Development or Departure. Employees have spoken.

Development or Departure. Employees have spoken.

17th December 2021, 1:58 pm

The current recruitment and retention climate is one highly in favour of employees, rather than employers. With increased employee demands on flexibility, working from home, greater recognition and more core employee benefits, the market is saturated with companies that are struggling to recruit and retain staff. But there is one thing that has remained consistent throughout time and proved critical to keeping good employees loyal to an employer……training and development.

What exactly is the investment to develop your staff? Depending on the industry, annual training requirements (such as Continuing Professional Development) and the individual’s needs, the average spend in the UK according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills 2019 report is approximately £2,500 per employee trained.

While this might seem like an unnecessary and considerable investment, it is nowhere near the cost of replacing and recruiting an employee. The average cost of replacing an employee is upwards of £25k according to HR Review. This considers the time lost while trying to recruit, replace and fully onboard a new employee. Imagine if you could keep your staff by simply offering the opportunity for development? According to a study on LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

Businesses benefit directly from this investment by proving commitment to employee development and career progression and it gives them a more skilled and competent workforce, which ultimately equals increased motivation, higher productivity and efficiency and greater returns from each employee.

There are many ways businesses can invest in employee training. This can include on-the-job, online Learning Management Systems (LMS) and external training courses. While it may be tempting to opt for the more cost-effective options, in the long run a combination of all of the above is the most effective and productive method. The reason for this is it combines internal and external resources, while still providing formal training with a professional institute. This gives an employee a well-rounded development approach that can be adapted with the overall training budget each year.

Small companies with limited training budgets may need to get creative to provide continued development for employees as a £2.5k spend per employee is not always an option. In this case time off for employees to attend training that is partially or self-funded is a low-cost way to ensure they are still supported in their development needs without a large investment. Hosting in-house training with external providers is also a “better bang for your buck” option in most cases. Choosing a program that addresses skills across multiple functions, such as leadership and management, finance for non-finance managers and soft skills to name a few.

So, with job vacancies taking over markets across the globe, businesses need to take a pro-active approach to recruiting and retaining their staff – and training, while an easy budget to cut, should be at the forefront of their thinking while they navigate the post-pandemic challenges.

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