If you are an organization looking to retain your top talent, a good place to start is evaluating the current state of your learning and development program. The reason is simple – a 2018 LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report revealed that 93% of employees would stay at their company longer if it invested in their career development. With that much of the workforce wanting employers to prioritize their success, organizations can no longer ignore the importance of employee development.

The good news? There are several ways to promote talent development, starting with an effective onboarding program. This is the first impression a new employee will receive of an organization, so it is important to set the right tone from day one. And, no, new hire training does not have to be a large group of people watching the same PowerPoint presentations for weeks on end. The most effective programs get participants excited about their new careers, with time devoted to both introducing company-wide policies and job-specific training, while using different methods of adult learning strategies.

But supporting your staff in being successful doesn’t stop here. Continuing education and professional development are just as essential as the new hire experience. These opportunities come in various forms, from internal courses to help employees with new technologies or soft skills, to sponsoring staff attendance at professional conferences, to providing tuition reimbursement for advanced degrees. Understand that there is no cookie-cutter approach to employee training and development, so evaluate all options available and find what works best for the organization. A few tips to consider:

  • Offer courses in short sessions during business hours so employees don’t feel stressed about missing an entire workday or find time after hours.
  • Have a plan for organizational development to help build the right culture.
  • Get managers involved in the process. Employees are more likely to successfully complete a course when supported by their manager.
  • Invest in your training team. Not everyone can train, so find the right people to design and facilitate for the program for success.
  • If in-house training isn’t viable, look to partnering with a professional development organization or a college/university to provide opportunities.
  • Always follow-up with employees to understand what is working and what needs adjustment for future success.

While these options do cost money, remember that employees who feel supported in their development are more likely to stay with and advance within their organization. The cycle of success starts with employee satisfaction, so investing in them carries over to how they perform for customers and helps grow the business. The potential return on investment by supporting learning and development is far greater than the potential loss of your top people.