What Employees Want: Aligning Training and Development Priorities
With companies still in fierce competition for top talent in a contracting job market, figuring out what workers want and giving it to them is the only way to remain competitive. Employees have made their demands clear, and while higher salaries and flexible work are both on the list, learning and development opportunities also rank near the top.
Using candidate quality indicators in hiring can help you hire the best person for the job, but it won’t necessarily ensure that they stay. You’ll need a robust employee retention plan to achieve that goal, and a big part of any retention initiative is a strong learning and development or training program for existing and onboarding employees that aligns with their priorities.
Employee Training and Development Priorities
L&D programs and employee training plans need to focus on benefits for organizations as well as employees, while clearly meeting worker needs and wants. Here are five L&D opportunities that employees want and are aiming for:
L&D Training and Development Opportunity #1: Employees Want Job Security
Only around 20% of workers feel their job is secure, according to a recent survey. Training and development should make employees more valuable to the organization. The benefits both your company, which can gain from upskilled employees, and the worker, who can feel more secure in their job if they have been trained to fill skills gaps.
L&D Training and Development Opportunity #2: Employees Want Fulfilling Work
Nine out of ten employees are literally willing to be paid less money if they can feel that the work they are doing makes a difference. It’s no wonder that training that allows employees to move into a more fulfilling role is a top ask. Find out what your employees want to do, and make training available that helps them reach their goals.
L&D Training and Development Opportunity #3: Employees Want to Be More Productive
Three out of four employees say that they don’t have the skills they need to be fully productive in their job - leading to frustration and mismatched expectations between workers and their managers. Onboarding should include comprehensive training, and workers should have continued to follow up to ensure they’re not being asked to complete tasks for which they received no guidance.
L&D Training and Development Opportunity #4: Employees Want Promotions
Employees want development opportunities that lead to promotion. At least 70% of front-line employees have applied for career advancement opportunities, and most of them cite one of the top markers for success at this endeavor to be a supportive manager. Making employee mobility a possibility through development and internal promotion and including managers in the process is critical.
L&D Training and Development Opportunity #5: Employees Want To Be Leaders
Workers, particularly millennials, who are poised to make up more than half the workforce, want leadership training. In fact, 70% of millennials who left or are considering leaving their jobs say it’s because of a lack of leadership training and opportunities for advancement into leadership positions.
Why Employee Training and Development is So Critical
Creating L&D programs and training opportunities has many benefits for organizations seeking to future-proof their workforce. Entry-level employees will always be the easiest to obtain, and the easiest to lose. Higher up the ladder, great talent is harder and more expensive to secure, and losses have a proportionally bigger impact.
When high-level employee leaves, they take with them the knowledge built over their tenure. In fact, 42% of the knowledge needed to do a specific job is often known only by that employee, meaning anyone taking their place starts with a knowledge deficit.
The loss of one high-value employee can trigger the loss of more, as worker faith and morale erodes. Trying to replace these employees with vigorous external hiring can make the issue worse, as loyal employees, seeing themselves passed over in favor of an outsider, also choose to leave.
By offering all employees training and development opportunities, and pairing that trend with a robust internal promotion policy, you can significantly reduce attrition and lower recruitment costs. Training a replacement in-house and promoting them to fill the vacated spot builds loyalty.
The employee moving up can likewise have their spot filled by another junior employee, and so on until the spot left to be filled through external hiring is at the bottom of the hierarchy. This employee will be less costly to acquire and will be eager for training and development opportunities of their own.
[Related: The ROI of High Quality Candidates]
Investing in Employee Development and Training
The best way to invest in employee training and development is to:
- Map what skills employees currently have
- Identify areas of knowledge loss risk if an employee leaves
- Uncover employees perfect to learn those skills
- Cross-train and upskill existing employees
- Learn where skills gaps exist in the company
- Train employees to meet skills needs for now and in the future
- Promote from within whenever possible
There are many tools and technologies that can help you identify, align, and advance training and development goals to the benefit of both workers and your organization.
Crosschq Analytics can help you stay in touch with employees and ascertain their wants and needs. This helps you identify what training and development opportunities are desired most. Surveys can also help track employee satisfaction and quality of hire.
Crosschq 360 can help you create a clear picture of your incoming employees’ skills and attributes, which can be used to build a better organizational skills map. It can also be useful for identifying which employees are overqualified for a position or who have the potential for a lateral or upwardly mobile track.
To learn more about how Crosschq can help you manage your training and development priorities, contact us for a demonstration today.
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