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Three Ways an Upskilling Platform Can Boost Employee Retention

  • 6 Min Read

How do you make your organization a place where your employees want to stay? By investing in them. Discover how the right upskilling platform can help you achieve your retention goals.


Employee retention is a common goal among organizations, but research shows hitting the target can be a challenge. A study from Gallup revealed that one in two employees based in the U.S. would consider leaving their current company. These stats echo research from Gartner showing that the business sector could see a turnover rate nearing 24% in the coming years.  

The cost of having to source, hire and train replacement staff isn’t pretty either. Research from SHRM puts the average cost of a new hire at around $4,600. 

So how do you make your organization a place where your employees want to stay? By investing in them. Corporate learning, employee upskilling and using education as a benefit can satisfy the hunger of your staff who want to grow their careers, while also creating opportunities to improve employee retention and avoid skills gaps for your business. These features (and more) can be found in the right upskilling platform

In this article, we’ll explain three ways the right upskilling platform can help boost employee retention, including: 

  • creating development pathways to encourage internal mobility 
  • boosting job satisfaction and employee engagement 
  • attracting and keeping top talent with a continuous learning culture 

1. Development Pathways and Internal Mobility

One of the ways an upskilling platform can contribute to employee retention strategies is by using skills management to create development pathways for your employees. Matt Sigelman, president of The Burning Glass Institute, explains the process of skills mapping: 

Building an inventory of the skills your employees already hold and mapping them to future or open roles demonstrates how staff can grow within your company. It shows that you’re investing in their careers and that they can use their skills and the learning programs available through your upskilling platform to move into related (or even different) roles. 

The right upskilling platform will also allow you to personalize employee learning at scale. You can choose from a catalog of curated courses (or create your own) to fuel your learning program and get your employees excited about their future with your company. 

Employee Retention in the Real World: Colliers Project Leaders 

Colliers Project Leaders is a company that’s familiar with quick development, touting an annual growth rate of 15%. That translates to a lot of new hires and onboarding, and is one of the reasons why they chose to invest in D2L for Business

But Colliers’ learning doesn’t stop at onboarding. They view the skill level of their staff as a competitive advantage and provide ongoing training to prove it. “Moving to D2L for Business helps us ensure that our staff are equipped with skills that far exceed industry expectations,” says Stephanie Miesch, training manager. Colliers’ employees get to stay, learn and grow while the company maintains their reputation for quality service. 

Get the full story about Colliers and their success with business growth, learner satisfaction and employee retention. 

2. Increased Employee Uptake and Engagement

A survey by D2L found when working-age adults were asked why they couldn’t take a micro-credential course, 24% said they were unsure how such a course could help them advance, while 20% weren’t sure what skills they needed to develop—concerns that could creep up with the wrong upskilling platform. 

A well-designed upskilling platform increases employee uptake and engagement in courses. It should come with a catalog of curated content from top educational providers. Personalized programs can be developed for staff looking to grow in a certain career or to help them switch gears and apply their skills in new ways. And if the right content doesn’t exist, the platform should offer an option to easily create custom content to meet the needs of your business and your employees. 

Already having curated content to choose from reduces the amount of research and decision-making your employees need to do when choosing programming. The experience becomes more frictionless and easier to navigate, which in turn increases uptake and engagement. Having a clear path employees can see between their learning and development will also boost engagement with the content. Employee satisfaction will rise overall when their career goals are supported and met. 

  • 85% of learners at Colliers Project Leaders rate the training and delivery provided through D2L for Business at four out of five or higher.

Research from D2L indicates that the biggest barrier blocking employees from enrolling in a corporate learning course—36% of those asked—was not having the money to pay for it. 

This stat leads to yet another way an upskilling platform can boost employee engagement: Providing a centrally managed education benefit. Giving your employees access to education as a benefit—be it through time, monetary support or both—will show your dedication to their career goals, increase uptake in the programming and create happy employees and brand evangelists. The right upskilling platform should simplify this process by supporting whichever org-wide benefit you choose and include easily managed direct billing to remove barriers from employees engaging with your programs. 

3. Attract and Keep Top Talent With a Continuous Learning Culture

Investing in the right upskilling platform means your business is making a choice to support a continuous learning culture. Building the development pathways, employee engagement and satisfaction previously spoken about will in turn create a reputation for your organization as being one where employees can learn and grow. 

Steve Cadigan, LinkedIn’s first chief human resources officer, shares the power learning can have on employees: 

“I believe that learning is now part of the rewards compensation stack. The more you grow me and make me more capable for an uncertain future, the more likely I am to stay compared to my other choices,” he said. “If you promise that you will never let me go, I’m not going to believe you—you’ve lost all credibility. But if you promise you’ll make me better and you’ll do everything you can, whether I get fired or laid off or the company goes under, I’m OK, because you made me better.” 

“Talent wants to grow and learn more than anything because that gets them more career security. Don’t promise me job security. Promise me something bigger: career security,” said Cadigan. 

This reputation will not only help you retain your existing staff, but it can also help attract top talent. Research from D2L shows that, on average, 61% of working adults ages 18-54 are interested in professional development. With interest levels in learning investments growing, being a company known for growing its talent through education benefits provided by your stellar upskilling platform will put you on top. The other good news? Once you capture this talent, your investment in learning will continue to pay off when you’re better able to retain them. 

The program of training is a unique experience that I have not had with any of my previous employers over the past 30 years.

A Colliers Project Leaders learner on their training experience using D2L for Business

Future-Proof Your Business With the Right Upskilling Platform

Choosing the best upskilling platform for your business will be key to improving employee retention. It will provide personalized development pathways and increase employee uptake and engagement while also attracting and retaining top talent. 

Truth be told, the right upskilling platform will do more than positively impact your employee retention. It will help provide clear, actionable data to maximize the return on investment of your corporate learning programs and make it easier to house all your learning and development needs in one spot to seamlessly support your staff and company in reaching their goals. 

If you’re ready to streamline your learning and development programs and processes, consider investing in an upskilling platform today. 

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Table of Contents
  1. 1. Development Pathways and Internal Mobility
  2. 2. Increased Employee Uptake and Engagement
  3. 3. Attract and Keep Top Talent With a Continuous Learning Culture
  4. Future-Proof Your Business With the Right Upskilling Platform
  5. Ready to Get Started? It’s Easy.