People writing on a board

High employee turnover is a major problem for many small and medium-sized businesses. Estimates suggest that the average turnover rate in 2022 will jump from 20% to 24% in the US. An estimated 37.4 million people in the US have quit their jobs by the end of this year, and this retention rate is expected to remain high in the upcoming years. 

Whitham Group is a team of renewable energy recruiters that helps companies find suitable candidates in the renewable energy industry. Around 79% of the candidates we’ve placed in different companies have retained their position over the last five years. This makes our experts at Whitham Group uniquely qualified to enlighten you with lessons in employee retention.

So without further ado, let’s get down to business.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is a common business term that refers to teaching employees new skills. These skills can be those that people in other job roles in the company already have, allowing the employees in question to get a deeper understanding of the business processes in your company. These skills can also set the employee up for growth and greater responsibilities.

More commonly, upskilling refers to teaching employees new innovative skills that improve their productivity and output quality. Upskilling helps companies survive disruptive innovations. An effective upskilling strategy can even give small companies an edge over larger companies that aren’t as flexible and stick to their dated practices.

Upskilling is almost a necessity in the renewable energy industry. The science of renewable energy is still in its infancy, with thousands of papers published yearly. These studies offer ways to lower production costs, improve efficiency and make the technologies more practical in numerous ways. Companies that fail to upskill in this industry cannot hope to survive more than a few years.

Some people are naturally better able to learn new skills than others. If a good number of your employees are not very passionate about the technological advancements in the renewable energy industry, your investments in upskilling will be wasted. A renewable energy recruiting firm can help you find candidates just as eager to evolve as you are. At Whitham Group, we have over 18,000 renewable energy candidates in our database with different skills and personality traits.

What is Reskilling?

Reskilling is the process of teaching employees new skills and training them to assume a new job role in your company. Companies often reskill employees in entry positions that they think have the potential for a higher position. Employees too often join companies at entry-level positions hoping to one day be promoted to the job they want.

Reskilling can also train people for new job roles that your company previously didn’t have. As we discussed, the field of renewable energy is constantly evolving. Innovations in automation and data science are also making many job roles obsolete while creating new opportunities. 

Instead of firing employees in job roles companies no longer need, you can reskill employees in those departments for other positions. Employees who have been with your company for a long time may be better suited for the position than new talent. However, reskilling isn’t practical in all cases. For example, you can’t retrain an engineer to be an accountant or vice versa.

Again, people who are enthusiastic about the developments in renewable energy and fit your company culture better are more likely to be willing to reskill themselves instead of leaving. Professional renewable energy recruiters can help you find the best talent for your company.

Employees learning new skills in a conference

What is Continuous Learning?

Continuous learning is an aspect of a company’s culture than emphasizes perpetual growth. Companies that value continuous learning actively encourage new innovative ideas and make business processes incrementally better. Such companies also never accept the status quo and are always on the lookout for new industry research trends. Continuous learning is a particularly powerful process for small businesses, allowing them to overtake larger companies.

In particular, companies in the renewable energy industry cannot hope to survive without continuous learning. Several small and medium-sized businesses in the industry are coming up with new ways to do things, and just as many startups are giving existing businesses a run for their money. You must keep evolving and improving to have a future in the industry.

Companies can systematically and strategically encourage continuous learning by implementing reward systems and giving employees platforms to share their innovations. People in executive positions are essential in empowering continuous learning in any company. If you currently don’t have executives experienced in systematic continuous learning, executive search firms such as Whitham Group can find candidates suited to your company. 

Even more so than the management, strategies, and company philosophy, continuous learning is fueled by the company’s culture. If most of your employees are genuinely passionate about developments in renewable energy, they’ll discuss innovations even in their free time. You don’t need to implement any systems to encourage continuous learning. Team members will inform you of the latest innovations in their respective fields.

Our renewable energy recruiters at Whitham Group specialize in finding candidates that meet your required skills and have the personality traits that suit your company. Even a few good apples can reignite your team’s enthusiasm for renewable energy technologies. 

Person sharing their ideas with the team

How Upskilling, Reskilling, and Continuous Learning Helps Retain Talent

It must be clear by now that upskilling, reskilling, and continuous learning have a range of implications for businesses. Most companies in the renewable energy industry can’t even survive without these processes. Continuous evolution and retraining of employees improve retention in several ways, some of which are the following:

Making The Job More Meaningful

Many job roles today are highly repetitive and lack a clear purpose. Quite frankly, the biggest source of motivation for most of us is money. However, it doesn’t have to be that way in renewable energy companies. This industry is one of the few doing something inherently meaningful for the planet and future generations. Still, most people working in the industry are so disconnected from real-world applications that these jobs can feel just as boring.

A company culture that encourages continuous learning and upskilling can motivate employees to get better at what they do. It can add purpose and meaning to the job, giving employees something to aim for. This can improve employee satisfaction across the board and improve retention.

Employees having productive conversations

Making Employees Feel Like an Integral Part of The Company

Most industries today have highly specialized jobs. Employees are limited to performing their subset of tasks, having no say in the overall processes of the company. Specialization has proven highly profitable since it maximizes productivity, but it can make employees feel left out of the bigger picture. It’s good that many companies in various industries are moving towards more integrated workplaces that welcome all employees’ input.

A company culture that encourages continuous learning and welcomes new ideas makes employees feel like more than just cogs in the machine. Influencing business processes gives employees a sense of belonging, improving satisfaction and lowering employee turnover.

Improving Job Security

Job security can have a significant effect on employee turnover intention. When employees fear that they might lose their job unexpectedly any day, they’re more likely to accept a job offer from another company that appears to value their skills more. In many industries today, innovations in AI and automation are leaving companies no choice but to downsize and let people go. Innovations in energy can have a similar impact on the renewable energy industry.

When you, as a company, invest in upskilling and reskilling your employees, it reassures them that you value their experience in your company. It lets them know that you will find a place for them in your company in case of future major disruptive innovations, making them less likely to accept offers from your competitors.

Satisfying Employees Who Value Self-Improvement 

Many people are inherently lifelong learners. They enjoy learning new skills and want to continue improving themselves. Such individuals are highly valuable to companies in almost every industry. They’re quick learners who can easily understand even the most abstract ideas and offer innovative insights. However, such individuals easily get dissatisfied with companies that fail to benefit from everything they have to offer.

A company with a continuous learning culture that systematically encourages innovation is the ideal workplace for people who value self-improvement. They can see that the company values their talents and benefits from their input.

People in a conference room learning

Additional Effective Ways To Improve Employee Retention

If retaining talent is your main goal, several other ways to achieve that. Here are some of the most effective strategies to improve employee retention.

Hire People That Are Not on Job Boards

Some people inherently have job-hopping tendencies. They consider switching to bigger companies as a better way to evolve than progressing in their existing companies. Because they don’t have any long-term plans with their employers, they’re also less involved in the company’s evolution. These individuals are also willing to accept jobs from any company that offers high pay and don’t have any motivation to work in any particular company.

Job boards are full of such candidates. People who care about the company culture, philosophy, and values use agencies to find suitable companies for them. Nearly 80% of the 18,000 candidates we have at Whitham Group don’t have their resumes posted on any job boards. If you want to hire people motivated to join your company for reasons other than money, get in touch with us!

Hire Executives With Consistent Management Styles

Management plays a huge role in talent retention. Executives with modern management styles can better ensure employee satisfaction without sacrificing productivity. Something even more important—and often overlooked—is consistency. Employees need to know what they can expect from their superiors in different situations. Executives with inconsistent management styles are disturbing to many.

Whitham Group is a unique executive search firm that carefully finds candidates that suit the specifics of your company. If you currently don’t have an executive with a modern, consistent management style, allow us to help.

A renewable energy recruiter greeting a candidate

Hire Employees That Fit Your Company Culture

Even if you have a company culture that encourages innovation and is ideal for your industry, employees that don’t fit in will eventually leave. This is why hiring people that fit your company culture and not merely meet your basic requirements is important. In addition to evaluating how good a fit they are for your company, you have to ensure if your company is a good fit for them.

Whitham Group is a renewable energy recruiting firm that considers personality traits and company culture. All the candidates we recommend meet at least 90% of your requirements, are willing to accept your offered salary, and are motivated to join your company for reasons other than money. 

We’ve been in the industry for over 12 years now and have built countless lasting relationships in the industry. Our team of executive recruiters also finds candidates best suited to improving your company.

Need help improving employee retention in your company? Get in touch now!


Whitham Group has over 12 years’ experience recruiting in renewable energy. We operate as an expert advisor, not a vendor.


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