Training budgets would need to increase by around 50% to have a significant impact on staff retention in businesses involved in the UK visitor economy, according to new research.

Based on current spend, organisations would need to spend:
•       £7,800 a year on each member of senior staff
•       £5,700 a year on each member of middle management staff
•       £1,800 a year on each member of frontline staff

Employees most likely to stay by being offered regular and relevant training were frontline staff – where turnover rates are the highest of any group of employees averaging 30%, but have dropped slightly in recent years.

Turnover among middle managers remains static at 23% and among senior managers it is 21%. But almost half of all respondents (46%) say that turnover among the latter group has increased in the last three years.

Although training spend on senior management has increased over the last four to five years, it has decreased for middle managers and frontline staff.

The results come from a ‘Retention Index’ study for the travel and tourism sector’s People 1st Training Company.

Director Sharon Glancy said: “We know that staff turnover is a big challenge for our sector’s employers.

“The Retention Index gives us the opportunity to monitor the causes for this churn and give HR directors and training managers research that will help them convince their boards to invest in the things that will make a difference to their workforce and ultimately, the bottom line.”

A study earlier this year found that 49% of businesses that had trained staff in the last 12 months saw their financial turnover increase, she added.

Glancy said: “Employers have told us how important leadership and management skills are going to be for the sector over the next few years and clearly this is being reflected in the Index.

“With the rate of turnover high amongst senior management, companies must make sure that their managers have the skills in place to do their jobs. This should not be at the expense of frontline staff however.

“Currently training budgets are not being targeted at the group most likely to be positively impacted by the investment. This will cause issues for employers if it is not tackled.”

Personal development and people/team management came out top, closely followed by customer service as areas of training companies believe will help them to retain staff.