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How skills and training help retain top talent

Dawn Duggan, Head of People, Skills and Talent at GC Business Growth Hub, and responsible for the delivery of the Hub’s Skills for Growth – SME Support programme shares her top tips on how skills and training help retain top talent.

Recruiting talent is a battle, but how do you hold on to your staff once you’ve recruited them? As the so-called ‘great resignation’ rages on, a majority 60% of employees plan to leave their jobs in 2022, with the main reasons for change cited as lack of recognition and sense of belonging.

According to CIPD, enabling career development and progression is one of the key aspects shown to improve rates of employee retention. Further to that end, according to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020, employees’ intentions to remain with their employer increase when businesses address employee needs such as reskilling. 

Is there a link between retention and skill development? How does this lead to employees feeling recognised and that they belong in their place of employment? Let’s find out. 

Empowering Employees

Your staff want to feel valued, recognised, and relied upon, its human nature, we want to feel wanted.

By providing ongoing training and development for your employees, you can help deliver that feeling by demonstrating your investment in their future, namely, their future within your organisation.  Adding new skills to their arsenal that they can then pass on to others or use to further develop within their role or their wider career gives the individual a sense of empowerment, demonstrating the employer’s commitment to a stable and ongoing position for them within the business. 

Giving your staff room to grow

People who are engaged with their workplace and excited by their role tend to stay where they are for longer, but the reverse is also true in that those who feel disconnected from development opportunities tend to feel less engaged and are more likely to leave. Offering attractive, role specific training can help to ensure that your staff feel challenged and motivated, and can visualise their future career progress within the company. And further to that, by offering, we don’t mean having a set list of compulsory health and safety modules for your staff to complete, we mean truly offering an array of relevant training courses that would be of genuine use and interest to the individual. For instance, in Edmonton, like in many other cities, there are several organizations and institutions that offer comprehensive safety skills and Edmonton first aid training that contribute to a safer work environment and demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of your employees.

By giving your staff room to grow and encouraging them to take control of the skills they want to work on, you effectively remove any need to seek personal development elsewhere.

5J5A5839 1 300x200 1 Developing confidence

Developing new skills and knowledge can help your staff to become more innovative, more productive, and more resourceful.

Rather than feeling that they’ve hit the glass ceiling or that they are lacking in comparison to their colleagues, education can help to improve staff confidence and self-esteem by enabling them to manage tasks more effectively, take control of challenges, and to help others in their role. Employees who feel confident in their role are more likely to communicate more effectively, improve their decision-making and handle criticism and feedback constructively. They say knowledge is power, and we couldn’t agree more. 

Offering quality education and training to your team can help empower employees, give individuals room to grow and develop staff confidence, which in turn give them a sense of belonging, recognition, and engagement.

While education is just one of many contributing factors to reducing staff turnover, we feel strongly that it is one of the most important elements, helping employers to retain top performing staff for longer and to develop extensive and meaningful career pathways for junior staff. 

In 2020 the Hub successfully launched its Skills for Growth – SME Support programme. Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and funded through the European Social Fund (ESF), this fully funded programme aims to support over 4000 SMEs and 17,000 individuals and is delivered in partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC). 

Skills for Growth – SME Support is here to help you grow your business by defining your business growth objectives, identifying workforce skills gaps and putting a plan in place to develop your talent and enhance your team’s performance. 

If you are a business owner or manager looking to develop new skills and knowledge within your team, or in your own role, click here to apply for the fully funded Skills for Growth – SME support service.

About the author

dawn duggan 300x200 1 Dawn Duggan

Dawn has been with the Business Growth Hub since September 2014 and is responsible for the design, delivery and evaluation of the People, Skills & Talent Programme which include the Executive Development Programme, Workforce Development, Inclusive Growth, Mentoring, National Be the Business Mentoring for Growth Programme and Skills for Growth – SME Support.


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