Employers are taking a long hard look at what they have to offer employees in the hopes that they can discover how to attract and retain workers during the ongoing labor shortage.

Professional development and training opportunities are emerging as an effective way to engage workers. In fact, skills training is one of the most attractive job benefits for younger workers. A 2021 Gallup survey conducted on behalf of Amazon revealed that 65% of workers believe upskilling is very important when considering job offers, and 48% of American workers would switch to a new job if offered more opportunities for training.

During the ongoing Great Resignation, many workers have discovered that finding a job with higher pay or better benefits is easier than finding an employer willing to invest in them. Without professional development opportunities, employees may believe that the only way to grow their careers is by finding a job with another company. By providing workers with skills training, employers can significantly impact retention within their organization.

Analyze The Skills Gap

Employers who offer skills training help workers gain confidence in their roles. When those employees feel empowered and successful, they are more likely to see themselves growing with the company. But before you can create a training program for your employees, it’s essential to assess the needs of your workforce — and your organization. What are your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and what kinds of training will lead to increased productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction?

Feedback from employees can offer insight into what types of training will help workers be most successful in their roles. By asking for and incorporating employee feedback, employers gain an opportunity to show workers their opinions hold value, another way to build trust, loyalty and retention.

Empower Workers

Engaged employees are more likely to remain with the company. Soliciting feedback about what type of training employees might find valuable is a great first step, but some workers may not know what they need to advance. Connect with employees to educate them on the opportunities available to them within the company and what kinds of skills they need to take on new roles.

Career exploration can be an effective way to show employees what career paths exist for them within the company, potentially inspiring interest and engagement. By encouraging employees to take an active role in their professional development, you energize and empower them, creating further engagement with the company.

Improve Culture

Creating a solid training program within your organization communicates that you value your employees and want to help them improve their careers and lives. To be most effective, training must be a consistent and organic part of the work culture. Sending employees out for training once a year just to get it out of the way won’t have as much impact as providing regular professional development with constructive feedback. Giving employees opportunities to practice their skills while supporting their learning curve will help them grow in their roles and positively impact the company.

Train Leaders to Support Workers

Manager training can also boost retention within your organization. As the famous saying goes, “People don’t quit jobs; they quit bosses.” According to a Society for Human Resources Management survey, 84% of U.S. workers say poorly trained managers create unnecessary work and stress, and 57% believe managers in their workplace could benefit from more training.
Much about work has changed since the pandemic. Managers require different skills to support the changing needs of modern workers. Leadership training can play a double role in retention within your organization: building the skills of managers while helping them learn how to better manage — and retain — their teams.

Focus on Learning

Prioritizing professional development in your company means creating opportunities for workers to use their new skills and integrate them into their daily routines, improving their productivity and efficiency. By providing training opportunities that help workers build skills that help them advance their careers, employers are investing in their workforce—and safeguarding retention within their organization.


Amanda Usen is a copywriter for Haley Marketing Group. As a multi-published author and voracious reader, she’s spent most of her life immersed in words. She enjoys using her creative writing experience to craft impactful messaging and tell HMG’s clients’ stories.