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Employee Turnover: Is training part of the problem or solution?

Employee turnover within the American workforce, is at an all-time high.


To put some meat behind this claim, according to the Work Institute, 41.4 million, 1 in 4 employees, voluntarily left their job in 2018. It is also estimated that 77% (31.8 million, for those counting) of that turnover could have been prevented by employers.



Bottom line, 25% of the American workforce voluntarily left their job. Which equates to 41.4 million HR interactions; 41.4 million (or likely, more) conversations specifically related to facilitating employee turnover. For the math nerds, that equals 1.31 voluntary resignations, every second.


Those are huge numbers. Mind blowing, actually. Although, I'm not sure which I find more mind blowing: the fact that 1 in 4 employees left their jobs, or that 31.8 of those 41.4 million could have been avoided.


A turnover ratio that high, leaves companies and managers obviously struggling with how to retain their employees, all the while watching a parade of staff leave. Frankly, I see the struggle. I see it on blog posts, on LinkedIn, webinars devoted to it. Heck, even during casual conversations. The struggle is so real, I once saw a LinkedIn post from an employee engagement guru, who themselves, just had a new hire leave, during their first week!


So how does training fit into all this employee turnover, and how can it possibly make a difference? For starters, according to CED Magazine, 7 out of 10 employees say training and development opportunities influence their decision to stay with a company. That’s 70%. 70. 7-0. Let that sink in for a second. Wow.


To put this into perspective, of the 41.4 million American's who voluntarily changed jobs in 2018, 29 million said training and development factor into their decision to leave their job.


Compounding this further, according to Training Magazine, employees received less training in 2018 than 2017. Along with lower overall training expenditures, especially in the small company marketplace, the average training investment fell by 64%!


Included in the same report, are numbers that state not only are budgets and training delivery times decreasing, but training staff are being reduced, along with scope of training. In other words, the variety of topics being trained are also shrinking while the number on the training staff that are delivering the training.


So, I've thrown out quite a bit of numbers and statistics. Let me recap: We're in the midst of an era when employees are leaving jobs at an unprecedented rate, and 70% are openly saying that training and development factor into their decision to leave; all at a time where organizational responses to this trend, are to decrease training budgets and deliveries.


Oh, did I mention Millennials? They happen to be the most educated generation in the history of U.S., and also the largest generation currently in the workplace. Looking ahead a little: Gen Z, whose vanguard is just barely into the workplace, is a bigger generation than Millennials, and are also projected to share that same training and continuing ed. These two generations will continue to put a premium on learning and development in the workplace and maintain this upward pressure towards employers.


I'd like for everyone reading this blog post, to ask yourself this: Is the training your organization offers enough to effectively engage, and retain, your staff? The research strongly suggests that it's a potential difference maker as if your staff still be with you in the coming months or year.


The BlackFin Group

is dedicated to fostering efficiencies, building quality relationships, and delivering world class training. We’ve got an array of training offerings, and are interested in consulting with you about your organizations current, or future state, of your training structure.

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