Young businesswoman talking to male colleague.

When your organization chooses to hire a new employee, it only makes sense to create the best and most persuasive argument possible for great candidates to join your team. A study by Qualtrics has revealed that the younger generations in the workforce, including Millennial’s, are placing greater emphasis on aspects like “job satisfaction” and “stability” over maximizing potential salary. The cultural trend has moved companies toward offering “perks,” like flexible time off and work-from-home options, as part of the compensation package to gain and retain great employees.

The studies of employee happiness show that greater employee happiness truly impacts the way that an office functions, including elements like how long your employees tend to remain with your company. One of the biggest sources of unhappiness according to the 15Five study? Feeling underappreciated or undervalued at work. Solving this problem before your excellent talent takes a job elsewhere is paramount to your company’s longevity.

Most companies consider some training mandatory, either for legal reasons or simply to have the human resources to be able to conduct many complex business activities. However, here are just a few reasons why offering additional training and professional development support may be the workplace perk that can move the needle to achieve low turnover at your business.

Offering Training/PD is a Sign of Valuing an Employee

One of the biggest reasons to offer training and professional development, ironically, isn’t tied to the results of the training. By taking the time to create on-site or online coursework for your employees, and then inviting those who show promise to take them, you are making it clear that you value them as a member of your team. Creating personalized training materials for your company take resources and effort, which is exactly why employees see it as a sign of respect and value when you do this.

This effect is muted when training is framed as a mandatory effort, but you can disseminate mandatory training information in thoughtful ways that remind your employees how much you value them: by offering multiple times when the training can be completed, options for on-site and online coursework, and perhaps a choice between various modules, you remind your employees that you are invested in their growth and want to see them succeed.

Employees Looking to Move Up Recognize Training as a Step

Leadership Development training, in particular, is key to help your high-achieving early-career employees to see themselves moving up within your company rather than moving to another company to see growth. By making it clear that your leadership development program is an overt attempt to retain your employees and move them (and their valuable years of experience!) into roles of increasing responsibility, you avoid having your best talent poached by other companies hungry for management-level hires.

The Leadership Development program you create should be part of the discussion when you are interested in hiring a person with a proven track record of success; you can do anything from mentioning that the program exists and that they will be evaluated for it within 6 months, all the way up to making a job offer that actually includes the plan to immediately accelerate them to Leadership Development training. This program, once developed and implemented, becomes a positive motivator that helps you to select and cultivate your best future leaders.

Learning With Colleagues Builds Rapport and Promotes Self-Management

At the training itself, great trainers will promote interaction between participants, whether that is in-person or online. This means that, in addition to all of the knowledge that your employees gain, they also get to know other employees well and grow to trust them better as they see each other’s strengths. Training is an opportunity to forge relationships that ultimately build loyalty to your company; if your employees cannot imagine leaving their coworkers or their team, they are much less likely to job-hunt elsewhere. These kinds of trainings can also be a valuable shift in perspective for teams with friction: by working together to gain some important information and skills, teams that have experienced dysfunction can often forge new, positive memories together and move forward.

Another factor that is just a great extra bonus of offering excellent professional development in your workplace is that a greater and greater proportion of your employees will understand the best practices of your industry in-and-out. When new hires ask about the culture in your departments or speak with their potential new colleagues, it is valuable to see that everyone holds themselves to a high standard already. Self-management using knowledge from a great training program keeps your company working efficiently, reducing the hand-holding that managers have to do and keeping everyone busy and efficient.

Knowledge Workers Who Are Learning Feel More Stable

One aspect of modern industry is that there is a perception that even standing still is falling behind; competition is fierce in many industries where knowledge is the biggest asset. When knowledge workers, especially Millennial’s and younger generations beyond the Millennial’s, feel like they’ve been doing the same kind of work for a few years, they sometimes develop a worry that their skills are becoming irrelevant. A great way to assuage this fear is by helping your employees learn the cutting-edge techniques in their field through excellent, personalized PD programs.

If a job candidate expresses hesitation about the current job responsibilities they will be assigned, one perk that can truly sway them is the chance to keep advancing their skills in a variety of arenas even as they do a certain set of actual job responsibilities. In training, many employees unconsciously (or even consciously) compare what they are learning and what their current process looks like. The training may offer them a new, better way to do an old task, which livens up the job but also helps the employee feel secure that they are continuing to provide value to the company. Helping your employees feel dynamic may ultimately be the best way to retain them long-term, through successive challenges and opportunities to grow.

Ready to craft the training program that will become a key asset in recruiting and retaining great talent? Contact us today!

Don’t ever underestimate how important it is for you to look for ways to increase more happiness in the work environment. This will help you also enhance employee retention and create a more pleasant working experience for everyone. Download our whitepaper “Employee Retention and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

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