How Training Builds a Culture of Employee Retention

In the face of a labor shortage, keeping top talent is crucial. A strong learning and development strategy can help.

The skills gap is looming over the construction and manufacturing industries. The retirement of skilled workers and the low rates of interest from younger generations means that the construction industry alone needs to attract more than half a million workers, on top of normal hiring rates, to meet industry demands in 2024.

Any solution to a problem as complex as the skills gap will necessarily span multiple spheres. And in fact, the industry is executing on a variety of strategies: marketing campaigns, apprenticeship programs, and partnerships with community colleges are all valuable options that major companies are pursuing. Once you’ve cultivated a talent pipeline, though, the next crucial step is to improve your employee retention.

Fortunately, the next generation of the workforce is up front about the benefits that matter to them—and training opportunities are high on that list. In “The American Upskilling Study,” conducted by Gallup and Amazon, workers aged 18-24 listed new training opportunities as their third most important benefit, behind only health insurance and disability benefits—and ahead of life insurance, retirement, and parental leave. And the data corroborates what workers are saying: a review by Deloitte found that organizations with a “strong learning culture” had engagement and retention rates that were 30-50% higher than other organizations.

There’s no question—investment in employee learning and development improves retention. Workers who see growth opportunities for themselves are more engaged, and that engagement can create a powerful virtuous cycle that strengthens your company culture into one that your most talented workers won’t want to leave. Here’s how.

Customized training makes employees feel valued for their unique skills.

Some corporate strategists position training primarily as a benefit to the company’s bottom line—one way to make workers more efficient or higher performing at their existing roles. That’s not untrue, but it’s also only one small part of the picture.

Companies that take the time to tailor training to workers’ specific needs and interests show workers that their individuality is valuable. Customization grants employees a level of control over their own development and goals, and allows them to focus on areas of interest or priority for themselves. When workers are interested in and challenged by their work, and have opportunities for self-determination, they are more engaged and active in their workplace—and engagement rates go hand-in-hand with employee retention.

Training helps employees envision a career path.

It’s difficult to stay motivated as an employee when you can’t imagine where your career is going. The construction and manufacturing industries have undergone massive changes in recent decades, with digital transformation introducing new technologies at every step of the process. For workers who’ve been present throughout the transition, it can be intimidating to suddenly feel like you don’t have the right skills to progress in an industry that’s been your home for years.

And in the younger generation of workers, many aren’t as familiar with the possibilities of construction and manufacturing careers, and may not know what to expect from them. In a survey by Deloitte, 36% of manufacturers cited a lack of attraction or interest in the manufacturing industry by students or their parents as a leading cause of the industry’s skills gap. It’s clear that general knowledge about the available career paths in construction and manufacturing is thin.

Robust training can help by providing workers with a glimpse of the future, and knowing what career advancement looks like can help employees begin to visualize it for themselves. Without an understanding of the possible next steps from their current role, workers can feel stuck or demotivated, and might think a job change is necessary to grow their careers. But emphasizing the available development paths within your company reassures employees that staying doesn’t mean stagnating.

A focus on training reveals the strength of your corporate culture, top to bottom.

When you prioritize training, you signal to your employees that their goals and priorities matter. That, in turn, empowers your employees to use and grow the talent that you hired them for, and to build confidence and trust in themselves and with their coworkers. A culture that offers autonomy and empowerment to its employees is also one where workers will feel more comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, and their unique perspectives will enhance the benefits of diversity in your workforce.

To succeed, a training program also requires buy-in from leadership. Managers need to ensure that employees have time to pursue their development goals, even when short-term concerns might feel urgent. That kind of bigger-picture prioritization speaks loudly to employees, not just about their individual worth, but about the values of the company as a whole. It shows that leadership prizes employee satisfaction, long-term health, and company stability—all compelling reasons for a high-performing employee to stick with you.

Pinnacle Series offers the tools to build employee retention.

At Eagle Point, we’ve designed our Pinnacle Series LMS to be customizable, easy to use, and as deep as your company’s talent pool. Identify training needs with skill assessment tools, and build your own learning paths for your employees’ individual requirements from our extensive—and ever-growing—content library. We offer a wide array of courses covering the most popular software in the manufacturing and construction industries, including AutoCAD, Inventor, REVIT, Procore, and SOLIDWORKS. And if you need more specialized courses, our platform allows you to include your own content, too.

The current moment is a challenging one for the manufacturing and construction industries. Talent is at a premium, and the skills gap won’t be solved overnight. But Eagle Point can help you retain and enhance the assets you already have, through a company culture of growth and development. Contact us today to learn more.


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