Better Than Happy – Educating Your Way Through Retaining Employees

What drives the retention of talented employees and also invests in your company’s long-term success? A paradigm shift has occurred with the present-day transfer of employment power from the employer to the employee. This trend can be seen in the labor market data, as employees change jobs more freely than ever before. In this modern labor market, why would the traditional benefit of on-the-job education keep your best employees from jumping ship? With over 60-years of recruiting experience, Amtec is seeing a rise in the priority of continued education as a key retention strategy.

Why “Happy” Isn’t Enough for Staff Planning

Today’s employees, more than ever, wish for their work to mean more than a paycheck. What does this mean when planning for staff retention and development? A national survey of working Americans commissioned by Strategic Education, Inc, shows that despite 78% of workers considering themselves happy at their jobs, 46% of those same workers are open to new job opportunities. More surprisingly. 39% of those happy workers are currently looking for a different job. This is because employees are no longer satisfied with perks and cash bonuses. Although that helps, the most important factors for retention at a company are two things; meaning and growth. An important measure of meaning is how a company shows it cares about its employees. 

What is a better way of showing employees that you care about them than investing in their future? According to Strategic Education Inc, 83% of workers believe that employers should provide continued education as a benefit. Of those businesses that do offer tuition benefits, 90% of employees consider themselves content with the benefits offered by the company.

How Education Creates Meaning

Creating a workplace of greater meaning can be achieved by sponsoring educational opportunities for staff, like trade conference attendance, online courses for improving skills, completing industry certifications, or even earning the next level of a college degree. Supporting employees in this way creates a company culture that values the individual and shows a willingness to invest in their future. Education is considered by employees to be as good, if not a better benefit than good insurance or extra vacation days. Studies show that as many as 80% of working adults are interested in continuing their education

Studies have also shown that employees who improve their skills, in association with their workplace, generally show their appreciation with loyalty to their employer. As employees become more qualified they are less likely to leave. And since it can be more expensive to hire new employees than to provide education to an existing one, the cost of learning is likely to be a part of your staff planning that yields greater returns for your company. 

Retention through Rewarding Growth

Another way education impacts employee retention is that it creates a system of goals that create a sense of rewards for personal growth. As employees pursue educational opportunities, they are empowered in their career growth and are more likely to innovate and create opportunities to make a bigger difference at the company. In doing so, they may evolve their own career path within the company as they expand their role or the size of the team they manage to fulfill their new greater potential and productivity. 

A Lesson in Time Saves 9

Tactically, education is a more effective employee retention tool when it is completed over a period of time. Employees are much less likely to leave the company if they are in the middle of a course. This is especially timely around anniversary dates when the employee is celebrating a year with the company. Studies show that most people quit during their first year, with a spike in departures near one-year anniversaries. As people stay with a company longer, they are dramatically more likely to stick with it longer-term. As employees develop and become a part of high-performing teams, more time has passed, and they are far more likely to be retained – even well after they have finished with the educational program(s).

Making Your Average Employee Cooler

Finding the employees who are “cool” as well as good performers can be a daunting task. An effective way to screen for “cool” is discovering which candidates are seeking personal growth. Those that are open to new growth opportunities are shown to be more positive and open-minded, qualities that are reflected in their interactions with other employees. This helps them to get along with team members and to collaborate. According to GetSmarter, “Employees who bring a positive attitude to work have a positive impact on those around them and improve the energy in the team”. Employees who take advantage of education opportunities are those that strive to push themselves and those around them. Educational benefits for employees attract new hires who reflect these same positive traits. This ties together a company atmosphere that reflects meaning and growth, the most important parts of worker retention

In this ever-changing labor market, the tools for retention come from investing in your own business, while creating effective staffing of your employees. Investing in continued education is a prudent move that creates the key elements of a place where people want to work; Meaning and Growth. By modernizing your benefits to reflect the needs of your employees, you may be blown away by what can be achieved next.

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