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CEO Corner: Retention through Professional Development

Alice Ayres, MBA
Published:  03/29/2022

Almost inevitably in conversations I have with members, eventually the discussion turns to the great resignation, the difficulty in retaining talent especially in hybrid environments, and the need to keep great employees engaged. While we often think about financial levers like raises, promotions, and bonuses as retention tools, professional development is another lever worth considering.

According to a 2021 Gallup survey, 57% percent of US adults in the workforce would be interested in participating in an “upskilling” program, meaning a program focused on learning a new skill. Forty-eight percent indicated that they would switch jobs for an upskilling opportunity, and 61% indicated that participating in upskilling was an important factor in staying with their employer.

This finding is in part because these employees know that managers who provide opportunities to learn new skills are investing in their employees’ future; according to the same survey, people who have had an upskilling experience earn $8,000 more annually on average than their colleagues. The most recent AHP Salary Survey bears this out: respondents with an FAHP reported a median salary of $147,500, compared to $118,000 for those with a CFRE, and $93,500 for those with no designations.

All professional development opportunities should start with a conversation with each individual about their career goals, the areas they feel they need to develop, and the places where you, as their manager, would like to see them grow. Develop a plan with each person that is actionable. Help them think about how they will invest the time in themselves for upskilling and help them identify ways to pay for programs that require a fee.

As you develop the plan, think about the following professional development resources from AHP:

I’d love to hear from you. Email me to let me know what topics should AHP focus on next in order to continue to support your team in their professional development goals.

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Meet The Author

Alice Ayres, MBA
President and CEO
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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