How To Catch And Keep Top Talent With Employee Training

How To Catch And Keep Top Talent With Employee Training
Summary: The benefits of attracting superior employees and the high costs associated with turnover are undeniable. And, in a job seekers' market, the stakes are higher than ever. Learn what you can do to attract and retain the best talent on the market, starting with providing quality training opportunities.

4 Ways To Catch And Keep Top Talent With Employee Training

If your business is having trouble discovering and holding onto the best and brightest in your industry, at least you can take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. According to global management consulting firm McKinsey, the 2016 Conference Board’s survey of global CEOs found that attracting and keeping high-level talent was the top issue facing the C-suite [1]. It even came out ahead of industry competition and the economy.

Moreover, the consulting behemoth also found that an astonishing 82% of the companies don’t think they are recruiting top talent. Even those companies that are pleased with their initial talent acquisition still feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick with only 7% of them reporting that they were able to retain those recruits.

While there may be no one-size-fits-all approach to attract and retain the best people, this list of tips and tricks is a good place to start building out your talent acquisition strategy.

Top 4 Ways To Attract And Retain Top Talent With Employee Training

1. Develop Career Paths That Tie Into Your Training

If you’re trying to lure top talent, you should know that the vast majority of your largest hiring base, Millennials, place professional development and career growth at the top of their priority list with 87% citing it as “very important” to their job search [2]. But the desire to develop new skills transcends generations with 76% of employees overall reportedly looking for career growth opportunities.

The hardworking, talented people you want to hire and keep around have a natural inclination to better themselves and push their careers further. Consequently, if you show a genuine interest in their future by offering and promoting employee training and development your employees will not only grow and become more competent, they’ll appreciate the help. That morale boost also leads to increased loyalty.

Moreover, if you don’t provide those coveted growth opportunities, you’re not only turning off potential employees but current team members, as well. Research conducted at the Middlesex University for Work Based Learning found that 74% of participants believed a lack of employee training was the greatest challenge in realizing their maximum work potential.

2. Invest In Leadership Training

Fast Company indicates that organizations irrefutably recognize the importance of leadership development. However, more than half chief experience officers in a Deloitte survey didn’t think their direct reports had the necessary skills for the C-suite [3], and 42% of total respondents are still not prioritizing developing future leaders despite these figures. Furthermore, only a mere 18% of organizations indicated that they typically make their current leaders responsible for identifying and developing individuals to replace them when the time comes.

Fast Company attributes the high cost of leadership development, as well as the fact that the Return On Investment is harder to track, as part of the reason that so many companies are allowing it to fall to the wayside. Furthermore, it’s challenging to find these leadership gaps and needs in the first place for any organization. Consequently, many don’t even have this assessment to start, making it impossible to develop any sort of efficient development program for future leaders.

The key takeaway is that you’ve got to buck up and bite the leadership training bullet. If you still need convincing, consider the fact that effective leaders can double the profits of any given organization. Truly great leaders are also expensive to replace [4].

Finally, when leadership positions open up, it may be tempting to look for fresh faces outside the company walls. But if you have quality talent on your roster and want to keep it, you would do far better by looking to promote from within [5].

Consider this, your current team is trained and accustomed to your organization’s operations, structure, processes and even culture. They are already equipped with a lot of the knowledge they need to make a smooth transition. Also, it’s quantifiably less expensive to promote internally [6].

3. Provide Cross Training

Cross-training is when all team members train to become proficient in more than one role or skill. Cross-training is a great way to please training-hungry employees, protect yourself from knowledge loss due to turnover and build your bench of experts.

In the end, you’ll have a well-trained set of employees who can all perform multiple functions, for example, a marketing team where everyone knows how to edit images and code. And, of course, it can be a boon for your bottom line as it’s been demonstrated to improve productivity, quality and customer satisfaction, too [7].

According to the head of global training services at training and consulting firm Kepner-Tregoe, Jason O’Neill, it’s imperative to provide quality personnel with variety in their work so that they remain actively interested and engaged as they progress with your company [8].

O’Neill indicates that when employees are aware that the organization is looking out for their better interests by providing a career path or additional growth opportunities, they are more willing to stick around rather than looking to branch out to another company.

4. Survey Your Employees

In general, employee surveys are a critical tool in your engagement toolbox. They’re a safe, usually anonymous communication outlet for employees to share their issues, opinions, and needs without being worried about retribution.

When used strategically, surveys can bubble up valuable information that you can use to transform and improve your business [9]. But, all too often, it seems… in fact, a quarter of managers say they view surveys as nothing more than a “box ticking” exercise and nearly 30% of employees believe they’re pointless.

So, before you start shooting out email questionnaires to the entire workforce, be sure to build a well-researched strategy and consider these tips for success from ADP to make sure your survey isn’t a dud [10]:

Remember: Your survey is a measurement tool, not a solution!

  • Your leaders must be invested in the process from day one.
  • Keep it short and sweet.

When it comes to building questions around your employee training strategy, specifically, these questions are a good place to start:

What training topics are employees most interested in?

  • How much time do they actually have to put toward training?
  • How supported do they feel to engage in training?
  • Are they happy with your current training technology?

Also, remember it’s never too early to start looking beyond immediate talent recruitment needs to start implementing retention measures. And, don’t consign yourself to just one strategy but implement a combination to ensure maximum employee engagement and retention across the board. Make sure you are giving your employees a developmental and career path where they have the opportunity to upskill and grow in their role at the company, as well as transition into leadership positions and laterally into another department [11].


[1] Attracting and retaining the right talent (

[2] Millennials Want Jobs to Be Development Opportunities (

[3] Deloitte business confidence report 2016 (

[4] The True Cost of Employee Turnover (

[5] 7 Tips for Identifying and Developing Future Leaders (

[6] The Unexpected Benefits Of Promoting From Within (

[7] The Importance of Cross-Training in Improving Team Performance (

[8] The simple method to keep employees happier at their jobs (

[9] 8 Reasons Your Employee Engagement Survey Isn't Working (

[10] Why Your Survey Isn't Improving Employee Engagement (

[11] Individual Career Pathing – The Key to Younger Employee Retention (

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