New paper: Should employers invest in employability?

April 16, 2019

Should employers invest in the employability of their workers? It's a discussion I often have with managers and professionals. What typically happens, is that we talk about to so-called employability management paradox: yes, there is a need to invest but... won't they then leave the company for a competitor once they are more employable? In this study that I published with Maria Tims, Susanne Beijer, and Nele De Cuyper, we provide empirical evidence that this paradox might not exist. HR investments - especially training/development and participation/communication - can enhance both internal and external employability, and this does NOT decrease the workers' commitment to their employer. On the contrary, the increase in internal employability actually further enhances their commitment. We explain this with backward looking ("my employer invested in me and thus commits to me, so I'll reciprocate) and forward looking ("my employer invested in me so there's a good chance they will continue to do so in the future") social exchanges.In short: we would say YES, employer should and can invest in employability. The full paper is available open access HERE.

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