The economy is opening up again and consumers are cautiously returning to shops, services, and out of the house activities, with consumer spending rising 10.7% overall in Q1 2021, but this is no time to relax.
Enterprises still have a number of challenges that they need to overcome if they want to drive revenue and remain competitive. Many are still struggling to consolidate last year’s rushed digital transformation and deliver the digital and remote services that consumers expect, but that’s difficult to achieve without the right talent.
But talent, especially in data science, is thin on the ground, and competition is fierce. The sudden leap in consumer demand in the wake of rising wages and stimulus payments took many companies by surprise. Q1 reports show labor costs rose by more than they have since 2005, and while the US is still 8.4 million jobs short of its peak employment levels, companies are scrambling to hire the workers they need.
At this point, enterprise focus is resting on talent retention. You can’t afford to lose any of your workers. Recruiting, assessing, interviewing, and onboarding a new hire costs around $4,000, but when you factor in the experience and knowledge that left with your previous worker, you could be looking at paying an extra 50-60% of their salary.
Among the many options for increasing retention, employee training is stepping up as among the most important. Here’s how employee training impacts on talent retention, and ultimately, on your bottom line.
Top talent cares about culture
Corporate culture might rest at the bottom of your priority list, but your employees think it’s crucial. Among jobseekers, 86% still say that company culture is somewhat or very important when choosing a workplace, even though remote working has increased.
Promoting a positive company culture that’s supportive, warm, and caring plays a key role in helping you hold on to your employees as well as attract new top talent. The rise in remote work makes it even more challenging to create a shared company culture, so it’s more important than ever to use advanced employee training programs.
While companies with a weak or negative culture might think they’re succeeding if employee churn is low, remember that employees who aren’t engaged are unmotivated and unproductive. You might hold them for now, because they’re nervous about changing jobs during a pandemic, but you can’t expect to retain them for long.
If employees can’t grow, they’ll walk
The best employees are always seeking to improve. They want opportunities to grow professionally, develop their careers, and climb the corporate ladder, and if they can’t find them within your organization, they’ll look elsewhere.
Employee training is the only real way to enable employees to develop their skills within your company, but it’s not enough just to check the box. You need programs that are well-developed, engaging, and effective, together with real opportunities to put their new skills into practice.
Although 74% of employees agree that their organization values employee development, only 34% think they are doing a reasonable job, and under 40% of executives are satisfied with the training on offer. Perhaps it’s not surprising that close to 50% of employees said they’d leave their workplace if offered a buyout or severance package.
Confused employees can’t wait to leave
Your employees need effective onboarding as well as ongoing training to ensure that they know what their responsibilities are, how to use your tech stack most efficiently, which tools to apply to which scenarios, and what their managers expect from them every day.
COVID-19 brought a wave of layoffs and restructurings that saw a lot of workers moved to new teams and positions or given a former colleague’s tasks, leaving them unsure of what they need to do or how to do it. Effective employee training gives employees the skills and awareness they need to complete their jobs; without it, your workforce is neglected, harassed, resentful, and ultimately out the door.
On top of that, 85% of companies accelerated their digital transformation in the past year, but 87% already have or will soon face skills gaps that handicap digital adoption. PWC reports that global GDP could jump 38% as a result of upskilling, which promises significant extra profits for the companies that participate. Failing to upskill current workers means businesses are losing out on profits from digital products, while also presiding over a disgruntled workforce.
Poor managers drive away good employees
Just one bad manager can create a toxic workplace environment that makes employees leave in droves. It’s not enough just to remove them; you need training programs to produce good managers who know how to bring out the best in your employees.
For a long time, it’s been difficult to teach soft skills like leadership and communication. But advanced AI, VR, and AR training technology makes it possible to run effective soft skills training that can turn mediocre managers into great ones, and good ones into exceptional leaders.
Mental health is top of the list
Additionally, while mental health awareness in the workplace has been slowly rising, it’s been accelerated by COVID-19. Today’s employees are both more likely to be experiencing serious stress, anxiety, and depression, and more likely to expect the workplace to help them deal with it.
Managers need training in mental health awareness, while employees look for training in coping mechanisms like guided meditation, yoga, and wellness courses. Your employees will be more motivated and productive when they’re in a better mental and emotional place, plus they’ll be more engaged and loyal when they feel you care about their wellbeing.
Employee training keeps your business on the path to growth
You can’t grow your business if you’re constantly stemming a leak in your workforce and onboarding new hires, so talent retention is crucial for any enterprise that’s hoping to drive revenue this year. By helping create a positive company culture with effective managers, appealing professional development opportunities, mental health support, and employees who know what they’re doing and how to do it, employee training plays a key role in any talent retention strategy.