Want To Keep Top Employees? Invest In Their Growth


Gone are the days when companies could show appreciation for their staff with cool perks like free food, dry cleaning vouchers or no-cost access to an on-site gym or fitness classes.

Rather, now employees feel their companies truly value them by investing in their growth and development.

Not that corporate rewards would be unwelcome. But these types of benefits don’t contribute much to employee retentionOpens a new window .

What increasingly matters most to people in today’s competitive business environment: Companies that offer training resources, and opportunities for personal growth and progressionOpens a new window .

According to the 2018 Workforce Learning Report from LinkedInOpens a new window , 93% of people would remain at a company longer if it supported their personal development.

Helping employees to develop not only boosts their job satisfaction, it also enhances their opinion of the organization as well as their role within it, which ultimately builds company loyalty.

Consider that one study found when workers feel their company invests adequately in their development, they are 21% more likely to remain with that employer, while another study reported that 22% of job exits were influenced by lack of growth opportunities.

Be warned, however, that the answer isn’t about simple training courses.

Ensuring that staff feel respected, trusted and heard is heavily dependent on a company culture that prioritizes employee development. Such an approach encourages workforce engagement and ensures people are more connected to their roles, as well as to overall company operations.

Consider these key elements of an effective employee development culture:


It’s easy to overlook this aspect when planning Learning & Development (L&D) courses and offerings.

A customized training plan shows workers they are valued as individuals and that the company realizes it needs to help staff to grow their skill sets. It is proof that the business is investing in its own future by investing in the future of its people.

Crucially, this approach ensures personnel will feel that they have an important role in business operations, and can act as a conduit for showing how they fit in the bigger company picture.

Micro-learning/on-the-go training

This pivotal aspect could well be the future of workplace L&D.

There’s no longer time for traditional, instructor-led courses and seminars. Moreover, myriad studies have documented that little knowledge is retained from this type of training.

Indeed, many employees report feeling they are prevented from learning due to time constraints.

An effective way to avoid this pitfall: Offer non-time-intensive learning opportunities, consistent without eating significantly into the work day. Instead, they are designed to fit in with the normal routine, without requiring unusual energy or time commitment.

Focus on soft skills

According to a LinkedIn study, 57% of business leaders believe that developing their staff’s soft skills is more important than hard skills.

Focusing on soft skills – the LinkedIn survey found that leadership, communication, collaboration and time management were most in demand – also shows employees the company is interested in their personal development and success.

Loyal millennials – a paradox or is it possible?

Tech-savvy millennial workers often get a reputation of having little-to-no employer loyalty.

As the largest segment of the workforce, their allegiance and satisfaction require specific commitment and attention, and companies must devote resources to keeping them motivated and growing. There are ways to tailor employee development strategies that appeal especially to millennials.

Digital approach

While it may be true that this demographic highly values a digital cultureOpens a new window in their place of work, a report from PwC posits that they view learning and development as the top perk on offer.

Consequently, it’s critical for organizations to integrate new technologies in their trainings. This digital approach substantially helps to satisfy millennial employees constantly on the prowl for ways to enhance their portfolio of skills.

These adaptable digital training tools conform well with the millennial preference for flexibility at work.

Customization through tech is a strong means to ensure that young workers view training as a valuable opportunity instead of a forced obligation.

Manager involvement

Research has shown that nearly three-quarters of millennials actively guarantee career progression by setting goals. Their job satisfaction declines markedly when they start to determine they are not on track.

Involving their managers helps keep them on the desired path, with a focus on learning and development established from the time they join the staff. Unfortunately, though, busy managers generally fail to prioritize staff development – making it that much more critical to create a culture where individual and team development falls squarely among their responsibilities.