(From Re:locate) -- Newly-published survey findings suggest that development opportunities play a crucial role in staff retention. More than 500 people from 33 countries responded to a recent survey conducted by assessment and development consultancy Cubiks, which asked respondents about their opinions on development and talent management.

Their responses demonstrated that employees valued development opportunities offered by employers. 93% of respondents said that they would stay longer with an organisation that invested in their development.

More than 70% of respondents indicated that they would prefer training courses to additional holiday, and more than half said that they would choose development opportunities over a pay rise.

However, the survey also showed that employees valued some development activities much more than others. Coaching was identified as the preferred activity, while on-the-job training was perceived as the most effective.

Respondents showed a distinct preference for development activities that involved interaction with colleagues or trainers. Newsletters and e-learning were seen as the least effective training methods.

Only 50% of people saw themselves as being responsible for their own development

Overall, the survey showed that people felt the development opportunities offered by their employers were adequate; 97% said that they were either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ satisfied with the development programmes provided by their organisation.

Although 60% of respondents said they filled in a personal development plan, only half said that they actually used it to review and monitor their progress.

The seemingly low percentage of people who followed up on, and referred to, their personal development plans is likely to be linked to the fact that only half of respondents saw themselves as responsible for monitoring their development.

Over a third of people said that they felt it was their line manager’s job to make sure they were following their development plan and taking any necessary action.

Talent management essential to future success

The survey showed that people recognised the fact that development is as important to the organisation as it is to the individual. 97% of respondents agreed that it was important to develop people who could lead the company in the future, and 88% said they believed talent management played an essential role in securing an organisation’s future success.

Despite these numbers, just under half of respondents said that their organisation had a talent-management programme in place.

However, although most people agreed that development was important, many organisations seem to lack a structure for talent identification. This is possibly why 56% of survey respondents said they did not think their organisation offered all staff equal opportunities to be identified as talent.