Learning and development: the importance of training your team

Recent Totaljobs research has revealed that two in three UK workers have quit a job due to a lack of available learning and development (L&D) opportunities.

This research follows a recent study into the UK skills gap, conducted by Totaljobs and Robert Walters, which shows that just 1 in 10 companies are confident they will be able to make the hires their business needs.

With these two things in mind, alongside rising candidate demands and with unemployment at its lowest since the mid-70s, it seems that the importance of employee retention has never been higher.

The study also indicates that in the shadow of a widespread skills shortage, the UK workforce is keen and committed to improving their expertise, leaving the onus on employers to provide them the opportunity.

The call for learning and development

The study of over 2,600 jobseekers and almost 100 employers revealed that 9 in 10 UK workers want their employer to offer training courses to allow them to develop new skills.

This is generally supported by employers, with 80% of those Totaljobs spoke to agreeing that companies should offer their staff the opportunity to develop professionally.

Moreover, as technological advances pave the way for an increased reliance on artificial intelligence, two-thirds of workers believe that training is more important than it was two years ago. This could perhaps be intertwined with the lingering uncertainty over the outcome of Britain’s departure from the EU and is perhaps why almost half of workers are now paying for their own professional training.

But what’s clear is that while UK workers are keen to hone their skills, as well as discovering and embracing new ones, they believe it’s the duty of their employer to afford them this opportunity.

The benefit to employers

The benefit to the employee is quite clear. Training is a CV enhancer which helps staff feel valued and comfortable in their role. It also offers a challenge, and can be a pallet cleanser for those further into their career.

But besides this, training programmes offers huge benefits to employers, with 8 in 10 businesses acknowledging that an employee’s output is noticeably improved after they have attended a course.

Interestingly, 9 in 10 employers also believe that training for an individual has a noticeable impact on the wider team’s skill set, as their influence and learning is inevitably adopted by their teammates.

Why are employers hesitant?

So why are employers hesitant? Aside from the financial cost, our research also revealed that 41% of workers have secured a new job as a direct result of training, so perhaps some employers are hesitant in case they accidentally fuel an employee’s exit strategy.

That being said as nearly half of UK workers are paying for their own professional training, it’s clear that career progression is a keen interest of the individual, and the most ambitious and skilled would be likely to secure it anyway, meaning that employers can benefit from the assurance and loyalty that providing training can bring.

Plus, even if workers eventually look elsewhere, the insight they can pass onto team members, and output they give beforehand will undoubtedly repay the initial investment.

Employers reporting a skills shortage must remain aware that their current staff are keen, willing and ready to up-skill, meaning the talent could well be under their very nose.

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