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Paying Your Employees to Develop Their Careers

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By: Cybrary Staff

May 12, 2022

Pay to Stay: Why it Makes Sense to Pay Your IT Staff to Develop Their Careers

With skill gaps widening and IT professionals in high demand, companies are focused on retaining the staff they have for as long as possible. It makes sense: Recent survey data found that 72 percent of U.S. technology workers are considering leaving their current job in the next year.

The easiest option for retention is obvious: Pay staff more to stay. But this is only part of the equation. While higher salaries can lead to increased satisfaction, they’re not enough if IT professionals have limited options to increase their skills and advance their careers.

The result? When it comes to keeping IT staff satisfied and engaged, it’s all about pay to stay — not just for salaries, but for skills they can use to develop their careers.

Getting the Lay of the Land

The Great Resignation is well underway. After two years of remote work and evolving public health restrictions, staff aren’t interested in staying with companies that don’t have their best interests at heart, or that view them as expendable.

Even among those resigning, there’s a distinct trend: The greatest increase in resignation rates came from mid-career employees. These are staff members who have substantial skillsets and experience, but they aren’t done moving up. Instead, they’re looking for new opportunities to make the most of the second half of their careers.

For business, it’s easy to let these employees fall through the cracks. Unlike new hires, they don’t need help getting up to speed. And unlike staff near the end of their careers, there’s no need to worry about succession and exit planning. As a result, their need for engagement and career evolution can get overlooked — right up until they resign. To help reduce the risk of resignation, companies need to consider a “pay to stay” approach.

Making it Easy for Staff to Upskill

At first glance, the idea of paying staff to improve their skills and boost their value seems risky. What if professionals choose to take their new experience and qualifications to a competitor? What if despite best efforts, they choose to join The Great Resignation and opt for an entirely different career path?

While both outcomes are possible, they’re unlikely. Here’s why: Engagement and opportunity drive retention. If staff feel like their contributions are valued and they have room to grow, they’re more likely to stay.

In practice, this means creating a framework that empowers easy upskilling for employees. The first step is offering access to high-value courses and certification tracks, such as CompTIA A+ for IT staff just getting started in their careers, as well as Certified Information Systems Security professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) for staff looking to add more advanced skillsets.

The next step is making sure that staff have time during work hours to complete their training. This isn’t a scenario where companies send staff home with the option to do extra work on their own time — this is an approach that sees enterprises prioritizing the development of new skills to keep staff engaged while simultaneously improving IT operations.

Finally, make sure all costs are absorbed by the company. Staff shouldn’t need to pay for their own training. Investing in training helps your company in the long run, and because if you don’t offer these options, someone else will. And with the IT industry predicted to add more than 650,000 jobs over the next few years, employees have a wealth of choices if their current careers start to stall.

Building a Comprehensive Career Framework

So what does an effective approach to upskilling and career-building look like? It starts with a team-based framework that helps companies to address career-building needs at scale, rather than trying to address this issue piece-by-piece.

Cybrary for Teams can help. Key features include:

  • Skills gap assessments: Leverage targeted assessments to see which skills you already have and where you need more training. Tap into advanced analytics to offer learning content where it’s needed most.
  • Personalized skills development: Assign skill-building paths curated by cybersecurity experts or design custom career paths to help your staff pursue what they’re passionate about. Plus, get complete visibility into your team’s progress.
  • Ongoing strategy development: Connect with a dedicated customer service manager to create a purpose-driven path to support staff goals and drive measurable results. Cybrary experts can help ensure seamless integration and adoption to get your program off the ground ASAP.

Bottom line? The new world of work is pay to stay. For IT teams, however, it’s not just about salary — career-advancing skills are also critical to help drive retention. By deploying solutions that prioritize skill-building, businesses get the best of both worlds: highly skilled staff who are willing to stay.

Help your staff develop their careers with Cybrary. Let’s talk.

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