6 Ways HR Can Maximize the Impact of Training on Employee Retention

Employee retention is both a challenge and a priority for HR professionals right now. As of June 2021, the US hit a record of 10.1 million job openings, leaving plenty of options for workers. Many Americans are leaving their current positions in search of better compensation, better benefits. But just as important is a better quality of life. A healthy work-life balance is currently the third biggest concern among employees.

The great resignation has led to an even more significant burden on those who stay to shoulder more and more responsibility as companies scramble to attract new talent. COVID-19 brought on an onslaught of new demands and stressors in employees’ personal and professional lives, and HR leaders are navigating a shifting workforce every day. 

Now is the time to find the best strategies for improving retention. Investing in comprehensive employee training and development is an effective way to keep high performers.


Training and Development Should Be an Integral Part of Company Culture

Retention relies on establishing a work culture where employees feel valued, seen, and supported. To demonstrate to workers and new hires alike that they are valued, HR needs to integrate learning opportunities and career development into the workweek.

51% of employees say they are not engaged with their company. HR leaders should collaborate with leadership to create an environment where employees learn while they get work done. Collaboration boosts employee engagement by aligning personal growth with the company’s growth. 


How to Improve Employee Retention Through Learning and Development

This year Forbes reported that the days of offering professional development as a benefit are over; this is now a requirement. HR leaders are poised to develop this part of their company’s culture by collecting feedback from employees. 

Here are six ways HR can cultivate more robust training and development strategies to improve retention:

#1 Build a Robust Onboarding Program

Onboarding is the first impression that new hires get of your company’s culture. A strong onboarding strategy highlights company values, establishes clear communication, and sets the tone for expectations. Conversely, lacking an onboarding process sends a message to new hires that communication is weak and that leadership isn’t devoted to developing the work environment. As a result, 20% of new hires leave their position within the first 45 days.

Create a 90-day plan for new team members. Within these 90-days, create opportunities for new hires to engage with other team members and senior staff. Use low-stake group activities to encourage authentic interactions. 

Devote plenty of time to acquainting new hires with the company’s mission. Engaged employees feel that their values align with their company’s. Allow time for employees to interact with the product or service if possible. This opportunity helps them understand their company’s mission and the purpose behind their work.

Gather feedback along the way. The more data you have on what did and didn’t work for new hires, the more you can improve your process.

#2 Bake Career Advancement Into Positions

LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report showed that a whopping 94% of employees say they would stay longer at a company that’s invested in their careers. And the number one reason that employees are not learning at work is that their organization fails to give them time to devote to career development. 

HR and leadership must collaborate to create opportunities in the workday for learning. Break up training into bite-sized lessons and devote a small portion of each day to learning. Offer one-on-one coaching or monthly roundtables. Your company can also partner with universities to help team members earn degrees. 

#3 Invest in Training and Development That Isn’t Directly Related to Work

Give employees access to resources for developing their whole selves, outside of who they are at work. Doing so demonstrates your organization’s investment in nurturing more than employees’ productivity, which boosts productivity in the long run.

Collaborate with management to help them develop specific skills and interests. Offer a tuition reimbursement program for courses and certifications. Hire outside instructors to offer training and development to all team members. Offer access to online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning.

#4 Offer Training at Every Level

Invest in leadership training and development. Creating a company culture that fosters growth depends on management stepping into mentorship roles. Train your leaders on soft skills, coaching, and inclusivity. This top-down approach will allow managers to pass knowledge and skills onto team members. 

Ensure that systems are in place for management to give feedback and regularly check in with team members. They should learn how to provide both positive and corrective feedback. Positive feedback is powerful;  it tells team members what’s working and recognizes a job well done increasing motivation, performance, and productivity.

#5 Develop the Top Four Soft Skills

Developing soft skills— leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management— is ongoing. It isn’t directly related to getting tasks done, but investing in these skills fosters a strong work culture by improving employees’ interpersonal skills, teaching them how to manage conflict, and being self-starters.

You can develop your team’s soft skills in organic ways by making social and team-building activities available to them. For example, facilitate contests, team board games, trivia, or scavenger hunts. You can also host company happy hours, work picnics, and volunteer days to encourage employees to get to know each other. 

#6 Offer Mental Health Training to Employees

Mental health is a significant health issue in the American workforce. Companies that invest in supporting the mental health of their teams are responding to mounting data that job seekers are looking for holistic support from their next employer, and it benefits the company to do so.  

Ignoring the impact employee well-being has on your workplace is expensive. Companies lose thousands, sometimes millions of dollars, each year due to mental health conditions in the workplace. You can even calculate just how much ignoring employee mental health costs your organization every year.



What is the price you pay each year for not addressing your employees’ mental health issues?

Enter your company's information below to get started.

Investing in workplace mental health can save your organization money while improving outcomes and performance. In addition, mental health training shows employees that they are valued. It offers them ways to cope with stress, burnout, anxiety, and fatigue, each of which, if left unchecked, leads to productivity loss and low performance.

Invest in Your Employees Every Step of the Way

It is essential to develop employees’ skills as they grow in their roles, from onboarding to leadership training. Training should be a cohesive part of company culture, and your HR team should demonstrate this to candidates during the hiring process. 

Access to mentorship, ongoing education, and mental health training gives your company a competitive edge to new hires and a reason to stay for employees. 

Explore More Ways Employee Mental Health Training Supports Your Ongoing HR  Efforts

Related Articles

Contemporary Issues in the Workplace: HR Challenges in 2021

Our lives have changed considerably recently— and so has the workplace. Shifts in work environments...

The Benefits of Mental Health Training in the Workplace

Employee mental health concerns are at an all-time high— according to a recent report by Pathways, ...

How to Support Employees Dealing With Psychological Trauma in the Workplace

Amidst the pandemic, the definition of workplace trauma and the psychological implications are...

Insights into employee mental health and well-being, straight from the experts.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get a digest of recent worthwhile reads and key insights about being well at work, straight from Pathways at Work’s mental health experts.