4 Strategies That L&D Can Leverage To Retain Talent In A Competitive Business Landscape

COVID has changed so much in the corporate world prompting many to re-evaluate and think of how they want to do things differently in the post-pandemic world. Companies are facing talent drains, as employees are choosing to walk away in search of better opportunities. Some are switching careers, others are going freelance, and some are even moving to extremely different professions in search of a simpler and more meaningful life.

Bottom-line: Pandemic-fueled changes have forced many companies to lose good talent. Of course, talent retention has been a challenge that organizations have long grappled with, but COVID has exacerbated the situation. At a time like this, what is it that organizations can do to prevent the flux and what steps can they take to retain good talent?

Millennial candidates, for instance, wish to learn and grow. They expect companies to let them know about their training and learning programs during the recruitment process. For them, professional development is an area that matters a lot, ditto for Gen Z candidates. As per the Workplace Learning Report 2021, Gen Z is focused more on learning because they believe that learning is the key to a successful career.

Considering learning is so important for both these cohorts that make almost the entire corporate workforce currently, L&D is one of the most equipped teams to rise to the challenge and ensure the right initiatives to retain valuable talent.

Let’s take a look at how L&D teams can put their best foot forward to retain good talent and slow down the mass exodus from companies.

1. Bolstering L&D Strategy To Help Employees Future-Proof

While training and development offered valuable benefits even before the pandemic, it is more important than ever now to help employees feel in control of the uncertainty around them. A good L&D strategy not only gives employees new knowledge but also the confidence to perform better. By having robust L&D programs, companies can increase their chances of attracting and retaining top talent.

Encouraging people to grow by offering them learning opportunities is a great way to foster a sense of loyalty in them that may make them want to stay back with a company. This is why investing in employee development is seminal for a company’s growth and sustainability.

2. Strengthening Onboarding Programs

One of the first impressions that new hires get about the company they join is during the onboarding process, making it an extremely critical process. Research by Glassdoor [1] has pointed out that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

The onboarding experience is crucial because it demonstrates that the company is dedicated to the employees, which, in turn, creates engagement among them along with a strong connection to the company. Taking the time to train new employees makes them feel valued and possibly improves the chances of their retention. Moreover, L&D can improve new employees’ job comfort level by addressing any specific skills gaps by creating tailored onboarding and training for them.

3. Encouraging Self-Paced Learning

With the help of platforms like learning management systems (LMS), L&D teams can identify skills and knowledge gaps among the workforce and then design learning initiatives to fill them. The idea is to encourage employees to learn at their convenience, at their own pace, and on devices of their choice.

At a time when millennial and Gen Z employees lay great focus on work-life balance, self-paced learning enables them to strike a balance between the two. It also increases the effectiveness of the learning process. At its core, self-paced learning puts the responsibility of the learning on the employee, which helps increase the motivation to learn. Motivated employees are more likely to stick around in a company longer.

4. Conducting Regular Upskilling And Reskilling

If employees are considering moving out of the company because they wish to switch careers, L&D can help prevent this talent drain. If it’s possible that there is a role in the company internally for such employees to transition to once they have acquired these new skills, L&D can provide the appropriate skilling. Internal upskilling and reskilling programs can help a company retain valuable employees by re-training them in the fields they wish to pursue.

Parting Thoughts For Talent Retention

If the talent drain is affecting your organization, a well-planned and executed L&D strategy can be a good panacea. Solid learning and development programs are one of the most important benefits that an organization can give its employees. As employees are increasingly looking at job roles less as jobs and more as pathways to acquire knowledge and skills to flourish in their professions, it’s best to have training programs that can serve as a valuable tool to attract and retain them.

References:

[1] The True Cost of a Bad Hire

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