Learning & Development, Talent

Employee Training as a Retention Strategy

Long-tenured staff are a benefit to any organization. They possess knowledge of and experience in not just the industry but also the specific company they work for. They can serve as mentors and teachers to new hires and serve as stewards for the organization’s long-term goals.


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Unfortunately, employee turnover is a huge problem for businesses across virtually all industries. On average, companies lose a quarter of new hires in the first year, and according to one survey, 87% of employers list employee retention as a key priority for their business.

How Training Impacts Retention

With the average cost of training a new employee standing at over $1,000, employers can be forgiven for questioning the soundness of making an investment in training if they expect a significant chunk of their staff to be gone in a year anyway. After all, why train someone to go work for a competitor?

What this line of thinking fails to recognize, however, is that employee training and development are extremely effective retention tools. Rather than training staff for the competition, investing in employee training and development demonstrates a commitment to staff and shows them that their current role can help them grow and develop professionally.

“A well-designed training program plays a critical part in nurturing associate’s psyches,” says Joe Lipham in an article for Training magazine. “Associates want to feel that the job they do is important to the success of the business and that the business is investing time and money in them to have the job done correctly, and at the highest level.”

Some Employees May Be at Risk

This, of course, does not mean that employees will never jump ship after gaining training and experience; however, this risk can be mitigated. One of the best ways to do so is to convince staff that the training they receive isn’t one-off but rather a piece of a larger employee development program that will continue throughout their careers.

Managers should be encouraged to talk to employees about yearly and longer-term development goals and discuss typical career paths for their role within the organization. Seeing a future beyond their current position helps employees see the value of remaining with the organization for the long haul.

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