Know where some of the most talented professionals I ever worked with in Admissions work now? (Hint: It’s not Admissions).
Sadly, our industry’s best and brightest often feel as if they have no other choice but to leave campus in search of professional development, career advancement, and in many cases, a decent salary.
In my time (and when did I get old enough to say that by the way?), phrases like “you’ve got to move over to move up” were the norm. Despite the fact that I worked full-time — plus “nights, overnights and weekends” as we liked to say in the business — my MBA advisor kept asking me when I was going to get a “real job.”
True — my colleagues and I had embraced the fleeting life of the young indentured servant (err…admissions counselor) with all of the gusto that a fresh undergrad degree, a new suit and a company car could inspire. But deep inside we knew that the culture of our industry all but dictated that ours was a temporary existence.
Sure, some would stay on and eventually improve their lot. But for the less patient of the group (myself included), it was onward and upward. And I worked at one of the good places.
It could just be the way of the world, but it’s puzzling coming from a culture of academics who value research so much — because research shows that investing in what I call “training and retaining” skilled employees translates to big savings. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know higher ed could use any kind of financial leg up it can get.
Specifically, research shows four areas that are impacted most from investments in staff development and training:
1. Employee Retention: An ASTD study showed that 41% of employees at organizations with inadequate training programs planned to leave within a year. They calculated that the cost of replacing just one skilled employee ranged from $75,000 to $450,000 (Source: American Society for Training & Development).
2. Revenue Generation/Profitability: A study in HR Magazine showed that organizations in the top quarter in training expenditure per employee per year ($1,500 or more) average 24% higher profit margins than organizations that spend less. (Source: Susan J. Wells, HR Magazine)
3. Productivity/Performance Improvement: A Merrill Lynch study showed that investing in knowledge and skills development yields a surprisingly big payoff. The study estimated that at Motorola, every dollar spent on training yielded $30 in productivity gains within three years. (Source: Merrill Lynch, “The Book of Knowledge.”)
4. Cost Reduction: An IBM study concluded that training that produced an average productivity improvement of just three minutes per day per employee would save the company $360,000 annually.
Research is great, but I tend to be more of a “gut person” — so to me, this reads like a giant “no duh.” Invest in your people + train them well = they are happy and more productive = your operation is more efficient, stable and successful. Over-simplified? Absolutely. But does it have to be more complicated?
For those of you out there working for institutions that get this, good for you. Skip to the bottom and start planning your next opportunity to better yourself.
If you’re not that lucky, I’ll mention one more thing.
One of the biggest benefits of the shift from traditional advertising (push out) to content marketing (pull in) is the prevalence of free resources available to you. Vendors of all kinds are hosting webinars, posting blogs, running events, publishing e-books — all in the hopes that you’ll become aware of them and someday make a purchase (full disclosure, you are reading one of those attempts right now;)
So don’t miss out on all of the free professional development opportunities. You’ll need them as you shine up that resume.
For your reference, below is a list of some conferences and events we’re making the investment in over the next few months. Hope to see you there (no matter where you’re working).
Other places you’ll find TargetX:
New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC)
EDUCAUSE Southeast Regional Conference
North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals (NACCAP)
Ohio Association of College Admission Counseling (OACAC)
Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC)
ACT Enrollment Planners Conference (EPC)
Campus Technology Summer 2012 Conference
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
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