In today’s recovering economy, employee retention is becoming a greater priority for many organizations. Several factors go into the decision to stay at a job long term or look elsewhere, but one increasingly important element is the availability of professional development opportunities.
Professional development is particularly important to millennials. According to Deloitte University Press, employees age 25 and younger rate it as their number one driver of engagement, while it ranks as number two for those 35 and younger. Offering development opportunities pays off for employers as well—a recent survey found that there is a 34% higher retention rate at companies with development opportunities compared to those without.
When it comes to professional development, two organizations stand out: Disney and Patagonia. Disney offers an eight-week training program called Transition to Disney Leadership for new hires and recently promoted leaders. The company believes this program “demonstrates to our leaders that we are committed to providing them a solid foundation for success, thus improving engagement and our opportunity to build a positive workplace culture.” Patagonia offers extensive customized training for its employees through its LMS system. Each employee has a personalized development plan with targeted courses in the areas they are looking to focus and improve on. Patagonia also analyzes changes in employee feedback to identify the content that is most helpful and leads to the greatest behavioral change, ensuring its library of content remains fresh and relevant.
Professional development is not one-size-fits-all. Some employees may respond positively to group training sessions, while others thrive on more individual opportunities. Ideally, organizations should be as flexible as possible and offer various development opportunities—from formal to informal, internal to external and so on.
A key step in Domus’s five-step Employee Engagement Process is to Build Deep Understanding. During this step, we employ tactics such as primary and secondary research and audience needs assessments to uncover the engagement drivers and motivators unique to your workforce. This allows us to understand the types of development opportunities that would be best suited to your organization. Contact us to learn more about how Domus can help.