Better Training Opportunities Attract Loyalty From Total Rewards Professionals, Poll Finds

With an emphasis on practical strategies to improve productivity and performance, and limit potential liabilities, Bulletin to Management™ concisely analyzes new developments in employment and human resources management.

By Martin Berman-Gorvine


Want to retain the loyalty of your company's “total rewards” HR professionals? Be willing to invest at least $2,500 a year in training opportunities for them, and work with them on written career development plans, according to advice gleaned from a survey by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based WorldatWork.

“Employers can easily differentiate themselves by investing in their employees' career development,” Bonnie Kabin, vice president of professional development for WorldatWork, said in a May 7 press release announcing the survey, which was conducted online among the HR association's members Jan. 13 to Feb. 11, with more than 800 responses received.

“Even a relatively small employer investment has a positive impact on loyalty,” Kabin added. “Managing employee perceptions of career development opportunities is key to enhancing engagement and loyalty.”

Yet close to two-thirds of the survey respondents said they did not have written career development plans, and of those who did, only four in 10 said the plans were meaningful.

Having high company loyalty is strongly correlated with having a meaningful written career development plan, WorldatWork notes in the report.

According to the survey respondents, a meaningful written career development plan should:

• be detailed, concrete, specific, and focused;

• encourage “ownership” by the person it is designed for;

• be supported by a dedicated resource;

• not be easily set aside when the employee is busy;

• have a clear direction;

• be “aligned with key organizational goals”; and

• not be a required but perfunctory, checkbox exercise.


As to the cost of training opportunities, it seems most organizations are not willing to invest what it takes to gain strong loyalty from their total rewards professionals; nearly six in 10 reported that each year they get only “$1,000 to spend on external development opportunities (items such as association memberships, conference attendance, and training).”