HR Innovation, HR Strategy, Training, Uncategorized

The Secret to Achieving 30-50% Retention

Most companies love to tell their employees and candidates about the beautiful and long career to be had at their company. But all too often, what is really being offered is a job.

Here’s what we mean:


1 a regular remunerative position

2 a specific duty, role, or function


1 a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling

2 a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life

If you say you offer a career but aren’t offering progressive development, are you really offering a career?

It’s a common theme in our blogs that employees are the most important resource a company has. You would never think about producing products on machinery that is outdated or haven’t been maintained, yet too many employers overlook the importance of keeping their employee’s training updated and current – or, better yet, even innovative, and ahead of the game.

Dr. Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees, reports that learning and development are among the top factors in employee engagement. You can distill this further into the fact that most employees – especially your millennials and Gen Xers– are going to be either learning or leaving. According to research conducted by recruiting platform, 74% of surveyed employees feel that they aren’t reaching their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.

Basically, employees feel that they have so much more to offer their employers – if they were given the chance.

Conversely, this same research yielded that Retention rates rise 30-50% for companies with strong learning cultures. The ultimate goal is to keep great employees, and investing in the retention of the employees you have is a much better option than having to train employees new to the organization.


  • Great employees want to keep being great. Employees typically don’t relish the thought of being in a job with no further potential, regardless of the compensation or other benefits. Humans have a need to better themselves and keep moving in a positive direction.
  • Employees who feel their skills are current are going to be more confident in using them.
  • The more employees who feel confident in their skills and the more they can rely on one another with these skills, the better the workplace feels.
  • The better the workplace feels, the better the engagement. The better the engagement, the better the culture.
  • The better the culture, the more employees stay – and the more candidates want to come.

A great training and development program is not only about the individual employees who participate – it’s also about the culture of the organization and the industry reputation it creates.


  • Do a skills gap analysis. One of the most common complaints we hear when recruiting for clients is that the candidates don’t have the skills the clients want. This is a perfect opportunity to then upskill the employees you have. If you already have a great engaged team, teach them the skills you need. This analysis can also help organizations clarify the expectations that they have for staff and then set goals for them – goals that include outcomes from the assigned training.
  • Ask your managers. What skills do they want to be better managers to their team? What talents do they say in their staff that could really shine from training and development opportunities? Not only do managers have the opportunity to see their staff excel, the additional training helps reduce the need for close oversight, thus helping the managers in their jobs.
  • See what employees think. Do a survey of employees to find out what they would love to learn, both professionally and interpersonally. Incorporating training that benefits the work life harmony will help prevent employees from feeling burnout and will encourage them to know that the organization supports them as whole and not just task masters. This type of training benefits everyone, such as the “soft skills” of resilience, emotional intelligence, and professional accountability.
  • Evaluate your organization. Are departments in silos? What are opportunities for cross-functional teams and learning? How can more people be involved in more of the business?

These steps will help you determine what areas of content you need for your training. From here, you have to either develop that content, or find partners with that content, or a combination of both. You always need to know how to track and measure your success. It’s one thing to schedule a variety of training. It’s quite another to develop a full training and development program that measures success, satisfaction, and return on investment.  For this you will need to:

  • Decide on a budget. The type and amount of training you can provide is going to depend on your budget, so you need to know before you get started you’re your resources will be.
  • Determine your learning methods. Options abound for training – there are online resource platforms, virtual training, onsite training, peer to peer training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, and self-directed learning. A combination of all these are best to accommodate the content and the individuals in the program. They also help better meet the needs of a remote working environment.
  • Plan your timeline. Some training must be done as soon as an employee is hired, such as safety or systems training. Other training must be done annually. Also consider how much time you think the training will take out of the employee’s work schedule.
  • Develop the content. This part is the most difficult, and the most important. If the content is not what it needs to be, all the other steps are for nought. Developing content usually requires determining learning objectives and then outlining the major topics that need to be covered. You then fill in that outline with the specific information, scenarios, and examples that fulfill the content.
  • Plan on Assessing Training Outcomes. Evaluating your training program regularly is critical. You can collect feedback and assess how successful the training is and adjust as needed.

Once you have your training program developed, you can move into Career Development planning, but that’s a topic for another day.

How does your current training and development stack up? Are you interested in creating or improving in this area? Let the HR experts “aka us” help.

Have Training & Development Needs? Call Us.

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