Focus on learning and development to increase retention

learning and development increase retention

Learning and development has long been an important concern for human resources management professionals. This blog has previously looked at the bottom-line benefits of fostering a culture of engagement and we’ve now found that learning and development provides quite distinct advantages.

Recent data from Culture Amp shows that the distinction between L&D and corporate culture may not be so clear cut.

Intuitive and actual benefits of good L&D

Intuitively, we know that it’s worth investing in employees to keep them at the top of their game. If it helps them do their job better, it helps the organization achieve its objectives. Providing ongoing access to workplace learning and professional development just makes good business sense.

In fact, the benefits extend beyond productivity that can be gained by having a more skilled workforce. New data from Culture Amp shows that learning and development opportunities are also strongly linked to employee engagement levels and better rates of employee retention. As we’ll see, it’s one of the most effective strategies for both boosting engagement levels and minimizing churn.

Advantages of development

People want to be employed by organizations that will increase their job prospects down the line. It’s easy to see why: individuals whose value in the workforce is bolstered by their organization can also expect greater personal chances for growth and financial success.

For these reasons, organizations that proudly tout their ability to boost people’s future employability reap recruitment benefits. But there’s more to it than that. New data released by Culture Amp shows that people who believe their job contributes to their development are actually 21% more likely to stay with their current employer.

Prioritizing L&D

Providing career pathways is crucial to retaining talented people. But how do you do it? Work with employees to plan career paths and then give them access to the learning they need to make their way there.

An earlier study by Price Waterhouse Coopers revealed that millennials rank learning and development as the number one benefit that an employer can offer - above both flexibility and financial incentives. This is a big deal, not least of all because millennials are a segment renowned for their absence of employer-allegiance. When that is considered a primary trait of the largest segment of the workforce, it’s something managers need to get active about.

Culture Amp research has progressed on those findings. Preceding studies focused on preferences and self-reported intentions. Culture Amp has drilled down to unearth statistical evidence that these stated preferences are having a real-world impact. The Culture Amp study found that people who stay with an organization are 24% more likely to say that they have had access to the learning and development they needed.  

While an opportunity exists for this research to go another step farther—to uncover the cause-and-effect relationship of these statistics—the strength of the correlation seems to justify immediate attention. Perceptions about an organization’s L&D offerings are connected to employee retention.

How it seems to work

Employees’ perception that they have the opportunity to grow professionally may be as important to the organization as actual upskilling. Employees who believe that those opportunities exist in an organization are likely to understand that the leadership is ready to invest in mutual success—that of the organization and of the individuals that it comprises. It makes sense that people who feel supported in this way should be more likely to hang around.

Conclusion: L&D provides multi-dimensional benefits

Provide employees with opportunities to further their learning and professional development. It does more than just expand the organizational skill-set. The current evidence shows that it is good for business and good for staff retention.

To learn more about how organizations are measuring and improving employee engagement through learning and development, be sure to download your free copy of Culture Amp’s Learning and Development white paper.

To find out what Culture Amp can do for you, get in touch today.