How to buck the training trend!

It is concerning that the current trend of staff upskilling is in decline whilst the UK productivity continues to suffer. The UK spends just two-thirds of the European average on adult training, and investment is in decline. While 79 per cent of UK businesses expect to increase their number of higher-skilled roles over the coming years, a staggering 66 per cent fear there will not be sufficiently skilled people available to fill these vacancies.

It has been well-documented that UK labour force productivity has been lower in the last decade than at any time in the 20th century, despite the relative health of the UK economy. So why is it that businesses that can tackle the productivity problem by equipping their existing employees with the essential skills needed to drive growth and feel more confident and enthused in their work are simply not doing so?


It has been well-documented that UK labour force productivity has been lower in the last decade than at any time in the 20th century, despite the relative health of the UK economy. So why is it that businesses that can tackle the productivity problem by equipping their existing employees with the essential skills needed to drive growth and feel more confident and enthused in their work are simply not doing so?



A fact of business life in the UK is also the high rate of employee turnover. By investing in and upskilling existing staff, firms can breed loyalty and save on spiralling recruitment costs. 


Nearly one in seven people are now suffering mental health problems as a result of their work. Statistics show that employees who are offered opportunities to learn at work are 47 per cent less likely to be stressed, 39 per cent more likely to feel productive and successful, 23 per cent more ready to take on additional responsibilities, and 21 per cent more likely to feel confident and happy. Job and general security are key influencers of happiness and well-being, and businesses can play their part by helping employees diversify their skill sets and grow in their roles.


The bottom line

85 per cent of employees report that they’re not engaged at work; training can be the push they need to become engaged once more. When this happens, the average workplace reports a 41 per cent decrease in sick days and an increase of 17 per cent in productivity. By developing existing members of staff, organisations also benefit from growing their own talent with specific skills that are important to their industry.

Breaking down barriers

While training offers many advantages to an organisation, the biggest barrier to workplace learning is fitting this into the busy work week. Self-paced online learning solves this problem. It can fulfil the need for staff development while mitigating disruption to employee’s work and home schedules. The significant ROI from online training allows you to build more productive, profitable and engaged teams. 



Traditionally, the onus was on workers to find ways to increase their competencies and, subsequently, their on-the-job currency. Now, employers and employees need to work together on continued development. It’s just good business for leaders to take the initiative and show employees how to improve before those workers walk out the door. Career development tops the list of what workers want from their supervisors. However, respondents also noted that it wasn’t just learning opportunities they craved. In fact employees no longer seek bosses; they seek mentors. They want to know how to apply what they’ve learned and have the encouragement to do that without fear of being told “It won’t work here.” Consider it an opportunity to improve together.

This modern approach to employee development is a chance to keep your strongest people from leaving and for you to thus avoid a talent crisis.

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