We've all read the headlines: People are leaving their jobs in record numbers. As the "Great Resignation" continues on, employers have an opportunity to better support their teams and ultimately boost retention. But first, it's important to understand what, exactly, team leaders are seeing right now when it comes to retention.
How “The Great Resignation” is affecting both employers and employees
Codecademy conducted a survey of 100 leaders across the tech industry, including CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs. Unsurprisingly, 67% reported a decrease in retention over the past year. As the pandemic continued on and the world economy slowed, industries shut down, childcare options diminished or evaporated entirely, and many tech companies shifted to working remotely (some more gracefully than others). This meant that many people had to make tough decisions about whether or not to stay in their jobs. Some simply had no choice but to leave, while others began rethinking what they want and expect from their employer and sought out better opportunities.
And this rise in resignations doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, resignations have only continued to increase across industries since early 2020.
While on its face, this sounds like bad news for employers, it also doesn’t bode well for the employees that stay in their jobs who are left with even more work on their plates. According to our survey, 79% of tech organizations reported that this decline in retention is hurting team morale — which only feeds into the cycle by increasing resignations even more.
The importance of creating a culture of learning
So if you’re a team leader, what can you do to boost not only retention, but also team morale? While increasing salaries and vacation days are two ways to increase job satisfaction, there’s another great option that’s becoming increasingly popular: ongoing training, particularly technical training.
When you offer technical training to employees, you’re creating a culture of learning that benefits employers and employees alike. Investing in the ongoing education of your team means equipping them with skills that make their daily tasks easier. It means reenergizing them with opportunities for personal and professional development. Sure, the skills they learn will benefit the team at large, but they will also help each individual team member feel like they’re growing and working towards something bigger. (Because they are!)
According to our survey, when technical training is offered to employees, they stick around up to 13 months longer than when it’s not offered. As a result, 59% of organizations surveyed now include technical training as part of their retention strategies.
Why technical training boosts retention
Here are just a few reasons why technical training in the workplace has such a positive impact on retention:
- Opportunities for growth. Employees can level-up their skills, and then grow in their role or get promoted internally, rather than having to seek out another opportunity elsewhere.
- Cross-skilling. As organizational needs change, different technologies may come into the picture. Technical training can enable existing employees to learn these new technologies and reduce the need to identify new opportunities that fit their current skill set.
- Meeting company goals. Creating a feeling of accomplishment for both employees and employers is a win for both.
- Boosting morale. When team members have the right skills, communication and productivity are improved, which makes the day-to-day more pleasant for everyone.
How to make sure you’re delivering the best technical training
Of course, no company wants to invest in technical training that their team ultimately doesn’t take advantage of. Fortunately, there are a few best practices to look out for when it comes to implementing technical training that actually energizes your team and ultimately boosts retention:
- Make it self-guided. Self-guided learning, allowing employees to take courses in their own time, maximizes flexibility. By enabling employees to progress through courses in a way that fits their schedule, they’re able to find the time they need to learn. (Even better if managers work with their team to carve out that time!)
- Make it interactive. This is a key to ensuring learners are engaged and actually want to learn. Hands-on practice, for example, allows trainees to learn by doing.
- Make it trackable. Using a platform that gives insight into team usage and progress ensures your organization can understand and prove ROI.
At the end of the day, there are lots of factors that are currently affecting employee retention that are out of your control. One thing that’s in your control is investing in your team’s ongoing growth and development. That’s why Codecademy gives businesses the tools they need to train teams on the technical skills that will enable them to fulfill their potential. Explore how Codecademy can help.
Codecademy for Business teamed up with Pulse Q&A, a leading research firm, to survey 100 tech leaders and understand the state of retention. Stay tuned for our full report, coming in December 2021, to see how you can transform your team's retention in 2022. Receive it once published: