Employee retention in the post-pandemic market

Employee retention in the post-pandemic market

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends | Contributors: Lucinda Underwood (Managing Director, Kickstart Consulting) | Published: July 6, 2022

The Great Resignation. The Great Reshuffle. We’ve heard these terms with increasing frequency over the last year and the phenomenon is real. In March 2022, Statistics Canada reported 915,500 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2021. This is an 80% increase over 2019 and a 63.7% increase over 2020. If you are hiring currently, you are seeing the challenge firsthand of being able to attract top talent and stand out from your competitors.

It is no secret that high employee turnover is expensive and damaging to both an organizations’ internal culture and external reputation. According to Forbes, two of the top five strategies to improve retention in 2022 are related to training and development. Furthermore, a survey by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their professional development.

Now more than ever, having a robust training and development program is crucial and certain steps should be taken to set your program up for success:

1. Initial Assessment

The first step is to assess what training is needed and who will benefit from it. For example, job-specific and technical training would likely be aimed at a smaller team, but overall soft-skill training can be a company-wide initiative. A strong culture of internal development is an important consideration for applicants, and a standardized program will help you attract quality employees who are invested in their future and that of the organization. These individuals tend to be more engaged and motivated. A best practice is to offer a program that analyzes and develops your future leaders by educating them on leadership styles. This will ensure you promote the right individuals and that they are set up for success.

2. Goal Setting

A clear vision on the end goal is critical. What ROI do you want to achieve from your training program? For example, you may set a specific goal for customer experience training to increase your online review volume and average scores. Or, you may be looking to achieve a more consistent experience for your customers by establishing a set process for each department. Regardless of the desired outcome, a good framework to follow is the SMART model. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

3. Delivery Strategy

Do you have the resources to create and deliver the program in house? Or would it be more efficient to outsource the project to a third-party? The biggest consideration here would be the content of the training. More job-specific, technical, and internal process training may be better delivered in-house but for broader programs it’s likely more beneficial and affordable to collaborate with a professional trainer with applicable expertise. A quality trainer will help you assess your opportunities, take the time to familiarize themselves with your culture, and develop a customized program to meet your unique needs.

4. Curriculum Development & Delivery

Should you decide to keep things in-house, the next step is to develop the curriculum and deliver the program. If you out-source, your trainer should develop the content and seek approval before the training takes place. This enables you to ensure that they have correctly understood your vision for the training and have a firm grasp on your company culture and development opportunities.

5. Evaluation

A quality external trainer will take the time to seek feedback from your employees and yourself to ensure that the training had the desired impact. They will ask if there is anything that can be improved and continue to follow up with you to learn how the training has impacted your business.

6) Repetition = Retention

Effective training is not a one-and-done. A quick online search of ‘training retention statistics over time’ paints a bleak picture of how employees retain the information they are given during training. Spoiler: 70% is lost within 24 hours. Training needs to be an ongoing focus. External training should be given at least twice a year with an internal process implemented to give employees access to the learning whenever they need it. When delivering a new program to your team, have a follow-up session within a month to discuss how the training has been implemented and to refresh any topics that have not been well retained.

Taking the step to invest in quality training results in what I like to call ‘Retention to the Power of 3’:

i. The retention of information to allow your employees to perform at an optimal level.

ii. The retention of the employees themselves as they are engaged in their role and feel valued by the organization.

iii. Ultimately, having a strong team who are engaged, driven and knowledgeable leads to the retention of your biggest stakeholders: your customers.

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< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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