How a Focus on Career Development Saved My Company Over 8 Million Dollars

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Your best employees want to grow and advance in their careers. In fact, 76% of employees listed opportunities for career growth as one of their top three non-financial motivators. If you want your employees to stick around, you need to give them reason to believe that there is a future for them with your organization.

The way to do that is to invest more in learning and career development. I know this through experience. By strengthening learning and career development, I helped save one organization over 8 million dollars.

Before, I get into the story of how I did that, I want to make this point clear: Retaining your current employees is just as important, if not more important, than making good hiring decisions.

The cost of losing an employee is far greater than many organizations realize. Besides the recruiting costs and time spent finding and training a new hire, most employees who leave are less productive and effective on their way out. On average, the cost of replacing an employee is 6 to 9 months of the employee’s annual salary.

Case Study:

Several years ago, I joined an organization that was planning on doubling in size — growing from 700 employees to 1,500 employees over a two-year period.

The challenge? The organization experienced a turnover rate of over 20 percent. Our team decided that our strategy would focus primarily on retaining the people we already had.

The first thing we did was look over employee surveys and exit interviews. Based on this data, we inferred that people were leaving the organization due to a lack of career development opportunities. Employees who wanted to further their careers did not believe there was much room to grow within the company.

It became clear to us that providing more learning and career development opportunities within the organization would encourage employees to stay.

Over the next 6 months our team made a concerted effort to ensure employees would have ample opportunities to grow professionally within the company. We held training sessions to help employees become better managers. We hosted lunch and learns in which we showcased different roles and departments within organization, teaching employees about the opportunities available to them. We also made job shadowing a bigger part of the job training process.

Thanks to our noticeable efforts to expand career development opportunities, we managed to cut the company’s attrition rate in half, reducing it from 20 percent to under 10 percent by the end of the first year. Employees started to see the value of remaining with the organization, saving the company from having to hire as frequently. At the end of the two-year period, we ended up saving the organization a whopping $8 million in recruiting costs!

CEOs thinking long-term will do their best to make sure employees feel they can grow within their organizations. Simply by investing more in learning and development opportunities for your current employees, you can potentially save millions of dollars and boost your bottom line.