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Can Learning & Development Solve Declining Retention Rates?

Can Learning & Development Solve Declining Retention Rates?

As the Great Resignation continues, retention rates are trending in the wrong direction. For this reason, upskilling, training, and learning & development are more critical than ever before. Organizations must begin rethinking their strategies to integrate necessary knowledge and skills into the workplace. Continue reading to see how learning & development can impact your retention rates and what steps you can take to establish these measures effectively.


Why Are Upskilling and Learning & Development Important?

Upskilling refers to the act of teaching an employee new or additional skills. According to the Association for Talent Development, offering employees new skills can boost productivity, reduce turnover rates, improve employee satisfaction, and increase employee retention.

The great thing about L&D is that if approached correctly, it can improve the individual employee's career and provide added value to your organization. When employees feel as if they are being prepared and trained in ways that directly affect their career growth, they are more likely to have higher satisfaction levels and remain in their current position longer. 


How Do Upskilling and Learning & Development Improve Retention?

Retention rates are currently at odds with the great resignation. Employers are struggling to find ways to hold onto employees for lengthy periods and are, in turn, dealing with costly turnover

L&D can improve these rates but the implementation needs to be handled with care. After all, the key to successfully boosting your retention rates through L&D is in the approach.

Employers may worry that if they pressure employees with extra learning opportunities, they could push employees who are already overstressed into resigning. When approaching employees, keep in mind their current situation. The most important way to approach skills development is by showing your employees the benefits related to their professional goals. 

By providing employees opportunities for career development, you’re showing them that you not only value their current contributions, but you’re also willing to invest in their future. This improves retention by suggesting that the longer they stay at the organization, the better off they’ll be in their career over the long term.


Critical Ways to Foster Successful Learning & Development

The opportunity for skills development can be a great motivational factor for employees. However, it’s important to remember that employees may also want to see the possibilities for raises, promotions, and new responsibilities, which L&D can provide. Correlating skills development to an increase in salary or job promotion can tell employees that you are looking to help them grow in their roles.  

One way to present your employees with learning opportunities is by allowing employees to learn at their own speed and in their own time. For example, being subjected to an hour-long class in the middle of the workday can drain an employee. In addition, forced training sessions can take up an employee's time, leading to compounded stress.  

Consider offering employees micro-learning opportunities to allow for a more digestible approach to learning that can significantly reduce the pressure associated with additional training. You can even provide short activities to break up the training sessions, such as brief quizzes, surveys, or games to help make L&D more fun. 


Additional Resources

You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with learning & development and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news

  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance

  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics 

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