- Most HR professionals in an August Society for Human Resource Management survey said compensation was a top driver of turnover, but lack of career development and advancement placed second.
- In all, 61% of respondents named lack of career development and advancement a top three cause of turnover, while 21% said it was the top reason for turnover. Other causes, cited by fewer than half of HR professionals, included lack of flexibility, unsustainable work expectations and uncaring or uninspiring leaders.
- Employers could address career development and advancement without the need for additional funding by conducting career path studies, providing access to free online learning programs and increasing opportunities for internal promotions, SHRM said. With additional funds, employers may build out career ladders, offer targeted skills training or offer education or tuition reimbursement benefits.
Employers need few reminders about the impact of turnover on larger business goals. A recent Visier report found that voluntary turnover could cost employers as much as $110,000 per lost employee — and team members of those who quit are more likely to quit than other employees, Visier said.
SHRM is not alone in finding that learning and development investments can encourage employees to stay. Earlier this year, the Conference Board found that 58% of survey respondents said they would be more likely to leave an employer that did not provide education and training opportunities, with women, people of color and millennials in the survey particularly citing L&D as a consideration. HR professionals in a November ILX Group survey said that upskilling, reskilling and cross-skilling programs helped to retain talent.
It may not be a straightforward proposition to do so, however, given the inequities that affect training programs. For example, employers largely leave out hourly workers from career growth opportunities, according to data published in October by Jobcase. To increase participation and internal mobility, employers may need to embrace non-traditional career paths or technological solutions, the Josh Bersin Company said last month.
Funding is a longtime sticking point for HR departments in all areas, but particularly so for L&D. Sources previously told HR Dive that leaders can make a better pitch to executives by connecting training to key business needs or problems that an organization is trying to solve, or by using organizational data — such as revenue or productivity statistics — to build a narrative around why and how talent development opportunities are an effective means of addressing such issues.