A hot topic of discussion in our business is benefits administration. We hear a lot about benefits due to the fact that employers rely heavily on them as tools for retaining their most coveted talent. But consider this: a recent survey among employees in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia seem to suggest that learning and development opportunities are as important to workers as their benefits.
Have you ever considered learning and development as a retention tool? If it has been off your radar thus far, you are not alone. Being a firm that specializes in outsourcing HR, we know first-hand the types of things employers focus on for retention. Learning and development is not typically at the top of the list. Perhaps it is time for employers to reconsider just how important it is.
Employees Want Legitimate Opportunities
According to the previously mentioned survey, 66% of the 3,000 surveyed workers said learning and development opportunities “make or break” the decision to take a new job or stay in their current positions. The good news is that 73% report having learning and development opportunities through their current employers.
Why is learning and development so important to employees? A couple of other statistics from the survey provide some insight:
- 61% said that work experience offers the best preparation for their jobs.
- 50% said they regret not knowing how to handle career progression before entering the workforce.
Surveying workers largely agree that higher education did not adequately prepare them for the working world. The knowledge gleaned from college courses and textbooks only offered so much. To truly learn about their jobs, they had to start working. They had to start learning by doing.
With that history, they now understand that learning on the job is key to their career development plans. Thus, the importance of learning and development. Workers now understand that learning and development will ultimately be the key to how they progress in their careers. If they cannot learn the right skills and develop them, workers will be stuck in a neutral position. That is the reality. That’s the fear.
What Your Company Can Do About It
Let us bring this back to your company and what you can do about employee expectations of learning and development opportunities. First, step back and ask yourself whether such opportunities exist in your company. If they do, are the opportunities adequate? And if not, what can your company do to create more and better opportunities?
Having no learning and development programs in place limits your company’s ability to compete for top talent. It limits your ability to retain those employees you value most. So while you and your PEO are looking for ways to make the company benefits package more attractive, pay equal attention to developing new learning and development programs that will make whatever benefits you choose that much more inviting.
Bring in an HR Partner
A good way to close this post would be to discuss bringing in an HR partner to assist you with both benefits administration and developing learning and development opportunities. A PEO service provider might be your best bet. With a PEO, you get access to a full basket of HR, benefits, and payroll services. Here at VertiSource HR we happen to offer both full-service PEO and ASO services for every business size.
An HR partner can help you determine the best types of learning and development opportunities for your employees. They could work with the HR department to develop programs. Finally, they could implement and maintain the programs for the long term.
Employees have made clear the fact that they want learning and development opportunities. They are also clear about their willingness to stick with employers willing to step up and deliver.