Congratulations. You’re in year five of operating. You have a team of around 15-50+ employees, but you’re now in a position where merely adding staff to your workforce is ‘no longer cheap, smooth, or perhaps even possible’.
What’s more, keeping them is proving to be a challenge. It’s a situation many owners and leaders find themselves. They’re paying a considerable amount of cash to recruit and upskill, but then lose staff at a later date.
Firstly, employing and then retaining skilled staff are two of the biggest problems facing small to medium-sized companies. The lure of the larger firm can be too tantalising for workers – a prospect of higher salaries, better benefits, and training more suited to their current position or future aspirations.
However, there is a way that SMEs and ‘larger’ SMEs can level the playing field. And that’s through training and professional development. Furthermore, if businesses are struggling to find talent to fill any perceived skills shortage, it might be more strategic to invest in the talent that’s much closer to home – and save and make money in the process.
| Big organisations vs ‘larger SMEs’ and learning
Larger SMEs are struggling to lure millennial workers (those born between the 1980s and mid-1990s). Millennials have ousted baby boomers as the largest demographic working in the office today. By 2020, millennials will make up 50% of the global workforce. Indeed, 30 is now the average age for the world’s population.
However, there’s a perception among this age group that when it comes to job security, career advancement and learning opportunities, working for large, globally-recognised business has distinct advantages.
Approximately 73% of millennials believe that working for an SME is much riskier than working for a large company, with better career prospects at the latter. Meanwhile, 86% of those surveyed believe working at a large company is more prestigious. (Impact International)
Is it the job of larger SMEs to ‘think like the big boys’ and use learning opportunities to fulfil employee expectations? Of course. It is also an excellent way to integrate learning into the business when onboarding new recruits.
Introducing a framework for learning within a business will help lure in the leaders of tomorrow according to the above research. And there’s more good news, as the same survey shows that participants believe they would learn more at an SME.
| Use training to make your business stronger
A lack of training opportunities is a primary reason why employees leave, according to PwC research, and it could be hurting your business.
‘Firms that train their workers are significantly less likely to close than those that do not,’ Praxis (UK). That’s understandable. When budgets are tight, the thought of sending a team member on an outside training course may seem financially daunting, but the cost of training far outweighs the cost of having to replace the person that leaves because they feel their career is going nowhere.
The cost of losing one employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars, to 1.5-2 times their annual salary, according to Deloitte. So the message is clear: ‘[Make sure] everyone has access to those opportunities. You might be surprised who takes advantage and benefits the most from your offerings.’ (Forbes)
Take a look at our current range of programmes and workshops.
For more business ownership and leadership advice check out more of our blogs.