How to Attract and Retain Talent with Learning and Development

How to Attract and Retain Talent with Learning and Development

Today, unemployment is relatively low, meaning that most of the high-performers out there are already employed. Employees have the freedom to work just about anywhere, keeping talent and attracting new talent is more difficult and more crucial than ever.

A recent survey showed 45% of exiting employees left because of a lack of learning or professional development opportunities. Companies that do not engage their workforce with a skill development plan are at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting, developing, and keeping talented employees. Let’s explore how training and development can be used to help accomplish this goal.

Training reduces employee turnover

When employees know you’ve dedicated time and resources to their success, they are going to be more likely to return the favor. Turnover can be frustrating and expensive. Estimates are that replacing an employee can cost up to two times a salary. According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their development.

Standardized Work Processes

When you train your own employees, you make sure you impart your preferences for how you want your company to operate. If the workforce is all trained in the same procedures, everything will function uniformly. That increases efficiency.

Reduced reliance on contractors

Why send out when you can make your own? Contractors offer a particular skill for a particular purpose. They tend to be pricey and when they’re done, they take their skillset with them. Why not invest in your own? Training your existing workforce to handle the parts of a project that you would normally hire out saves money and keeps those skills in-house for future needs. So, every time your staff uses those skills down the road, you’re saving even more money.

Increased morale

As employees gain more skills, they feel better about themselves, their abilities to contribute, and the company overall. Other side benefits such as promoting from within for staff that increase their skills also boosts morale. There is scientific evidence that learning makes people happier. Increased engagement also means more effort from a workforce that wants to try out their new skills.

Creates a stronger company image

Your brand as an employer is an important factor in attracting new talent. In this competitive hiring climate, it’s important to make your best showing to potential employees. Training gives existing employees an enviable skillset. Potential employees will want to work with your staff. They will give your company an edge over an organization that doesn’t offer training and development.

Increases innovation and creativity

Engaged staff and a desire to learn are necessary to increase creativity. And providing training and development for staff will get you just that. When you have a strong learning environment, employees feel empowered to develop and present new ideas.

How do you make a training and development plan work?

It doesn’t work to dump a bunch of money at a program and just assume it will work. Successful training programs require a thoughtful effort to ensure quality results and dedication to it over time. These tips will help you get the most out of your learning program:

Prioritize access and autonomy

Creating a learning environment where employees feel they have a voice in their training program will make all the difference in its success. It is still possible for you to have a lot of say in how the training program works. There can still be some instructor-led and employee-mandated programs. But the more flexibility you give for your workforce to seek out the training that interests them, the more eager to learn and engaged you will find them.

Make sure the whole workforce benefits

In the new work environments we find ourselves in, training and development must take on a new look. No longer can employers set a time and round up the whole office in the conference room for a training session. With remote and hybrid workers spread out all over, training must adapt to this new reality. How does an organization make sure that everyone can still benefit from training? This may mean using more virtual training that in the past and making sure everyone gets communications on training opportunities. It might mean “training the trainers” in how to use technology to deliver effective training services.

Create Connections

If you want employees to take time out of their schedules or additional time outside of work to complete training, you have to make it count. They need to see how they will benefit from training in a real-world way. To do this, make sure your training fulfills these objectives:

  • Encourages focus on problem-solving
  • Aligns with employees’ daily tasks
  • Is a natural way of learning
  • Can be scaled as needs change

Employees will also benefit more from training if they can apply it immediately to their jobs.

Provide training that employees will value

Focusing solely on what benefits your organization may not get the desired results. Employees want training that also aligns with their professional goals. The key is to find the balance. Understand what your workforce desires in training content and make that a part of your learning strategy.

Be ready for change

What you train for now will not be what’s needed down the road. Maybe sooner than you think. The rapidly changing business climate will require constant evaluation and renovation of your learning program to keep current with needs as they evolve.

Create Training Paths

Training and development shouldn’t be like ordering off a menu. It should be designed and developed with the goals of individuals and corporate needs in mind. If employees see that their training options will lead to a promotion or a new position, they are more likely to be engaged. And they will stay motivated to help achieve corporate goals as well.

It may seem like a daunting task to develop and implement a learning strategy. But as you can clearly see, it pays big dividends.