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Thirst for Knowledge Drives Employee Happiness

Thirst for Knowledge Drives Employee Happiness
Credit: Motizov/Shutterstock

If you want to keep your workers from having a wandering eye, you need to make sure you're constantly teaching them new skills, research finds.

More than 60 percent of employees said the chance to gain a new skill is a very important factor when considering new job opportunities, with 34 percent of them saying it is at least somewhat important, according a new study by the staffing firm Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

In addition to being able to learn something new, many workers also want to ensure their employer is giving them the chance to keep the skills they already have current. The research revealed that 50 percent of the employees surveyed are very concerned about keeping their skills up-to-date over the next three to five years.

Research shows that a lack of advancement opportunities is one of the top reasons good employees quit, trailing only inadequate compensation, said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. [The Type of Training Workers Want Most ]

"A company's best performers are often the first to leave if their employer does not provide ample training and development to help them grow professionally," McDonald said in a statement.

These growth opportunities are most important to entry-level workers. The study found that 81 percent of entry-level workers said the chance to learn something new plays a big role when thinking about a career move, with 64 percent of those surveyed wanting to make sure their employer provides opportunities to keep the skills they already have current.

Although it might be more important to lower-level employees, workers at every career stage want to keep their skills both current and relevant, McDonald said.

"In today's competitive hiring market, a robust professional development program can be an appealing benefit to would-be new hires," he said.

The study was based on a survey of more than 2,500 finance and accounting professionals in the United States.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.