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Professional Development Opportunities Can Boost Employee Retention

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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.

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Two organizations that stand out in professional development are Disney and HBO. 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 their opportunity to build a positive workplace culture.” HBO’s Learn@HBO program offers a variety of instructor-led courses. HBO encourages employees to learn outside of work as well, offering partial tuition coverage and emboldening employees to take educational “field trips” where 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 development opportunities in many forms – 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. To learn more about how Domus can help, contact us.

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