How Do Employee Development Programs Increase Talent Retention?

February 2, 20172:23 pm472 views

Massive employee turnover is a nightmare for every HR leader. Considering time, money, and energies invested into the employee recruitment process to hiring talent, onboarding and training, it costs the company a fortune. Further problems arise when it turns out that the new hires are not as skilful as expected of industry demands and in comparison to the previous talents.

Employee turnover does not only affect the business bottom line, but also disrupts the stability of the team. But is there really a way to increase employee retention rate? Nowadays, attracting high potential candidates to be a part of your talent pool is really competitive.

As the job market becomes more transparent, talents have more option and the bargaining power to choose or reject the job offers that do not meet their favour. It becomes HR leader’s urgent call to formulate an effective strategy on how to attract prospective talents.

Conducting employee development programs is one of the solution, if you want to increase employee retention rate. This also improves employer branding at the same point in time. Drawing best talent to the company, requires placing more emphasis on overall employee development.

Further, providing ongoing education for employees is a smart investment to boost talent retention and improve employee engagement.

Nobody wants to be stuck in the same position for long time. It explains why employees who think are on snail paced growth with undeveloped skills tend to leave the company sooner than those who continuously want to advance their careers.

If you can manage to convince your A-players to stay in the company for long, by providing them with employee development programs, you not only save the company from escalating costs of employee turnover, but the business stands to derive benefits from employees who are keen on honing expertise skills in their fields.

See: Guide to Braving the New Workplace with Multi-Generational Workforce: Gen X, Y and Z.

Here are five tips below to design and develop effective employee development programs to increase talent retention rate:

Observe current workforce’s needs

Conduct an assessment on what kind of skills and expertise are highly needed by your company, and whether your current workforce has all the qualities needed. You can do this through various means, such as analysing employees’ track record from the earlier performance reviews, conduct survey and questionnaire, or hold in-person meeting with them. Conduct observation regularly, to stay updated with the latest business and market condition.

Design the program guideline

When you have discovered skills needed by employees to develop, determine suitable training and coaching for them. Set specific goals you want to achieve from the program. Create your own employee development program that represents the company value. This will create a sense of loyalty among employees.

You should ensure that the program is addressed to the right people, which will help them improve their lack of skills and knowledge to meet high standards of expectations. When you use external third-party service providers to conduct the program, do confirm if they are trustworthy, reliable and qualified as a trainer.

Encourage your employees

The program will not run smoothly without employees’ support. Sometimes, employees are afraid or reluctant to talk about their future growth plans with the senior HR leaders. Whereas on the contrary, such talk is highly needed for better business progress, both for the employees and company.

You should initiate regular meeting with the employees on a one-to-one basis and encourage them to upgrade their proficiencies. This shows that you care about their personal growth, makes them feel valued as individual contributors. Walk the talk, you should take immediate actions to meet their needs.

Evaluate the program

When the employee development program has been run for some time, take time to evaluate if there is a change and improvement shown by the employees. Are there any gaps and loopholes evidently noticed in the program development that makes it unsuccessful? Is there an opportunity to improve the success metrics? Evaluating the program is crucial to ensure that your investment will not go to drains.

Towards the end, the key reason for strategizing employee development program efforts is to align business goals with those of employees’ individual career goals. If employees find that the company can help them achieve better career growth prospects, with flexible and enriching experiences all along, then they will be more engaged, motivated and productive. Hence, the overall goal of key talent retention can be undoubtedly achieved.

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