Experiencing “Labour Pains?” Retention Tip #7

Are you investing in your employees?

As we navigate through these challenging times, it is more important than ever to invest in the development of your employees as part of your retention strategy.  This can be done in a number of ways.

Development is generally an activity associated with providing existing employees with new skills, abilities and knowledge.  For instance, cross training between different divisions within an organization so that several employees can cover off in various divisions when needed. Development opportunities can be used to assist with promotion and help selected employees acquire managerial skills when a managerial opening comes up within the company.

Methods that employers use to develop employees could include:

  • Buddy system – new employees are partnered with a more experienced worker to support them during the first couple of months.
  • Job enrichment – working with the employee to add new challenges can be motivating and exciting!
  • Lateral moves – moving the employee to a new position at the same level of responsibility.
  • Rotating jobs or tasks –employees rotate responsibilities with other employees.
  • Coaching – designated staff work with employees to improve their work performance. (such as a supervisor, co-worker or an outside consultant)
  • Mentoring – staff act as role models to help an employee understand the organization and explore potential career paths.
  • Committee work – employee serves or takes on the lead of a committee; and
  • Learning plans – employee develops an individual learning plan with their supervisor outlining their responsibilities and goals.

Top reasons for training and developing employees:

  • Training improves productivity by providing employees with the key knowledge and skills that they need to perform their job.
  • Training also helps you to hold on to your key workers; enhancing skills is a key factor in employee motivation and retention.
  •  It pays to invest in building learning capacity, knowledge and professional development, as it enhances productivity and ability to adapt to changes.
  •  By strategically upgrading your employees’ skills you will more likely be able to fill new opportunities from within your organization with better prepared employees for a promotion.

There are many forms of support available to help grow and develop the skills of your workforce that are both efficient and productive.   For instance, the Workplace Education Programs that are offered by the East Hants & Districts Chamber of Commerce are at NO COST to participants and worth their weight in gold.  PLUS! They are conveniently offered online so that staff can complete the training at their workplace.

There are also funding opportunities for business owners who are introducing new equipment or new processes that require training for the staff, as well as training in Diversity and Inclusion.    Check out this opportunity called WIPSI.

Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive.


For other helpful tools please check out the HR Toolkit at this link.



Tracy Isenor

Employer Engagement Specialist