Companies continue to struggle with hiring and retaining quality employees during the Great Resignation. More than ever, retaining employees is critical for companies to maintain smooth operations, stay competitive, and plan for growth. UMKC TalentLink provides professional development that helps business invest in their people and retain employees. It’s a critical strategy for a challenging time. Here’s why.
UMKC TalentLink Business Development Director Candice Haines (pictured below) spoke with more than 75 large employers recently at the Greater Kansas City Veteran Career Fair. The company representatives consistently shared that their number one issue was finding people to work.
“Given these challenging circumstances, employers are paying more attention to retaining the people they already have,” Haines says. “They realize that this is truly a job-seeker’s market. They are looking for ways to create value and keep employees engaged. Upskilling through professional development not only equips employees for career advancement, but also enables companies to retain valuable talent.”
Upskilling is a long-term employee investment approach. Businesses that invest in professional development enhance the knowledge, skills, and competencies that employees seek to advance their careers. Professional development yields many other benefits for companies and employees.
Training Empowers Employees
Employees who gain new skills and knowledge or enhance existing skills through professional development become more effective and efficient. They feel more empowered and confident to tackle new tasks and decision-making.
Empowerment through training also reinforces the connection between staff and managers. Employees who receive professional development are more likely to remain with a company and perform better. Meanwhile, managers and leaders spend less time in the trenches. They can instead redirect attention to strategic planning and long-range goals that enable the company to grow.
Job Satisfaction and Sense of Value Increases
Employers investing in professional development gain employees who are more knowledgeable and productive. Further, employees feel valued when a company commits to training. The business demonstrates that employees are worthy of further investment and development. In turn, employees are more willing to stay on the job.
Job satisfaction also rises as a byproduct of professional development. Employees gain and enhance skills. Their success rate on projects and tasks increases, leading to more satisfaction and, ideally, rewards for better performance.
Harvard Business Review cited an example at Medicus Healthcare Solutions. Medicus noticed an increase in resignations for a particular job category. Their learning and development team responded by gathering feedback. Erin Posnick, team lead of corporate training and development at Medicus, led her team to identify barriers and opportunities to enhance the upskilling experience during the employee lifecycle. The result was a layered, four-week program that, when designed and implemented, improved retention by 50%.”
Professional development to upskill workers can vary by length and format. UMKC TalentLink asks questions and listens to the needs of organizations to provide — rather than prescribe — training solutions. The goal of upskilling is to produce more valuable workers and retain those employees. The following reasons further support the case for investment in professional development.
Opportunity for Promotion
Companies that invest in professional development yield more valuable employees. Employees who have gained experience and applied new skills are more likely to stick around and seek advancement. As their career progress, the company benefits from employee growth, knowledge retention, and strengthening corporate culture. Retention rates rise 30-50% for companies with strong learning cultures, according to a Lorman study.
Companies can save money on hiring and training costs when they have in-house talent capable of advanced tasks and responsibilities. Retaining and developing current employees is critical rather than starting from scratch.
The Center for American Progress reports that it costs businesses about 20 percent of a worker’s salary to replace that worker. Loss of an employee also results in productivity losses. Complex jobs that require higher levels of education and specialized training have even higher turnover costs.
Ability to Adapt
Companies face ever-changing market conditions, whether adapting to a pandemic, rising materials costs, or supply chain issues. Retaining employees who can shift responsibilities, roles, and practices when the business evolves is essential. Businesses that allocate funds for professional development ultimately retain committed employees ready and capable of adaptation to operational changes. In other words, training current employees versus hiring hard-to-find staff is a quicker, more reliable pathway to nimble adaptation.
Professional Development Is Worth the Investment
According to a Lorman study, 70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for an organization known for investing in employee development and learning.
Increased pay and benefits alone aren’t surefire tools to attract and retain employees. Providing professional development is a key approach in an employer’s toolbox to interest new talent and retain existing employees. Both businesses and employees reap numerous benefits from development.