The Great Upskill
92% of workers favour an employer with the best L&D
The Great Resignation caused a major shift in personal and professional priorities among employees. Our recent industry survey identifies a new growing trend, 'The Great Upskill'. It emerges as the natural evolution of the Great Resignation, as people seek greater fulfilment in their working lives.
Aside from a greater expectation of flexibility, employees now want to work for employers that help them to enrich their working experience through ‘upskilling’, training, personal and professional development. Employers are responding by creating engaging career paths for the short, medium and long term. In return, a staggering 92% of workers favour an employer with the best L&D.
We wanted to find out more about this trend, and find out whether people are actually motivated to engage with training, and whether businesses are accommodating and using that motivator in an ever-changing workplace.
The absence of L&D drives employee disengagement
In response to The Great Upskill trend, we conducted research in partnership with independent survey company Research Without Barriers. Our aim was to investigate employee attitudes in relation to training. We selected our research demographic to obtain rounded insight from a cross-section of UK workers, primarily in office-based roles.
To this end we surveyed 2,000 UK workers, split between 1,000 managers and 1,000 non-managerial employees. The surveyed managers have over 15 years of work experience and work in companies of more than 15 employees. The surveyed non-managerial employees have a maximum of three years of experience, and work in companies with more than 15 employees. The goal of these sample requirements was to give us better insight into the attitudes held at different levels of seniority.
The Great Upskill is all about employees seeking greater fulfilment and engagement in their working lives. One of the key factors at pla is the pursuit of personal and professional development. While traditional workplace benefits relied on 'quick wins', such as team socials, employees now seek for greater meaning in their working lives. Our research found that 86% of employees would choose to stay with their employer for longer if they were offered frequent learning opportunities. This preference demonstrates that L&D is a major priority and motivator for employees and managers alike. Employers who understand this fact can benefit amid the Great Resignation and the rise of employee disengagement, i.e. 'quiet quitting'.
The findings show the impact of this trend on employee retention.
52% of employees left a role because of a lack of training
A staggering 52% of employees admitted that they had left a role due to the lack of development opportunities. This clear indicator shows that there is a practical and real-world impact of this trend. And HR departments are seeing impact extend to the recruitment process. In fact, 92% of workers surveyed reported that, if choosing between two potential employers, they would choose the employer who offered the best learning and development opportunities.
Our research also found that, despite the rising priority of training for workers, employers are not necessarily addressing this issue through frequent training. In fact, 48% of employees said they had not received training in the last 12 months. In addition, 22% of managers reported that they did not receive as much training as they would like.
Impact of L&D on employee engagement and business ROI
Our goal with this research project was to better understand the Great Upskill trend. It gives us our greatest insights yet into the attitudes that have developed in the workplace in the aftermath of furlough. These attitudes are what's behind the rise of remote working and shifting social attitudes.
Businesses may be tightening their belts due to recent economic uncertainty. But our research indicates that in terms of real-world impact, training is one of the most beneficial tools a business can utilise to safeguard their workforce and optimise employee engagement. As well as reducing employee turnover, training supports recruitment and increasing employee engagement. What's more, 81% of managers surveyed as part of our research project found that training had a positive impact on their business's bottom line.
The insights from our research are fascinating and demonstrate a clear social trend around The Great Upskill, and UK media agreed. We secured six news features relating to this research and trend, including in:
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