Learning and Development In The Recession

In these tough financial times it is so important to hold on to your staff as recruitment costs are one cost your business can do without.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has completed their 2009 Annual Survey of Recruitment, Retention and Turnover and it has identified some interesting trends.

Although there has been a significant reduction in the number of vacancies available, organisations are still reporting recruitment difficulties and the key reason for these difficulties are the lack of necessary specialist skills.

Learning and Development becomes even more important, as three quarters of organisations questioned said they were identifying internal staff and providing training to allow these staff to fill those posts.

This becomes even more important when you identify that the average cost per employee to fill a vacancy is £4,000, which rises to £6,125 when also calculating the associated labour turnover costs.

So why should you invest in training and development during the recession?

Whilst movement in the labour market during a recession invariably falls, employee retention is still a huge problem, with nearly 70% of organisations having issues retaining their staff. The most common method of increasing staff loyalty and therefore increasing retention is by offering Learning and Development opportunities.

37% of leavers state a lack of development opportunities as the reason for leaving the organisation, with only promotion outside of the organisation and change of career being above as a reason for leaving.

So in order to retain your staff both in and out of recession you should ensure you develop them and ensure they are maximising their potential in your business.

The Government is offering small and medium sized businesses a grant of up to £1,500 to fund learning and development. MASS has taken advantage of this scheme and has been awarded the grant with only an hour of my time being taken. There are obviously criteria you need to meet to obtain the grant, but these are easily explained by the advisor who comes to visit you. You can arrange a visit with an advisor at to see if you are eligible.

I am writing an article about my experience in the October edition of the MASS Newsletter, which will also be available shortly on the website.

In short, it is vital to continue on with learning and development through the recession as it can mean that your business is successful and rides the storm. After all, your staff are your most important resource and without them you wouldn’t have a business.

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