Training and Development: An Integral Part of Employee Recruitment and Retention
Recruitment and retention. Two very important words to an organization’s successful future.
According to SHRM’s 2022 Learning & Development Trends Research:
- More than 8 in 10 HR managers believe training is beneficial to attract (83%) and retain (86%) talent.
- 48% of employees agree that training opportunities were a factor in choosing their current company.
- More than 76% say they are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training.
So, the million-dollar question is...what’s the best way to attract the cream-of-the-crop talent? Potential employees want to know what set of competencies they’ll need and what available training will support their career growth. Therefore, training and development programs must be already in place to recruit top talent.
And the next critical question is how do employers not only retain “A” employees but create best-fit careers for them? (No one wants to experience the great resignation again!) According to Gartner, employee experience is the top priority for 47% of HR leaders in 2023, and 44% believe their organization doesn’t have compelling career paths. Gartner explains that current skills are becoming obsolete, and current employees aren’t prepared for future roles.
Clearly, training and development is an integral part of employment recruitment and development. In today’s competitive environment, it’s all about the employee experience and more specifically, professional development.
What is Learning and Development?
Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values attitudes, and preferences.
Employee development is the continuous effort to strengthen work performance through approaches like coaching, in-person and asynchronous training, and leadership mentoring.
Here are several types of learning and development opportunities often available to employees:
- Sales training
- Technical training
- Soft skills learning
- Mentoring programs
- Leadership development
- New employee training
- Training to support succession planning goals
Employee training programs should include more than just the employees’ daily work expectations. Learning and development encompass everything from professional development to emotional intelligence training to diversity, equity & inclusion, to health and wellness training, and so much more!
Benefits of Training and Development
- Creates a learning culture. The organizations’ values, processes, and best practices encourage employees to continually learn and acquire new competencies, such as curiosity, innovation, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Employees see the organization’s focus on training and development as an investment in their future with the company, which helps them build and embrace a company-wide learning culture.
- Boosts employee morale and job satisfaction. Providing training opportunities creates a positive work environment that allows employees to learn and grow, giving them a sense of purpose and pride in their company. Eighty-seven percent of employees at the 2023 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® said they often or always feel like they are offered training and resources to develop professionally.
- Enhances employee performance. A 2019 report published in the IOSR Journal of Business and Management indicates that 90% of employees surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that training and development programs improved their job performance.
- Increases employee engagement. Bob Nelson, author of “1,001 Ways to Engage Employees”, expresses that learning and development are among the top factors in employee engagement. And employee feedback shows that 92% of employees agree well-planned training programs have a positive effect on employee engagement. When employees feel valued, they have the confidence to perform well, increasing motivation and resulting in full engagement. Engaged employees are challenged and happy and are less likely to seek outside employment opportunities.
- Fosters a growth mindset. Dr. Carol Dweck, a research psychologist at Stanford University, discusses in her book, Mindset: New Psychology of Success, how a growth mindset can make the difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t.
- Creates more effective teams. A solid and unique training and development program gives employees a sense of ownership in their role and a future vision with the organization, creating effective collaborative teams.
- Fosters innovation. As employees continue to learn, they begin to see new connections and new patterns. In turn, they have new ideas and implement them accordingly.
- Simplifies the hiring process, strengthens talent acquisition processes, and provides effective recruitment. This is about attracting the right people for the specific position. The pool of potential candidates is composed of the best employees from competing industries. A training and development program that addresses individuals’ strengths and values shows a company’s commitment to promoting employees’ learning and growth. This focus makes an organization more attractive to top talent.
- Improves employee retention rates. According to BetterBuys research , professional development allows for high employee retention rates. Offering learning and development opportunities coincides with a 34% higher retention rate.
- Furthers onboarding process. New hires can hit the ground running and get up to speed quickly.
- Avoids the high costs of constant employee turnover. When retention strategies focusing on learning and development are in place, turnover is considerably lower.
- Awards higher profit margins. Organizations with comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin.
Why Training and Development Makes a Difference in Recruiting and Retaining Employees
Employee recruitment and retention means employers must be strategic and intentional about communicating continuous training and development opportunities. This practice will attract and retain the best talent. The recruitment process begins with branding the organization as an employer that supports continuous learning and development. Set the right tone and instill a strong learning culture.
Learning and development programs both recruit and retain employees who are lifelong learners. Reskilling and upskilling are key to the employee experience and satisfying the organization’s needs. Employers who want to have loyal employees for the long term would be wise to invest in training programs that support personal growth and career advancement, so recruiters don’t steal them away.
Training should be an integral part of the organization’s formal onboarding process. If employees do not receive proper onboarding training, they typically leave their jobs within the first year. Good onboarding leads to strong retention rates.
Onboarding begins the day new workers accept the job offers. Managers should start thinking about training employees not just for their new roles but for their future career paths too. A good first step is an assessment within the first six months to determine the new hirer’s strengths and areas for growth. The manager can then form a development program for them using competency-based learning tracks.
Open communication about advancement opportunities gives employees an incentive to not seek employment elsewhere. However, if upskill training isn’t available for career advancement, employees will leave.
Providing employees with training that focuses on a clear, outlined career plan will change the employees’ mindset of looking outside of the organization for advancement opportunities. In turn, this helps retain top talent and shows them the company is invested in their growth.
Be sure to offer manager and supervisor training. When managers and supervisors are not simply promoted but are taught to be competent along with having the right skills and competencies, it creates a workplace where leaders can succeed and talented employees want to stay. Morale is boosted and employees are highly motivated.
- Developing Empathy
- Overcoming Unconscious Bias
- Working with Different Generations
Even if training is considered expensive, the cost of not training employees will be even higher. Think about the costs of onboarding new employees. The costs of losing employees to outside employers may in most cases outweigh the costs of providing training.
At times employees fail at their roles and the reasons they fail include things like not knowing how to manage emotions, lack of motivation, and the inability to accept and use feedback. It’s clear that employee turnover due to a lack of training and development is a high dollar cost to organizations.
HSI Can Help
“Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.” - Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher
HSI offers self-directed learning allowing individual learners to direct their learning, based on their individual needs and interests. Self-directed learning can be added to your training and development programs alongside more traditional training or blended learning. This offers yet another avenue for employee growth and development.
Allowing employees to direct their learning, setting their own path and at their own pace, fosters engagement and a growth mindset. This plays a critical role in employee retention strategies. Offering personal development topics employees have an interest in creates a very fulfilling learning engagement experience for them.
When working with a company like HSI, access is given to full libraries of off-the-shelf training videos. HR departments can proactively manage employee retention, as well as any other needs that arise. Request a free trial of HSI’s LMS to explore training employees will be excited about.
- Mentorship Programs provide organizations with a clear succession path for employees. This is a great selling point for recruiting outside talent. Read HSI’s blog, Mentorship Program Template: A Guide to Creating a Mentoring Program.
- Succession Planning encompasses the entire organization - from the top down. Map out the path employees can take to work up the org chart. To learn more, check out HSI’s blog, A Guide to Creating a Succession Planning Template, for the steps to create a succession plan along with a worksheet!
- HSI’s Guide to Creating an Employee Training and Development Program is a helpful resource for HR departments at the beginning of their training planning and, ideally, considering HSI.
- Need to make a business case for training employees? Download HSI’s eBook The Costs of Not Training.