There is a conception among employers and employees alike that training is something employees try to avoid. It’s an extra responsibility, it isn’t effective, etc. However, in an article for HR Executive by Michael J. O’Brien titled, “The Upskilling Disconnect,” O’Brien discusses a Randstad survey showing what appears to be a disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to their outlooks on upskilling, the process of continuing to develop employee skills.
The survey results found that while 82% of employees believe lifelong learning is important, close to 40% report their employers don’t provide opportunities to upskill. This is a surprising gap. If employees are craving training, employers should take that interest seriously. Not only will it help boost the skill set of their employees but it will also help boost employee morale and retention.
The study also pointed to some interesting insights into the types of skills different age groups see as most important for their own development. Among those aged 18–34, 66% expressed interest in strengthening their personal skills, according to Randstad. “Only 28 percent of those 45 years and older said they needed to boost their personal skills, with 70 percent reporting vocational upskilling was critical to their development.”
These statistics point to another significant consideration for employers: Training alone isn’t enough to keep employees engaged; it needs to be training that is focused on not just what the company thinks its employees need to further develop but also those skills that employees themselves believe will help advance their professional careers.
Randstad’s research demonstrates that not only do employees crave future growth and development but also there are important differences among different groups of employees in terms of the specific skills and experiences most value. Savvy employers will pay attention to the needs of their employees when it comes to professional growth if they not only want to keep them on board but also help transform them into the company’s future leaders.