Investing in growth: How employee development boosts retention in higher ed.

By Jeremy Van Kley, Ed.D., Higher Education Sales Consultant, KellyOCG

The higher education landscape faces a dual challenge: attracting top talent and retaining them in a competitive market. But what if the secret lies not just in salaries, but in investing in employee development?

The retention equation.

Studies show a clear link between employee development and retention. A recent CUPA-HR survey found that 60% of employees are more likely to stay with an employer who offers strong professional development opportunities.  This makes sense: employees who feel valued, challenged, and equipped to grow are more engaged, satisfied, and productive.

Beyond the numbers.

Employee development goes beyond ticking boxes. It's about creating a culture of learning that fosters:

  • Mentorship and coaching: Supporting individual growth through personalized guidance.
  • Career advancement: Offering clear pathways for growth within the institution.
  • Leadership development: Equipping employees with the skills to take on leadership roles.
  • Skill development: Providing opportunities to learn new skills relevant to their roles and aspirations.
  • Work-life balance: Recognizing the importance of well-being and offering flexible work arrangements.

The higher ed advantage.

Colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to offer meaningful development opportunities. Higher ed leaders may leverage internal expertise by creating faculty-led workshops, mentorship programs, and cross-departmental collaborations; encourage participation in conferences and professional development programs; and, promote a culture of knowledge sharing through lunch and learns, internal training sessions, and peer-to-peer learning initiatives.

Investing in your people.

Investing in employee development is not just a cost; it's an investment in the future of your institution. By empowering your employees to grow, you create a loyal, engaged workforce that drives innovation, improves morale, and ultimately, contributes to the success of your higher education community.