Retention, skills development biggest HR challenges: survey

Professional development strategy can help foster employee engagement and loyalty, say HR decision-makers

Retention, skills development biggest HR challenges: survey

Almost three out of four HR decision-makers view attraction and retention of talent as their top business challenge, according to a recent survey of Canadian professionals who have a say in the HR decisions of their organizations.

The HRD/Canadian HR Reporter survey of more than 200 decision-makers revealed that most of those surveyed — 71 per cent — find the biggest challenge for their organization is hiring the right people and keeping them

Attraction and retention challenges are common among organizations and can be attributed to several factors. However, one needs to look no further than the second-biggest challenge cited by survey respondents to find one of the most significant factors — four in 10 HR decision-makers cited skills development and professional development as a big hurdle for their organization that keeps them up at night.

There’s little doubt a robust professional development strategy brings benefits to an organization — nearly every HR decision-maker in the survey agreed, with the most commonly cited benefits of such a program being improved worker engagement and workplace culture, keeping skills relevant and updated, and keeping the best talent. Succession planning, reduced employee turnover, and making their organization a more attractive employer were also identified as important factors of an effective professional development strategy.

As many HR professionals know, implementing a comprehensive and effective strategy that sticks generally requires buy-in by the executive level. Improved worker engagement is an important benefit for HR leaders to stress if pitching an investment in professional development programs according to the research.

For those with HR-specific titles, the prospect of keeping their organization’s best talent was the most popular benefit of a robust professional development strategy — and helping them address their top business challenge.

HRD and Canadian HR Reporter magazines, along with the Canadian Marketing Association (the research sponsor), will be hosting a free webinar for HR professionals discussing “3 Ways Professional Development Improves Your People (& Your Bottom Line)” on March 12 at 12 p.m. (ET). For more information on this webinar, you can register here.

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