How Training Affects the Employee Lifecycle: Part 6—Retention

Training is essential at all stages of the employee lifecycle—before you even hire someone to when they leave the company.

The employee lifecycle is a human resources model that defines the stages of an employee’s career with the company to help guide and manage the process.

It involves the following stages:

In this seven-part blog series, we’ll discuss why and how to implement a good training program to support each stage of the employee lifecycle.


Companies leave people more often than people leave companies.

A common trend exists as to why people leave their jobs. Management usually cites financial reasons, because that’s what employees most often say is their reason for leaving. The deeper follow-up question is: why did that employee take the call from the headhunter or apply for that job in the first place—even before money, benefits or perquisites were discussed? This question truly gets to the root cause for the departure, which generally falls into two areas that are easily addressed by investing in training and development:

  1. The employee felt the investment in his time and efforts was one-sided, and he didn’t feel that he was learning enough to advance his career within the company or within the profession—the old “input/output” theory at work; or
  2. The employee disliked his manager due to the manager’s poor management practices, generally in the areas of poor or inappropriate communication, lack of constructive feedback and support, lack of mentoring or making new opportunities available for leaning or micro-managing projects.

Further, according to a recent Harris poll, 41 percent of employees who report “poor” training opportunities at their job plan to leave, compared to just 12 percent who report excellent training programs.

Below are some training options that—done right—could help keep employees.

Online training

Online training or e-learning solutions have been around for a while and continue to improve. With all of the features and functionality available to quickly deliver cost-effective and relevant training solutions, it is the face of today’s training and essential to businesses in just about every industry.

E-learning solutions have the added benefit of high adoption rates with employees, which can help with the first reason why employees quit. E-learning tends to be are more engaging with multiple ways to learn within the course—videos, online chatting about the concepts being taught and the ability to pause the program and practice the key learning objectives.

You can also build or buy manager-specific training to help curtail the second reason why people generally leave their job—bad managers.

Why has e-learning become the training method of choice?

Try out these simple pointers for a stellar online training program:

  • Training should be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time and sessions should be tailored to accommodate the employee’s attention span and concentration levels. Employees should not be required to endure lengthy hours of content, but rather reasonable sessions of intricately planned education that is easily retainable.
  • Online training classes should be quality, relevant to the employee’s job function and follow all company policies.
  • The program should be evaluated for effectiveness and usefulness in the targeted employment area.

Cross training

Instituting a cross-training program, where employees train other employees in different job functions on their roles and expertise, can be a great retention tool because, as this article notes, “Cross training an employee gives them the opportunity to learn a new skill. That new skill can make them more valuable, either in their present job or in a different job. Learning the new job can keep them stimulated and reduce worker boredom.”

It also helps boost comradery and compassion as employees learn the ins and outs of each other’s work.

More than anything, it’s a great retention tool because employees will feel valued, learn different skills, connect with their co-workers and have a deeper understanding of the company.

Mentoring

Mentoring can be another excellent retention tool, especially for younger workers just entering the workforce, but all ages can really benefit from the guidance and advice of someone more experienced.

A good mentor can mean that an employee sees more value the company for giving him or her the opportunity to connect and learn on a personal, individual level.

Need help implementing a mentoring program? Learn more: Guidance on Developing a Mentoring Program.

Phew! We’re almost done with our seven-part series on how training affects the employee lifecycle. Check back next week for the final stage: Separation.

 

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