity that may arise when employees don’t feel appreciated or challenged.
Employee attitudes have a significant impact on their engagement and productivity. Employees who feel indispensable to the company and see a bright future ahead of them are far more likely to commit to their work and invest their best efforts into the business. A study by University of Warwick economists found that happy employees were 12% more productive, whereas dissatisfied workers’ productivity dropped by 10%.
When you give your employees the opportunity to upskill and advance through meaningful training, they are motivated to stay. We want to stress again, meaningful training. This means modifying the lecture-based training and replacing it with engaging and learner focused programs.
Earlier we mentioned how expensive it is for employers to hire new talent? These expenses show up in the form of recruiting costs, training costs, salary and benefits, and workplace integration costs. Valerie Bolden Barrett, of HR Dive, says, “Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that it costs employers 33% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. In dollar figures, the replacement cost is $15,000 per person for an employee earning a median salary of $45,000 a year.”
A corporate learning and training strategy supports a positive culture helps employees understand how to be successful. It supports an agile environment that fosters growth, innovation, and employee engagement. By identifying your company’s cultural values, goals, and priorities along with communicating your professional development strategies as they relate to employee advancement you will send a powerful message that you plan to invest in them. That investment will pay off in multiples.