Some of the largest companies in the U.S., including Amazon and AT&T, have embraced the increasingly popular strategy of offering employees the opportunity to upskill. A more adept, skilled, and capable workforce will undoubtedly result in a more efficient and well-run business. For this reason, companies that contribute to the growth of their employees’ skillsets are investing in the future success of their businesses.
Benefits of Upskilling
There is no one-size-fits-all approach: some employers offer to fund online classes while others may make a contribution towards further education. While the structure of skill development programs may vary, their benefits for recruitment, job satisfaction, and internal advancement are unmistakable, regardless of the approach.
Improve Job Satisfaction
Utilizing research conducted by the Barometer team, we determined that modern workers – millennials and Gen Z in particular – value career development opportunities in a job above all else. Companies that offer a clear and achievable progression path are more likely to receive positive company reviews from satisfied employees. LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report highlights that an overwhelming majority of workers consider continued learning to be a vital part of what an employer can offer.
By investing in upskilling programs, you can actively demonstrate your company’s desire to help employees grow within the organization. With a progression program that includes a skill-building plan tied to a clear career path, you can ensure that employees remain both motivated and engaged by providing them with a series of attainable career goals. This will not only encourage talented workers to remain with your company, but it will also attract top outside talent.
Ambitious employees that are interested in career progression will regard skill development opportunities as a pathway to more advanced roles and an invaluable way to achieve their ultimate career goals. Not to mention, employees afforded the opportunity to further explore their strengths may stumble upon a specialization that piques their interest and matches their developing skillset.
Build a Strong Recruitment Strategy
A good upskilling program can help to build a strong recruitment strategy by increasing a company’s potential attractiveness to job seekers. Deloitte claims that 48% of millennials and 44% of Gen Z consider opportunities for continuous learning to be highly desirable in a potential employer. To attract top talent, we recommend providing opportunities for career development as research has indicated it is effective in gaining the interest of job seekers.
Glassdoor estimates that 70% of job seekers look to employer review sites to form an opinion of a company. Therefore, the importance of making a positive impression with employer reviews cannot be understated. Further, positive reviews about career progression programs can help your company to attract a greater number of motivated applicants.
Increase Retention Rates
A company’s success or failure can often be linked to its ability to retain skilled employees. Interestingly, the 2019 LinkedIn report also found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning, indicating that contributions towards employee development can reduce turnover.
For employers, this becomes an investment decision, whereby they can choose to invest in either the career development of current employees or the recruitment costs associated with hiring their replacements. Employers that fail to retain their most valued members of staff will not only incur high recruitment costs – with the average cost of each hire reaching $4,000 – but they will also need to take the time to train replacements to the same skill level.
Plan for Success
At Accenture, 85% of employees made use of the company’s mass development program and they have already seen employees move into roles in different departments as a result of the training they had received.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, “companies that look internally to fill their pipeline for critical positions are likely to have workers in those roles reach full productivity faster and more efficiently.”
By investing in your employees, companies can not only ensure that their workforce is cross-trained and able to cover any unexpected staff departures, but they can also promote from within rather than hire externally for higher-level positions.
Identifying potential leaders within an organization and offering them the training needed to progress to senior positions is another crucial element of skill development. Thus, an upskilling program can form the foundation of a fluid progression plan that provides employees with the career development opportunities they crave.
Invest in Your Employees
Today’s workforce values the opportunity to grow and develop at a company, while prioritizing the learning of new skills. Thus, providing skill development programs not only attracts job seekers, but it also indicates to prospective and current employees that you value their future with the company.
Employers can improve employee job satisfaction and their recruitment strategy by offering a strong employee upskilling program that contributes to the futures of both the employees and the company. Investing in your employees by helping them to expand their skillsets is a direct investment in the growth and the success of your company.
At Barometer, our team can help you to understand the programs and opportunities that job seekers look for in an employer based on internal surveys and feedback on employer review sites. Click here to learn more about how we can help you to better understand your workforce!