Employee Skill Development Can Pay Off For Employers

Retraining opportunities are generally popular among employees, with 73 percent of people saying that it is very or somewhat important for employers to help them build the skills needed to find another job or transition to another role. The data, which comes from business-to-business research, ratings and review firm Clutch, reflects experts’ belief that job development and retraining can yield significant returns for businesses if instituted strategically.

Clutch’s data, which comes from a survey of 510 full-time employees in the U.S., found that 70 percent of people say they are likely to participate in an employer-provided job retraining program.

“Most employees don’t want to be complacent,” says Sean Pour, co-founder and marketing manager at SellMax, a nationwide cash-for-used cars selling service. “They want to keep growing. People feel bad when they feel like their skills aren’t advancing.”

The research reports employees are most likely to wish their companies offered tuition assistance for classes outside their company (19 percent) and intracompany classes and workshops to learn new skills (19 percent). They are far less likely to hope their companies provide expanded access to learning resources such as books, videos and online courses.

Clutch warns that companies should consider employee preferences, but must make sure they also match the business’ priorities and capabilities. Blindly providing tuition assistance for out-of-company classes, for example, can be costly and ineffective, and the time spent developing a curriculum to enrolling employees and applying the skills can be a year or two. They must also ensure that their skill development offerings yield sufficient returns.

Most employees (70 percent) who are offered job retraining say they are satisfied with the programs their employer provides. And experts believe that job retraining allows companies to improve their overall direction by improving employee retention and maximizing worker output.

“[Companies] have not been able to say why people stay, why people go, what makes them succeed,” says Joe Carella, assistant dean for executive education at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. “A happy workforce is a motivated workforce. Retraining is an opportunity for companies to think about their larger strategy and bridge two priorities: the future of the company and the future of the people who work for it.”

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