Retrain to retain: the importance of professional development for staff retention

Posted by : Cara Armstrong on November 2, 2022 11:17 am

In an ever-tightening labour market, professional development has never been more important for staff retention. Judy Davison, Asset Recruitment’s Permanent and Executive Recruitment Specialist, explains why now’s the time to retrain to retain.

From professional certifications to management and leadership training, upskilling of technical skills to teamwork and interpersonal communication tools, professional development opportunities come in an array of forms.

The value placed on professional development by employers hasn’t always been equal, nor has the realisation that such investment pays dividends in the long run for both employees and their organisation. But, in recent decades, the training and upskilling of staff has become recognised as an integral part of a company’s culture, recruitment policy, and retention strategy…and then COVID-19 hit.

As businesses and organisations were faced with a myriad of challenges operating in a pandemic-inflicted world, investment in professional development started to wane. Then, came the tightening of the labour market.

Now, professional development is back on the agenda of most New Zealand businesses as it has become evident just how important retraining is to retaining staff. “The saying ‘retrain to retain’ certainly has a nice ring to it, but the underlying message has far greater weight,” says Judy Davison, Asset Recruitment’s Permanent and Executive Recruitment Specialist.

“Employers simply cannot afford to lose staff and are therefore needing to look at what they can offer employees to keep them interested, stimulated, and financially secure. Professional development is an integral part of that – it not only has significant benefits for the individual, but for the wider workplace,” she says.

Retraining existing staff through a variety of courses, either online or face-to-face, establishing an in-house mentorship programme, and fostering the interests of staff wishing to extend their skillset will be advantageous for businesses in the long run.

“Organisations can weigh up the cost of a professional development course against the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training new staff members,” says Judy. “It will quickly become evident just how valuable it is to retrain and upskill existing team members.”

With the current growth many businesses are experiencing, retraining existing staff members won’t necessarily alleviate the labour requirements of an organisation, but Judy says including professional development as a key offering within a role will attract staff for whom ongoing learning is of value.

“We support our clients in scoping their roles and look at how we can provide those extra added incentives to attract excellent candidates,” explains Judy. “Opportunity for and investment in ongoing training and both personal and professional development is highly sought after by job seekers. They want to feel valued within an organisation and seek a position where they can grow in their role as much as they can contribute to the growth of their organisation. Professional development encourages that.”

Looking to improve your staff retention? Speak to the Asset Recruitment team today. We’ve been positioning excellence in Waikato for more than 30 years.

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