How Career Development Can Help with Employee Retention

Employee Development helps your people and your business... 

Here are some ways you can implement career development...

There has been much talk recently that millions of employees across the world plan to move jobs when the pandemic ends, which many have been calling ‘The Great Resignation’. Research from the Microsoft Trend Index found that 40% of people say they’ll switch jobs this year, and 1 in 4 are ready to quit according to the Morning Consult.

For employers, these are worrying figures, as staff turnover can cause a business to lose productivity, the time it takes to hire and get a new employee up to speed as well as the financial cost of hiring. According to Croner, the average cost of employee turnover, based on the average UK salary, is around £11,000 per person.

But one way to tackle employee turnover is career development. Whether it’s helping your employees create and implement an individual career development plan to offering mentoring or access to courses. Here’s how and why helping your people is good for your business…


How Employers Can Benefit from Employee Development:

There are many benefits for employees who wish to develop, including gaining new skills, building on existing ones and working towards potential career opportunities. But these aren’t limited just to employees, here’s how you and your business could benefit:

  • Staff retention: by investing time or money in your people it will show them that you value them and their development, which makes them more likely to stay with you.
  • Help attract new talent: in a competitive market, a workplace culture that addresses learning from day one can help you stand out from your competitors when recruiting.
  • Motivation: self-development can help people feel more motivated at work and can help improve productivity and engagement too.
  • Prepare for your future: by developing your people, you’re helping to prepare them for the next step in their career, meaning when you need to fill positions you can do so internally. This will help with reducing the cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training of external candidates.
  • Improve your business performance: by improving your people’s skills will not only help them with their careers, it will also help their performance at work and yours too.

Career development also helps your people set realistic expectations for their career path by having visibility of the steps to their next career milestone.


What are Some People Development Practices:

There are many ways you can help your people develop, some that you could do internally and some external options as well. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Mentorship opportunities:

Putting a mentoring programme in place can help give your people access to experience and advice across your organisations. To make it successful, try to find mentees who are keen to learn and mentors who can provide support like career coaching.

Host lunch and learns:

Your teams each have their own area of expertise, so why not make the most of them with lunch and learn sessions. Your people can share their knowledge about their day-to-day work with other teams.

Provide professional training:

Giving your people access to outside education can really help develop their skills in specialist areas, particularly if you don’t have any internal expertise to help.

Development plans:

Ensure your people have a development plan. Support and help them to identify specific areas that will help them with their growth and are aligned to both their own and the company objectives. Remember, it’s their development plan to own, so empower them to take responsibility for their own learning.


What is a Career Development Plan?

An individual career development plan is a list of your employees’ short and long-term goals that relate to their current role and their future ambitions. These goals should be linked to the skills they’ll need in the future, the strengths they already have and the areas they need more support with. It also includes plans for formal and informal experiences or development that can help them work towards their goals.

Individual Career Development Plan Format Example:

If you want to support your employees with an individual career development plan, but you’re not sure how, here’s what their career development plans should include:

  • Short-term goals for the next one to three years.
  • Long-terms goals for after that.
  • Experiences that can help towards their goals in the short term, these could include: internal or external learning and development, assignments or projects as well as other development activities like mentoring.

How to Implement Employee Development:

The first step in helping your people with their development is to encourage managers to talk to their teams individually about their long-term career interests, their last performance review, objectives for this quarter and any feedback.

Make sure to talk about their goals, both short and long term, make them aware of, and gauge their interest in any assignments or projects that could help, courses or new ways they could support their team.

Make sure to use the plan during mid-year and year-end reviews to make sure any progress has been noted, if any goals have been changed and if the plan needs to be adjusted.


Don’t Forget Recognition and Reward

Giving recognition and rewards can motivate your and encourage the type of behaviours you want from your teams. Whether you use vouchers or a recognition platform, there are many ways you can encourage your people to take their own development seriously, which benefits them and your company!

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The Microsoft Work Trend Index
Morning Consult