How to retain top talent: invest in your employees!

By Darren Ng, Associate Consultant – Sales, Marketing & Retail, Links International Hong Kong

Working at a recruitment company in Hong Kong, I can tell you that once someone applies for a job in sales and marketing, for example, and has been hired for what looks like their “dream job,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they are there to stay. A recent survey I came across indicates that 40 percent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year.

We work in a market where employee retention is increasingly difficult – some may argue that it is currently at an all-time low. What we often overlook is the importance of employee training and development as a staple of developing and also retaining top talent.

Many employers often question what happens if they invest money to develop their people and then they leave. But what happens if you don’t invest that money and they stay? In the business world, time is money and budgets are tight. The unwillingness to train in organisations that experience high turnover is often due to the company claiming that the investment will be wasted when employees quit. Not only does this convey the message to your employees that they are not important to your organisation (which is detrimental to employee engagement), but the cost of staff turnover really adds up, and it’s quite a hefty price to pay for not training staff.

Investing in the people who are the face of your company reaps great benefits in not only equipping your employees with the skills that they need to fulfill their responsibilities, but also translates to loyalty and commitment from good workers.

  • Training provides employee retention. Staff looking for their next challenge are more likely to stay if the opportunity to learn and grow at your company is there. Stagnant personal growth is often a reason to move on.
  • Training provides job satisfaction! Employees that develop well-rounded skill sets will be able to contribute to the company and the more engaged they are working for your success, the greater your return.
  • Training is a recruiting tool. Today’s workers want more than just a cheque every month. They are geared toward seeking employment that allows them to learn new skills. You are more likely to attract and keep good employees if you can offer development opportunities.

While it may take some time to see the return on your investment, the long-term benefits associated with adequate training make all the difference. If you want to build your business, why not invest in your employees? After all, qualified and productive workers will help your company succeed. These are dividends you can take to the bank. If you have good HR analytics and HR reporting, you will be able to see trends in things like staff turnover, sick leave, etc. that could be signals you need to invest more in your employees.

For more advice about how to retain top talent and improve employee engagement in order to grow your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.