Corporate training programs are mandatory for every organization expecting its employees to deliver more.
Providing your employees with opportunities to learn and develop new skills is the best step an organization can take.
The success of any organization hinges on the talent and performance of its employees. Achieving any goal, be it on the team level or on an organizational level, requires a motivated group of people dedicated to the cause. But to assure continued growth and congruency of vision in the long term, it is important to hire and retain employees for the longest time possible.
On the other hand, for their skills to remain relevant to their field of expertise, training programs are a necessity that cannot be overlooked. However, corporate training programs are followed by a problem: the risk of losing the newly-trained employees to greener, better pastures.
What Makes Good Employees Leave?
In 2017, Glassdoor released a comprehensive report that explored the reasons behind job changes. The survey concluded that employees often left their previous company for better work culture and values, pay raise, organizational benefits, work-life balance, and most importantly, growth. It highlighted that people don’t leave a job, they leave their employer.
The most important takeaway from the above study is that while candidates are attracted to a job for certain perks (salary and benefits, promotion, working hours), they stay back for a completely different set of reasons (work culture, appraisals, upskilling, work-life balance) – something more than just a number in their balance sheets.
Inarguably, training programs, rewards and recognition, and work-life balance serve as the fulcrum of any retention process.
The Implications of No Training
While we can all agree that training is a big part of growth, not many organizations are ready to upskill their employees fearing the culture of rapid job switches. A single replacement can cost 50-60% of the previous employee’s salary with a total of 150-200% after recruitment.
This does not include any losses incurred during the 6-month learning period of the new employee. Further, such a condition increases the pressure on the rest of the team. This increase in workload, and thereby stress, is not mitigated by any monetary remuneration, decreasing the job satisfaction of the rest of the teammates.
Thus, recruiting new staff is not only stressful but also expensive and time-consuming. Further, it demotivates other employees and increases the attrition rate in the long run.
This gradual watering down of talent, paired with the losses while finding a replacement, can cost companies more than a training program. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 94% of employees consider staying longer in their company if it invests in their careers, highlighting the indispensable role training plays in employer-employee relationships.
Training and Retaining: The Right Approach
Consider training and retention as re-recruitment of employees instead of a means to increase the overall output. It should be an integral part of the work environment, with special focus on building mutual trust and confidence.
Since training is in the best interest of both employers and employees, it is important to understand how and when to offer such sessions. The beginning or end of a fiscal year is not the right time to introduce any program, as the pressure to meet targets or crunch numbers for the next year is high.
The training in question can range from soft-skills to industry-specific sessions. However, most programs fail when there is no component of excitement present. To make each session more interesting you can:
- Include interactive games
- Make use of methods specific to the industry
- Schedule training exercises
- Offer consistent feedback
- Make room for Q&A sessions
Tips To Increase Post-training Retention
The biggest challenge for most L&D managers is retaining the newly-trained employees. The purpose of training fails if the skills gained are not used for the company. If the work environment of a company is so strenuous that employees quit, then there is no saving it, with or without training programs. However, if the work culture of your company is inviting enough, then these tips can aid you in retaining your prized employees:
Offer continued training opportunities
Offering skill training once is never enough. As technology and industry are evolving at an exponential rate, many skills are becoming obsolete at the same pace. Constantly offering programs to introduce new methods and techniques can tempt many employees into staying for a longer duration. With each skill-up, the confidence of employees in the system increases, making them enjoy the exposure.
Plan the program strategically
Any training program should check a few boxes before being introduced to the workforce. The coursework should be regularly updated and vague, uninteresting and irrelevant topics should be slashed. You can also keep the following checklist at hand for a quick review:
- Resources are up to date
- Training materials are congruent with the organization’s goals
- Latest industry trends are added
- Visual aids and activities, as mentioned below, include
- Case studies
- Video learning
Conduct R&R for employee achievements
Recognition and rewards are an important step in celebrating the milestones that a company has reached. A company owes its success to employees and recognizing it encourages employees. After training, most employees seek challenges to use the new skills on, and when successful, they look up to their management to provide feedback and encouragement. When done on a regular basis, R&Rs can even motivate new employees to work harder.
Offer performance-based incentives
Using incentives to offer benefits like extra time off, work from homes, etc. may encourage high-performing employees to become reluctant to switch jobs. It can also spur other employees and teams into action, increasing the overall output. Offering promotions to skillful performers can also foster better employee-employer relations.
Without proper training, employees will stagnate. As an L&D manager, that is the last thing you want. Instead of wondering whether you should offer employees a chance to upskill, consider improving how the knowledge is imparted and used. Regardless, every employee leaves after a point in time – only fostering a well-rounded, mutually-beneficial relationship can make them stay longer.