Training essential to keep telecoms staff on board

Training is more important than financial incentives in retaining telecoms
staff, delegates were told at an HR telecoms conference in London last week.

John Halladay, international consultant at Watson Wyatt, unveiled findings
from a survey of 14 telecoms companies which shows that most – more than 60 per
cent – feel training is fundamental to addressing retention problems. It rated
higher than increasing basic pay, bonus payments and career progression.

Steve Peace, employee relations adviser for One2One, agreed that training is
a vital part of its retention strategy.

He said, "The ability to provide development opportunities is very
important as we are competing for very marketable skills. It is vital to our
retention strategy but only one element of it."

Career development is key to retention in telecoms companies, claimed Ray
Leighton, e-HR executive at IBM. He said, "The primary reason many staff
leave is due to lack of career development, so this highlights how important
training is. We are trying to get hold of the best skills, which means our
contract of employment has to be tailored to employees’ needs."

Another retention tool is an extra day off for long-serving staff after
three years, where they can do anything they want at the company’s expense,
said Halladay, speaking at the Compensation and Benefits in Telecoms 2001
Conference in London.

By Karen Higginbottom

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