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Good Training Enriches Employees, the Bottom Line…and Workforce Loyalty | LinkedIn

September 05, 2013

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The skills shortage is one of the most common challenges for companies today. But I fear that the term itself is used too often, qualified too rarely, with some businesses too quick to criticize schools and universities for the problem.

Sure, the education sector has a role to play here, but there appears to be a persistent gap between the level of training employees expect and what employers actually provide. Even recent college grads just entering the job market are clamoring for more workplace training. This is no isolated trend: It’s as common in North America as it is in the Asia-Pac and EMEA regions.

Addressing the training gap, however, needs to be much more than a discussion about how businesses must become more involved in helping schools create courses that better prepare students for the workforce. That discussion, although important, misses a critical point: Education is not, on the whole, meant to be vocational training. Businesses must take responsibility for training employees to satisfy their own needs as my colleague, David Smith, is often pointing out.

As part of the process, business leaders can make a real difference in the success of corporate training by personally engaging as often as they can with the employees being trained. Just this past spring, for example, several members of my leadership team joined me for a couple of days of workshops with some of our most talented senior managers. The managers were grateful for the opportunity to work with us first hand on solving real issues, but the experience was just as rewarding – and enriching – for our leadership.

As an economic recovery gradually takes hold in the US, it is important for companies to recommit to investing in training. I often hear people claim that executives are cautious about providing too much training for fear that today’s less-than-loyal employees take their training and new-found skills to a new job at a competitor. There is some evidence of that, as a 2012 MetLife survey showed. But that’s no excuse for doing less training and Accenture’s clients rarely seem to see things this way. Many would say that providing the very best training might in theory make employees more marketable elsewhere, but it will also likely make them more loyal.

There are many ways companies can enrich employees’ skills and engender loyalty. Here are four practices that I’ve found to have the effect of not only training employees but helping to develop vital networks and relationships that keep employees connected… and often, more loyal:

Establish programs and incentives—such as a searchable skills database and opportunities for talent mobility—to identify and leverage “hidden” talent within your own organization.

Identify more candidates by pre-screening for the attributes you need by looking beyond the experience and education listed in a resume.

Make learning new skills an integrated component of an employee’s day-to-day work routine.

Create horizontal networks to develop talent among companies in the same sector, and vertical networks between different sectors that can result in a more liquid market of talent available to all.

The best way to keep talent poachers at bay is to provide employees with training, skills and opportunities that not only fulfill the company’s needs but make an employee feel enriched, energized and rewarded by the experience. The evidence is clear that employees are demanding it and think that employers could provide more.

Photo: Echo via Getty Images

Featured on:Leadership & Management

Posted by:Sander van ‘t Noordende

via Good Training Enriches Employees, the Bottom Line…and Workforce Loyalty | LinkedIn.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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