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  • Writer's pictureRichard Ayres

How upskilling marketing and business development teams can aid staff retention

For those in charge of marketing or business development teams, the loss of a key member of staff who has decided to move on to a fresh challenge, can be a massive headache. Such a decision naturally brings disruption to projects and work flows, puts greater pressure on the remaining team, can adversely affect team moral and is typically a costly and time intensive challenge when it comes to recruiting someone new.

In today’s highly demanding business environment, there is more pressure than ever on marketing and business development teams to perform at a consistently high level. In practical terms, this means colleagues working closely together to deliver against the high expectations of the Board who expect significant support in order to achieve the organisation’s overall commercial goals. In striving to meet such needs, marketing and business development team member activities are likely to cross over a great deal despite individuals also having discrete roles to fulfil; consequently, loss of a team member will significantly impact on all concerned.

Aside from Board member expectations on teams to perform, individual team members are increasingly demanding or at least hoping for personal development. Despite this, it can be very difficult for a departmental head to deliver on this due to time demands from other parts the business. Consequently, a failure to provide such training may arise despite the potential benefits of staff upskilling being significant.

A recent LinkedIn Survey (2023) looked at global talent trends across 20 countries including both the UK and US. In doing so, it found that: -

Nearly 9 out of 10 job seekers want to see a skills development programme (87%), clear career paths (87%), and career advancement opportunities (88%) when they’re considering a new job role. LinkedIn also pointed out that most organisations (93%) are concerned about employee retention.

The survey also highlighted the fact that turnover is costly, both in terms of the cost to backfill a position and the lost opportunity cost that accompanies a vacancy. It’s findings pointed to the fact that “Providing learning opportunities” is the No. 1 thing employers across the countries explored are doing to reduce voluntary employee turnover.

LinkedIn went on to say that upskilling employees enables career growth and internal mobility, both of which can help bolster retention. The survey suggested that 75% of employees who receive promotions will stay with the company at least three years, as will 62% of workers who make lateral moves. In short, by simply altering a team members’ responsibilities increases the likelihood of retaining high-potential employees and top performers by over 20%.

Furthermore, LinkedIn’s 2022 Skills Advantage Report found that having opportunities to learn and grow is the top driver of a great work culture and that employees of organizations with highly rated cultures are 31% more likely to recommend working for their organization and 25% more likely to report being happy at work.

So, what learning and development is likely to aid staff retention and boost effectiveness? Understandably, there are likely to be gaps in team member know-how and technical understanding when it comes to marketing and business development. Initiatives such as the building and development of a sales pipelines, the creation of a sector based marketing plans for a new product or service or, the introduction of impactful key account management programmes need experience and an understanding of the clear methodologies required to avoid falling at the first hurdle or failure to have the impact hoped for.

Often, the best way to learn is through much needed “live” projects and, in these instances, third party mentoring and guidance can help learning, understanding and successful execution happen quickly. The benefit in these circumstances is of course of great value to the business as well as the individual and hopefully, this will encourage the team member to stay with the organisation for much longer than originally intended.

For further details of the sort of support that can be provided and an exploratory conversation, contact Richard through the Galvanise website Contact | Galvanise Business Consultancy | United Kingdom

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