Chattanooga companies, such as Wacker, are investing a lot into training employees.

But according to a new study, if employees don’t have room for advancement, they will take their skills somewhere else, leaving behind the company that gave them fundamental experience.

The Wall Street Journal reported that some companies spend billions training workers, and researchers from the University of Iowa, University of Illinois-Chicago and Arizona State University found that workers took part in a company’s training only if they saw opportunities for advancement, such as promotions, raises and professional development.


Dr. Erika Burk, director of human resources for Wacker Polysilicon North America, said that her company starts investing in employees before they are hired.

Leaders want the company’s employees to be the best in the business, and they invest in training to help them become leaders in their field.

“Our plants are not our only investment priority,” she said. “We invest in the people who operate our plants, and this is part of what makes Wacker so successful. If we want to remain competitive and innovative, we need skilled employees. We believe proper development of employees is a retention strategy.”

It is key to develop a path for employees to experience job growth, she also said.

“It should be the right development to fit business needs while keeping the employee excited, educated and motivated,” she said.