Why employee training is an effective retention strategy

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The Pandemic has created a massive upheaval in the corporate world, where millions of people have been forced to leave their jobs or quit, many chopping and changing companies in order to remain employed, leaving companies scrambling for attractive ways to attract new and retain their top employees.

In order for businesses to stand out and remain competitive, their offerings need to be ever-evolving and relevant, and often go above pay, flexibility and benefits. Learning and Development (L&D) – in whichever format including corporate training – is a win-win all around. The employee is gaining knowledge and expertise, and the organisation is gaining a more experienced team member, enhanced employee productivity and an improved corporate culture. Recent research shows that 74% of employees are willing to learn new skills or retrain in order to remain employable, whereas 74% of surveyed employees feel they aren’t reaching full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities. This is not an area where employers should neglect.

Employees value training opportunities, if not more than their employers. Business owners and managers know and appreciate that the recipe for success and growth is ongoing learning and training; yet a lot of companies still fail to provide these tools for development. So often and with good reason, it’s all about ROI and often this may be harder to measure as it’s intangible. However, it’s crucial to look at the bigger picture on a long term basis, where training an employee / employees has the potential to snowball and stimulate further positive outcomes.

There are many ways which corporate training can work within a business. Training can be offered monthly / quarterly / annually etc. It may be offered as and when the need arises, or it can be offered as a performance incentive. Either way, a well designed and implemented training scheme can help improve employee retention within an organisation. Roles with a higher retention rate often point to happier and more satisfied employees. Once the correct quality of candidate is hired, the key is to retain them.

High retention is two fold; it’s a solid testament to how good it is to be a part of the company, as well as rewards the company with a positive and attractive reputation. Recruitment is very costly: from interviewing, hiring, training and lost productivity. For example, for entry level employees, it costs 30%-50% of their annual salary to replace them, for mid-level employees, it can cost upwards of 150% and for high-level employees, it can be up to 400%.

There are so many reasons why investing in corporate training for the growth of your employees is worthwhile. So often and with good reason, it’s all about ROI and often this may be harder to measure when it’s intangible. However, the bigger picture needs to feature as one training course, for example, can snowball and stimulate further positive outcomes.

Learning and training do not follow a one-size-fits-all approach, as employers and employees are so different in terms of their interests, specialties and professional preferences. When an organisation is open-minded and flexible in the way its employees can partake in corporate training, the rate of employee retention rises as employees feel recognised, valued and part of the greater whole.

Below are 5 reasons why corporate training can aid in employee retention:

1. Increased job satisfaction
Employees who partake in corporate training and development are more likely to feel good about their employers. They are also more likely to perform their jobs above and beyond, yielding a positive performance that enhances a company’s reputation among customers and other stakeholders. Employees who do not feel like they are developing in a company are 12 times more likely to leave it, according to an IBM study.

Many employees thrive on being stimulated and pushed out of their comfort zone. Corporate training makes employees feel challenged to grow and in turn, feel more satisfied in their jobs. Stagnation and lack of progression in one’s job function can often lead to procrastination, hunting around for something better, or feeling wasted and not fulfilled. When an employee feels happy with their contribution to the greater organisation, they will develop a greater sense of self-worth which will lead to being more motivated to perform and grow even further.

2. Enhances employee engagement
When employees know they have a growth-mindset employer, they are more engaged and enthusiastic about performing at a high level. By investing in corporate learning and development opportunities for your employees, you ensure they become a valuable resource to the company. Knowing that the company has invested in their career and personal growth makes employees feel valued, cared for in terms of their career and gives them higher job satisfaction. Showing staff that you are willing to invest in their professional development can encourage engagement in the company, reduce the risk of roles becoming stale, and re-energise and re-motivate people.

According to Gallup, creating a culture of engagement requires more than completing an annual employee survey, hoping the results will yield involvement. However, in order to ensure long-lasting engagement, thinking about how to retain your top talent in the long-run and how to best ensure they have opportunities to progress, needs careful consideration. It seems like a no-brainer for companies to offer training. Research shows the rise in retention rates by 30-50% for companies with strong learning cultures. When an employee knows they have the chance to expand in their day-to-day role, this gives impetus and momentum for ongoing engagement, as the more they develop, the more they will want to use their newly acquired skills.

3. Enhance employee performance and productivity
The success or failure of your company is highly dependent on the productivity levels of your employees, both individually and collectively. Therefore, employee training and development programmes are critical for enhancing employee performance. In fact, a 2019 report published in The International Journal of Business and Management Research indicates that 90% of employees surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that training and development programmes improved their job performance. By encouraging and offering the development of new skills and areas of expertise, you’re enabling your team to be more efficient and navigate their work more effortlessly, resolving issues quicker and seeing things with a more experienced perspective.

When employees see that you are providing learning opportunities with a view to advancing their career, they recognise that you care about their growth and are thus likely to become more committed to their jobs. This leads to higher employee engagement which produces higher business productivity. Employee productivity improves when employees have the opportunity to grow and develop within their remit. Training also instills a greater level of confidence, motivation and passion into employees and managers, which translates into a more productive corporate culture and a space where people want to achieve and excel.

4. Recognition
The power of employee recognition is often underestimated, however recognition has the potential to change the way your employees view your company and how long they remain loyal. Recognition can be done both formally and informally, dependent on the business. Training courses are an effective tool to acknowledge employees who are hard-working and dedicated. Offering an opportunity for learning and development shows you do indeed recognise and value an employee / team, and want to show them you’re invested in them and their career and personal growth.

5. Performance-based culture
A performance-based corporate culture both inspires and motivates employees, by giving them attainable goals to reach on a regular basis. If they perform and excel, they will be rewarded. A very popular reward is a training opportunity, where the employee can once again develop and extend themselves and thereafter, succeed again. When employees know what they are reaching for, they are able to achieve it in an optimal way. This can be done if an employee / team hits their target, goes above and beyond a KPI, doubles sales volume, or wins a new contract; the list is endless.

As a leading corporate training company, at LCT we understand the true value of professional development for businesses and employees alike. Our bespoke and customisable courses and seminars are designed to enhance the career prospects of delegates across the UK and further afield, with engaging, accredited and expert-led programmes spanning every major field. Get in touch to learn more.

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