Employee retention is a challenge for nearly every organization, as keeping employees motivated is becoming an increasingly difficult and never-ending job. A perfect retention strategy is impossible to achieve and even the best managers can have a hard time keeping top talent. According to research from Willis Towers Watson, more than a quarter of employees are in a high-retention-risk category. Seeing that a lot of companies, even global organizations, currently experience a high turnover rate, what are employees really looking for in a job and how can they be motivated?
According to the motivation-hygiene theory, there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction and a separate set of factors that cause dissatisfaction. This means that while employees may not be unhappy or dissatisfied with their job, they might not be happy and satisfied either. Factors that cause satisfaction, or what Herzberg calls “motivators”, are those that arise from intrinsic conditions of the job, such as personal growth, recognition, or achievement. Among all employees, the lack of opportunities for career advancement is the second most frequently cited reason for leaving an organization. Employees who feel unable to move up may be especially likely to leave. On the other hand, an engaged employee, one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work, is driven by career advancement and improvement opportunities, among other things. This is where training comes in.
The right employee training provides meaningful payoffs for the employer in increased productivity, knowledge, loyalty, and contribution from employees. Training can also be a way to demonstrate that the company values its employees. Employees also need training to improve performance in the company, keep up with the developments and advancements of technology, and bridge any gaps that may be caused by changes in the company.
People enjoy coming to work when they feel their efforts make a difference for the company. Capable and ambitious employees are constantly looking to expand their expertise and hone their skills to stay up-to-date in their field. When training is aligned with the employees’ professional objectives, it will be empowering and beneficial. On the other hand, if an employer does not offer learning and development opportunities, they can potentially lose staff and end up with poor performers. Happier and content workers who are supported through training are more likely to be loyal to the organization. It is already established that training is not just a possible benefit but a necessity for employee management. While there are still some notions about training that may dissuade companies, taking the correct approach to training will undoubtedly yield good results.
- There are cost-cutting solutions for training expenses. A lot of organizations may think that the cost of training employees may be greater than the cost of re-hiring better employees. However, rehiring can actually cost 30-250% of an individual’s total annual compensation, and costs more than just training the employees. Additionally, more accessible training solutions can decrease travel, accommodation and other logistical expenses.
- Training not only motivates employees, but also inspires them to stay and do more for the company. Training is actually a way for the company to communicate to the employees their purpose and importance to the whole organization. Employees perceive training as the organization’s way of preparing them for better opportunities. This encourages job satisfaction, and loyalty to the company. Training should reinforce the value of the employee for it to increase employee retention.
- Employees also want to learn more through trainings and seminars. When presented as mandatory or obligatory, employees may tend to be discouraged from the idea of training. Moreover, if the training provided is very general and somehow unnecessary for some employees, then probably those who believe they don’t need the training might not be too keen about it. However, if the training is clearly chosen and directed towards the specific requirements of the employee or the organization, it becomes more relevant to the employee and the organization.
Training allows employees the opportunity to develop the skills they bring to the job. Being able to experience personal growth in the company and feeling good about the job is important for every employee deciding whether to stay in a company or not. Training develops an individual’s self-worth and allows one to perform better and stay longer for the company. The company, too, will benefit from the training and development of its workers, through increased productivity, reduced employee turnover, and decreased need for constant supervision.