- Publish date
- Feb 4, 2022
For the longest time, salary and pay rises were the number one factor attracting employees to a job offer. However, as the business environment evolves, other factors start to play a bigger role in employee retention.
The 2018 Linkedin Learning Report seems to support this. According to the report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if the company invested in training and development.
Today, we explore how investing in your employees’ career growth boosts employee retention.
The Shift from Free Perks to Career and Personal Development
Gone are the days when free lunches and ping pong tables were a revered way of attracting and retaining talent. In today’s volatile recruitment market, employee preferences continue to change. Why is this change happening?
Well, employees want more control over their careers. They don’t want to feel dispensable or like an unvalued part of the bigger picture. Case in point: A recent survey showed that more than 50% of employees classify personal development and coaching as one of their top three priorities when considering a job.
Another survey showed that 60% of employees would pick a job with better professional development over regular pay rise when presented with two similar jobs. And now that the job market is more favorable to employees, they are negotiating for better conditions and benefits.
This means that companies with better career development opportunities will attract and retain the best talent. On the other hand, companies that fail to realize these needs will face staff shortages or attract underskilled workers.
Fortunately, most companies are rethinking employee development, and we’ve seen companies take a step towards supporting this initiative. That said, there’s still a massive disconnect between the level of development employees want and what they get.
Paving the way for Trust and Productivity with Employee Development
Among the things employees classify as negative and unnecessary in the workplace is micromanagement. The right employee development strategy can nullify micromanagement.
A good employee development strategy encompasses both hard skills and soft skills. Great employee development will also take into account coaching and mentorship. Such a strategy ensures that employees develop holistically and improve their shortcomings.
The result is a culture where employees have more control over how they work, leading to the obsoletion of micromanagement. When employees have more control, they feel trusted, respected, and valued. In other words, they don’t need a manager looking over their shoulders every minute to see if they are performing.
Instead, employees who feel valued and respected are engaged. They are productive and feel a sense of belonging and purpose, leading to job satisfaction. In fact, 91% of employees who have access to a mentor are satisfied with their job.
More Investment in Employee Career Growth Leads to Increased Employee Retention
Employees rank inadequate or lack career development as the second most common reason they leave a job. On the other hand, companies with employee development opportunities have 15% more employees engaged in their work. These organizations also get to enjoy 34% higher retention rates than companies.
If your organization lacks professional development opportunities, you are letting yourself and your employees down. That’s because investing in employee development benefits both employees and organizations.
Employee Development Benefits Your Business Too
One of the immediate benefits a company experiences by having professional development opportunities is filling the skills gap. According to a report by PWC, 79% of CEOs worldwide are concerned with the skills gap in their organization. The CEOs surveyed felt that their organizations suffered a gap of essential skills that could deter their future growth.
When it comes to filling this skill gap, employers have two options. They can either hire new talents or invest in training for their current workforce. The latter option is often better in the long run in terms of costs and overall organizational success.
By investing in the career growth of their employees, companies can successfully fill the skills gap in the organization. In addition, a workforce that’s empowered with skills and relevant technology will push your company’s goals into fruition.
Managers are a Crucial Ingredient in Employees’ Career Growth Development
A manager’s role in employee development is often overlooked but still a huge factor. For instance, 56% of employees would take a course recommended by their manager. Despite the manager’s critical role in employee development, talent managers cite that getting managers involved is their 2nd most challenging issue.
What does this spell for organizations?
If companies are to invest in their employee’s career development, they need to involve managers. On the other hand, managers would need to be intentional about supporting their direct reports. But for that to happen, companies need to ensure that managers undergo coaching and training to extend the same help to employees.
Also, companies will need to improve communication between employees and managers further. In fact, 96% of employees want to receive feedback more frequently than managers offer feedback. Currently, most companies rely only on annual reviews, which do not scratch the surface of employee performance.
If you aim to create an environment of employee development, you’ll need to develop better communication streams between managers and employees.
Is Your Company Failing at Employee Development?
Fortunately, most companies have some form of employee development. That said, others, especially where employee experience is not esteemed, have yet to avail any opportunities. These companies:
- Do not solicit constant feedback from employees
- Lack clear communication between managers and employees
- Fail to provide adequate skills training
- Operate their departments independently instead of promoting collaboration
How to Start Creating a Culture of Career Development in the Workplace
Creating a culture of career development in your workplace will take time. However, you can start by mapping your business goals. From there, you’ll realize the type of skills your workforce needs to realize these business goals.
Next, you’ll need to identify the gap in your employees’ skills. Finally, collaborate with employees and managers to determine the best way possible to bridge this gap.
Career development opportunities will continue to be a significant factor employees consider before joining a company. To attract and retain the best talent, organizations need to continually provide and improve these opportunities.
If you are at a loss on how to go about it, Buchanan Tech can help you. We can start with a free, no strings attached retention audit to understand where you stand. From there, we will work with you to put in place strategies that boost employee engagement and retention. Contact us to get started with a free retention audit.