How investing in professional development can help retain talented people

The day after Glen started in a new role, his employer lost their largest customer and a significant part of their recurring business. Part of his motivation in taking the new job was the opportunity for professional development it provided. He wanted to lead a transformational sales organisation and deliver successful major deals. Now he considered moving on because the role no longer offered him the growth and development that had enticed him to take it. It could have ended up with Glen being disgruntled and leaving for greener pastures and his employer bearing the high cost of staff turnover and lost opportunities. 

However, Glen’s boss supported him with executive coaching, which helped him set in motion an extended period of planning to consolidate and rebuild the business and earned him a reputation as the turnaround guy. 

It is a scenario that is all the more relevant following the global pandemic. McKinsey research suggests that retaining talented staff will become a major challenge for businesses in every sector. They found 40% of employees are likely to leave their current job in the next 3-6 months. Fifty-three percent of employers in the study said they are experiencing greater voluntary turnover than they had in previous years, and 64 percent expect the problem to continue—or worsen—over the next six months. 

On-the-job professional development may offer an inexpensive solution to the problems companies are facing. Erica Keswin in the HBR article, 3 Ways to Boost Retention Through Professional Development, makes the case for investing in professional development to impact the bottom line and retain talented people. 

No surprise, my personal favourite of her suggestions is to provide coaching beyond the C-Suite!

Erica suggests until recently, organisations reserved coaching mostly for senior executives and high performers whom a company deemed worthy of investment. Over the last few years (and especially since the pandemic), managers and HR leaders have been overwhelmed by the employee need for coaching.

She notes a 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report which showed that a staggering “94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.”

It worked well in Glenn’s case.

🙋What are the benefits of on-the-job professional development in your view?🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian