How Professional Development Affects Turnover Rates

By Maria Forbes
August 26, 2020

If you’re searching for ways to retain talent, your organization should embrace professional development. According to a study conducted by LinkedIn, more employees quit their jobs due to a lack of professional development than any other reason. Researchers found that nearly half of all job exits are attributed to insufficient or nonexistent professional development. By understanding how professional development affects turnover rates, however, you can compel employees to stay with your company.

What Is Professional Development?

Professional development is the process of improving an employee’s work-related skills and knowledge so that he or she can move to a higher-level position. By providing new and even seasoned team members the necessary tools and resources, they are able to learn and grow, as well as progress within your company.
Some of the most common processes associated with professional development include the following:

  • Conducting assessments of employees
  • Hosting seminars and classes tailored to employees’ jobs
  • Assigning a mentor to employees
  • Participating in industry conferences and events
  • Continued education and training
  • Conducting team-building exercises

Makes Employees Feel Accepted

Embracing professional development within your company’s culture will make employees feel accepted. In turn, they’ll be less likely to quit. Regardless of the job, all employees strive for acceptance. They want to feel like they are part of a team and not just a standalone worker. When you provide employees with the opportunity to advance, they’ll feel accepted by your company, which should encourage them to stay with your company for a longer period.

Fosters Confidence

Professional development fosters confidence. Confidence, or lack thereof, can influence whether an employee stays or quits. Confident team members know that they can excel, so they desire to remain with your company. With little or no confidence, on the other hand, employees may search for a different job. As you train and educate employees, they’ll become more confident in their work-related abilities, thereby lowering the risk of them quitting.

Boosts Employee Engagement

Research shows that employees are approximately 15% more engaged when given professional development opportunities. Engagement, of course, is an underlying factor in turnover rates. Employees who are engaged are less likely to quit than those who are disengaged. Highly engaged employees are more active — both physically and mentally — in their respective jobs. Although there are many ways to boost employee engagement, embracing professional development is one of the most effective.

Creates New Goals for Employees

It’s also worth noting that professional development creates new goals for employees. When you provide an employee the opportunity to grow, he or she will have a goal. The employee will then have something for which to work, knowing that he or she can secure a more favorable position. Failure to embrace professional development within your company’s culture means employees won’t have a clear and attainable goal and may seek employment elsewhere.

Shows Appreciation

You can show appreciation to employees by providing them with professional development opportunities. Far too many employers neglect to show appreciation. They assume that employees will stay with their company regardless of whether they are appreciated or not. The reality, however, is that lack of appreciation is a driving factor in high turnover rates. Employees want to feel recognized and that you are investing in their success.

Provides a Monetary Incentive

In most cases, professional development provides employees with a monetary incentive to stay with your company. While employees work for many reasons, one of the most influential reasons is money. With professional development, employees can progress to a higher-level position where they can earn more money than their current role.
Professional development is intrinsically connected to turnover rates. It makes employees feel accepted; it fosters confidence in employees; it boosts employee engagement; it creates new goals; and it provides a monetary incentive for employees to stay with your company.

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