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Helping your employees stay ahead of the curve

Pradeep Malhotra | Updated on January 22, 2018

Learning and development programmes help in employee retention as well as improves the skills of their employees

Learning and development programmes are more than mere skill updates – they can be the key to employee retention

Every organization invests time and money to hire an individual. Starting from the expense to recruit and interview, to training new employees. When an employee resigns, an organization suffers a significant loss – financially as well as morally. Understanding the need of the employees, employers today have introduced various policies and programmes to retain their employees.

Learning and development (L&D) programmes are among the most important programmes, as it helps in employee retention as well as improves the skills of their employees that has direct impact on the performance and organization growth. They also device various policies to work on the physical wellbeing of the employees and take steps to ensure that employees are not undergoing any mental stress. Such measures increase the employer’s ability to attract top talent and boost employee engagement.

Besides the essential desire to learn more, there are other factors that make L&D programmes crucial. The Indian education system does not offer adequate practical exposure to the students. Hence, in spite of the availability of a large workforce, there is shortage of skilled and competent employees. The drastic advancement in technology today needs for employees to stay ahead and adapt to the changes. Employees also need provisions to ensure good physical health which is becoming more and more important in today’s day and age. Stress arising at workplace also leads to dissatisfaction in employees. Initiatives that can help reduce this stress are extremely important to guarantee productivity from employees.

Some initiatives which companies can take to ensure over all development of their employees and increase in employee retention are:

Physical wellbeing

Ensuring that all your employees are in a good physical condition is very important. Fatigue and poor health not only causes the employee to lose productivity and creativity but they can also feel lack of motivation. Providing a nutritionist who ensures a balanced diet and a physiotherapist to ensure correct postures and provide measures to prevent RSI problems. Providing gym subsidies and organizing weekly sports meetups also encourages the employees to be physically fit and active.

Lessons by senior leaders

Investment of time on the employees by the senior leaders gives an assurance to the employees that the company sincerely cares for them. This boosts their morale and also helps in developing a bond with the leaders. The learnings imparted by the senior leaders are invaluable as the employees get to learn from their experience. Such friendly learning sessions motivate the employees to stay longer with those companies. Open offices where employees can engage in discussion with senior level management also helps in their growth and increases confidence in the employees.

Recognition

Recognizing the hard work done by an employee in front of their peers helps build the confidence of the employee and makes them more open to trying different things. Hackathons, where the entire work force works together to solve issues faced by the companies, also instill creativity in employees. Awarding certificates for participation and good performance goes a long way with employees and makes them feel appreciated by the organisation.

Lack of mental stress

Employees undergo a lot of stress due to not being able to spend enough time with their families because of hectic work schedules. Employees can often get demotivated to work and levels of productivity drop due to this. Initiatives that include members of the family help in reducing this stress substantially. Allowing families to join the organisation for events such as annual days and picnics, permitting leave when family members are extremely sick and maternity and marriage leave are all ways to ensure that the employees do not go through mental stress. Organising happy hours, where all employees can meet up for recreational and relaxing activities, also helps in reducing stress in the employees.

Companies that invest in their employees are able to retain their employees better. The success of the company depends on the skills, capabilities knowledge and wellbeing of their employees. Hence, it is important to chalk out programmes that aim at holistic development of employees. It should not focus on upgrading technical knowledge only but also enhance soft skills such as diplomacy, communication, physical and mental health, and relationship building – something most organisations do not offer. In a competitive environment, where attrition level is high, only a responsible organisation succeeds in retaining talent.

The writer is MD, Blue Jeans India

Published on October 01, 2015

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