Training & Development – providing staff a reason to stay
Alan Thompson discusses talent shortages across sectors, and why companies find it difficult in keeping talented people.
Are you in an industry that is dealing with the challenge of retaining and attracting good people? If so, you are certainly not alone as we have heard from our contacts across many industry sectors that one of their key challenges in the current environment is filling key vacancies. The reasons behind the talent shortages do vary to a degree across sectors, but one common reason shared is the difficulty in keeping talented people.
Providing staff a reason to stay
So, in an environment where good people are really hard to come by, once you have found them, then make sure you hold onto them. This is even more crucial if your business has growth and expansion ambitions – in which case a long supply of talent, both functional, and heading towards leadership positions over time, is critical to support your strategy.
Many organisations we work with have invested in extensive graduate recruitment and development programmes; they have also leveraged the UK apprenticeship scheme – either to set up varying levels of apprenticeship programmes for both school and university leavers; or utilising the levy to fund development programmes for existing staff as well as new recruits. More often than not, these are centrally managed and supported by the business units crying out for talented resource to help with workloads.
Graduate programmes and Apprenticeships have an end date
On the whole, these programmes appear to operate really effectively and over time become quite efficient in bringing people into the organisation, inducting them into the culture, processes, systems and market, exposing them to a broad range of business units, and providing them with the core skills and experience necessary to provide a launchpad for their future career.
BUT… it’s that crunch time when the graduate programme and/or apprenticeship scheme come to an end. You have invested into a group of people that could now claim to have sector experience in a market clamouring for talent. If you don’t give them a reason to stay the you may lose them. One key value add that’s a win-win is providing them with an opportunity to continue their capability and competency development.
Where does this responsibility sit? This can often appear to be a grey area that slips between the responsibility of Learning and Development functions and the business units where they secure their permanent role. Learning & Development teams have been slimmed and trimmed over time and often only have the resources to focus on the next intake of apprentices and graduates. There is no bandwidth to manage a comprehensive ongoing development programme so for those graduates and apprentices, the transition from programme/schemes and into functional positions, is not that joined up and they move from having a structured development programme to piecemeal and scattergun training opportunities.
How do you convince staff to stay?
This is a key pivot point, as new recruits used to a structured, managed programme find themselves coming to terms with new functional roles and teams. It is here, where the really successful companies are making a real difference – providing ongoing structured capability and competency development that delivers continuity, as part of a long term route to excellence. Of course, the appetite from the individual needs to be there to continue this personal development – they can’t and shouldn’t be handheld throughout their whole career. But they want and need the opportunities to develop and progress or else they will go elsewhere to gain experience by taking on different responsibilities and development opportunities.
At Customer Attuned, this is what we do, we help our clients map out these ongoing development pathways, as well as the ability to design and deliver targeted training, coaching and mentoring programmes to support the development of your most valuable resource – your people.
Talk to us – let us help you keep your people.
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