The PEO’s Role in Professional Development and Employee Training

In recent months, we’ve been hearing a lot about the need to retain top talent at a time when people are more willing than ever before to quit their jobs. There has also been plenty of discussion about what is motivating employees right now. Survey after survey indicates they are unhappy because they feel their employers don’t value them. So how do we change that?

At least one expert says the key is professional development and training. Forbes contributor and certified career coach Rebecca Fraser-Thill says that humans are “built to grow and change.” She says that the most common concerns she hears from clients relate to “a lack of professional development opportunities.”

The Data Backs It Up

Fraser-Thill points to a 2022 survey revealing that 58% of employees would leave their companies if they had no professional development or training opportunities. She cited another study that suggests training and professional development are among the top three things that create a positive employee experience.

Data from additional surveys conducted over the last three years backs up the idea that employees want to feel valued at work. They want to know that their employers are interested in them as people rather than just human resources. And for many employees, they find that value in professional development and training.

The PEO Element

When you add in the professional employer organization (PEO) element, you begin to see new opportunities to provide professional development and training. A PEO is an HR provider that works with companies under a co-employment arrangement. The PEO handles HR functions while the contracting company manages day-to-day operations.

We can apply the PEO concept to professional development and training in two ways:

1. The PEO Handles It

Although professional development and training are not typically core services offered by PEOs, they are certainly things a PEO can handle. PEOs have access to all sorts of industry experts more than capable of providing training services. Under such a scenario, the company’s management team would no longer have the responsibility of developing and implementing training and career development opportunities. The PEO would handle it.

2. HR Personnel Handle It

A second possibility is to reassign those HR employees whose work is now being done by the PEO to professional development and training. Because they no longer need to worry about payroll, benefits administration, compliance, etc., they can give their full attention to implementing professional development and training programs.

BenefitMall, a Dallas general agency that connects brokers with PEO providers, says the important thing to remember here is that PEOs vary in the services they offer. Some stick only with strict HR functions like compliance, payroll, and taxes. Others fully embrace the opportunity to help with professional development and employee training.

Size Could Be a Factor

It is also worth noting that the size of a company could matter in terms of contracting with a PEO. A general rule among PEOs is to concentrate on smaller companies with between 10 and 80 employees. A company of 250 might be looking for new ways to implement professional development and employee training, yet contracting with the PEO might be off the table.

Regardless of company size, it is evident that employees want to feel valued at work. They consider professional development and training an investment that proves their employers are interested in them as people. That is the most important thing to remember in all of this. If partnering with a PEO opens the door to more professional development and training opportunities, it is an option that deserves at least some consideration.

Candice Cearley

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