Reskill or Recruit?

4 December, 2023

In our recent insights into the ROI on professional development (Q: Why should you put professional development on the balance sheet?) we shared research from DeakinCo that showed every dollar invested in learning and development is associated with an additional $4.70 in revenue. The same research revealed that leading L&D organisations reported an attrition rate of 14%. This compared with almost 25% at the other end of the scale.

In this article are share why upskilling and reskilling are vital to retaining and supporting your employees.

Retention isn't always your choice

2022 research by McKinsey & Company revealed that employees ranked a lack of career development and advancement potential - alongside not having caring leaders and not having sustainable work expectations - equal first among reasons for recently leaving a job. If you're not providing the human-centered experience people are seeking recruitment then your only choice might be recruitment.

The cost...and the cost to your reputation

LinkedIn estimates that when an employee leaves, it can cost up to 200% of their salary to replace them. This includes the cost of advertising the job, interviewing candidates, and training. Secondly, high employee turnover rates can have a significant impact on team morale. When colleagues leave frequently it leads to instability and uncertainty. A disengaged and unmotivated team leads to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism. The cycle then deepens: our team dynamics and working relationships are disrupted due to a lack of trust and camaraderie.

Prioritise learning and development

Let's look back and see how learning and development weaves into the kind of culture we see at high-performing organisations, and what you need to do to compete with them:

  1. Coaching and mentoring - we personalise relationships and demonstrate that our teams are valued through caring leadership. Nurture and reveal the emerging skills in your team through coaching conversations. It may in fact be the leaders themselves who need professional development to build effective teams.
  2. Socialise learning to make it stick. If one of your team has attended a course off-site then create the space for them to present back to the team. This is a great way to both imbed learning and multiply its benefit through sharing. Tailoring professional development and learning as a team is an effective way to problem solve challenges for your team or organisation.
  3. Give them room to learn. Investment is much more than financial. Your team's professional development can't be on top of existing work (= disengagement and burnout) but instead space needs to be made for it to take place.



Expanding an existing skillset. Additional skills that enhance a worker's performance in their current role, allow them to stay up to date with industry trends and advancing them along their career path.


Learning new skills outside the existing skillset. These skills are often closely adjacent to the current function but may be geared towards transitioning to a different path entirely.

Employee and organisation growth is woven together when we foster loyalty by prioritising these areas. This investment supports a committed and high-performing culture.

From strategy to training

Whether public, private, charitable or something else entirely organisations are all about delivering on plans to achieve a purpose. When we reveal the obstacles to achieving these plans they're most often found to be the capability or capacity of our teams. Invest in the upskilling and reskilling of your teams to:

  • overcome these obstacles
  • and contribute to a thriving and loyal culture aligned with your purpose.

Get in touch to have the first conversation towards delivering the learning and development needed for your teams to thrive.

Gary Ward

General Manger Engagement | Kaiwhakahere Matua - Ruawhetu