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Talent Development

Offer skill-building opportunities to help employees, and your company, advance

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Providing employees with opportunities to build new skills through internal training can yield big payoffs for both your company and your workers. Have you explored all the ways to strengthen your internal talent pipeline?

Equitably developing internal talent is less expensive and more effective than hiring and onboarding new employees. Workers who receive development opportunities are more motivated and engaged. They also stay at the company longer because they are better positioned to advance. 

1. What You Can Do

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Impact Employers make it a priority to provide education and training programs that meet the needs of employees at all levels of the organization. Help people acquire the skills, competencies, and credentials they need to advance in their careers.

Analytics: Measure the success of your training programs, and assess how well managers coach and develop their teams.

  • Design ways to track and measure any rise in your company’s operational efficiency, and in employee advancement, as a result of learning and development programs.
  • Track and measure demographic disparities in employee participation in training, and redesign programs as needed with equity in mind.
  • Track and measure usage of training programs. Ensure that investments in training for lower-level workers are equal to investments in training for more senior employees.
  • Track and measure managers’ success in promoting team members.

Programs: Encourage all employees—especially frontline and entry-level workers—to take advantage of learning opportunities that prepare them to advance.

  • Provide access to and funding for continuing education programs that allow workers to earn degrees or credentials for free or at a low cost relative to the employees’ wage.
  • Create programs that give employees opportunities to learn new skills on the job while still receiving a paycheck (such as “earn and learn” or work-based learning programs).
  • Provide on-demand virtual training so employees can pursue bite-size development opportunities on their terms and timelines.
  • Provide ongoing virtual coaching and mentoring to support employees through readily accessible one-on-one engagement. 
  • Deliberately design a learning culture where employees have time and space in their work schedules to take advantage of training and development opportunities, rather than asking employees to engage in these activities on their own time.

Career Pathways: Establish clear career paths that employees can follow both within and outside of your company.

  • Develop transparent promotion criteria and guidelines on how to move laterally or upward within the company, including the skills needed to do so successfully and how such decisions are made. Circulate this information among all employees.
  • Equip and encourage employees to create personalized career goals that they can track backward to inform what learning and development to take advantage of.
  • Match all employees with an in-person or virtual mentor who can help them navigate internal advancement opportunities.
  • Use internal mobility or talent marketplace technology platforms that offer employees the opportunity to assess their current skills and experiences against multiple potential advancement pathways.

Accessibility: Remove barriers to participation in advanced training programs by offering employees opportunities to improve their local language skills and digital literacy.

  • Conduct audits of current training and development tools to assess and eliminate barriers.
  • Connect with local partners to connect employees to resources that can’t be provided in-house (such as language training through local community colleges that offer adult basic education courses).
  • Provide employees with the paid time and equipment they need to take advantage of learning opportunities.

2. What You’ll Gain

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Your company can see higher rates of productivity, engagement, and retention than competitors by equitably developing talent internally, especially through programs for frontline, entry-level, and mid-level workers.

Quick Stats

  • Companies are struggling to find, hire, and retain people who have the skills needed to fill their open positions. In 2018, 67% of large companies reported a shortage in talent.
  • It costs a lot more to recruit new talent—some estimate it’s as much as 150% of an employee’s annual salary—than it does to develop current employees. Investing in talent development is vital for employers because it directly affects employee retention, motivation, engagement, and productivity.
  • Companies with advanced talent development capabilities have revenue growth rates and profit margins that are more than twice as high as those with less advanced talent development programs.
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