The best way to have happy and productive employees is enabling them to learn new skills, promote them and give them pay rises.

That’s the finding from a new study of 750 senior business professionals, which looked at employee retention. Three quarters of bosses think that enabling staff to learn new skills is the number one priority, says the research, and 67% think it’s promotions, closely followed by pay rises (65%). Other ways to keep people content in their job included investment in training programmes (55%), praise (60%) and working within a knowledgeable team (53%).

Training benefits

Training has many benefits in the workplace, points out the authors of the study. For example, it means a team can acquire new skills, increase contribution to the business and build self-esteem.

It says that, generally speaking, bosses are aware of the benefits. For example, it points to figures which show that around a third of UK businesses spend between £1,000 and £5,000 each year on training their employees, with most of the surveyed professionals saying they offer 5-9 days of training each year.

Productivity and business growth

The report adds that productivity is often cited as the key to business growth and if it is maintained it can be a major success factor. It points to figures from the 750 business professionals it surveyed, which say that 70% said that informal training took place within their business at least once a month, with 88% offering on the job training opportunities.

The report, which was carried out by Arch Apprentices, adds that an increasing number of businesses offer apprenticeships, with 39% stating they currently do so. Over a quarter (27%) said they felt enthused to learn from new digital natives in their business, with over a third (36%) also admitting to learning a lot from young people in the business.

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