Why Training and Professional Development Matters

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Bridget O'Shaughnessy

The shortage of qualified employees, particularly truck drivers, is no secret to anyone who has been in the industry for a while. In fact, it’s been a challenge to recruit and retain individuals for several occupations, whether it is drivers, dispatchers, technicians or even senior managers.

While there is no one recipe to solve the issue, a commitment to providing training and professional development can go a long way, whether you are seeking to recruit more young workers and newly licensed individuals or want to retain experienced employees.

Trucking HR Canada’s Millennials Have Drive report indicates that access to training and professional development as well as career advancement are two key factors that those ages 18 to 35 are looking for when making career decisions.

The same can also be said for more mature employees who may want to advance in their career.

Investing in your people is not simply a matter of doing the right thing. It also provides a return that can positively impact your bottom line. Take, for example, Trucking HR Canada’s 2018 Top Fleet Employers. 100% of them have a formal commitment toward training, professional development or on-the-job coaching.

And they are reaping the benefits. 94% of them reported a turnover rate below 30% in 2017. They also reported higher than industry average representation of both young workers and women in their workforce.

Here are some key benefits of training and professional development to consider if you are looking to improve your recruitment and retention strategy.

1. Recruitment in a job-seekers’ market

For the first time in many years, Canada is close to full employment-meaning that it is a job-seekers’ market. People entering the labour force and those seeking new career opportunities can afford to scrutinize potential employers and seek those that offer incentives in line with their career objectives.

Offering training and professional development opportunities to new hires demonstrates that you are open to investing in them, keeping them engaged and that there is room for professional growth within your company-things that job seekers from various backgrounds are looking for.

2. Retention: keeping your employees engaged and productive

While it may be tempting to focus on newly hired individuals, providing experienced employees with opportunities to learn new skills and share their knowledge with younger workers (through coaching and mentoring, for example) can help them remain engaged and productive at work.

Take this into consideration: according to Gallup Research, 48% of employees who believe their employer has not invested in them are more likely to leave.

3. Training and skills development: a key to knowledge transfer and succession planning

Training and professional development programs allow you, as an employer, to leverage them in ways that can support your business goals today and into the future.

For instance, providing additional training opportunities to your drivers may help you identify those who would be a good fit to take on the mantle of driver trainer in a few years.

Or having a senior manager provide coaching and feedback to a newly hired dispatcher might allow them to develop their soft skills that will one day be needed take on a leadership role in your company.

At the end of the day, having your employees learn new skills will help you build a solid talent pipeline to meet your needs moving forward. And, in the meantime, it can support your efforts to recruit and retain the qualified workers you need today.