9 May 2023 – The employment landscape is changing, with pay packages and benefits no longer the most important factor in choosing an employer. Instead, training opportunities are now on the top of the list.
The pandemic started the so-called “Great Resignation”, where many employees were leaving their jobs in search of work that is more fulfilling and gives them a better work/life balance.
Now it seems that this movement has naturally evolved into what has been termed the “Great Upskill”. A new study has shown that employers are no longer searching for the best pay packages and benefits when looking for a job.
Instead, most workers (92%) want employers to offer training opportunities and provide clear career paths that allow employees to develop personally as well as professionally.
52% Of Employees Left A Job Due To Lack Of Training Opportunities
In 2022, an average of 20% of the UK workforce was looking for a new job to find more fulfilment as part of the “Great Resignation”. New research by the e-learning solutions provider IMC has shown that 52% of employees left their role because there was a lack of training opportunities.
With 48% of respondents saying they didn’t have any training in the past year, it becomes clear that training for staff is not a top priority for many businesses. Financial pressures force especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adjust their budgets.
A recent study by Nucleus Commercial Finance has found that 14% of SMEs won’t invest in staff training because of the challenging financial situation. This could be a mistake, as the lack of training opportunities could lead to staff leaving.
86% of employees who took part in the IMC study said they would stay longer in their current employment, if learning and development opportunities were offered.
This trend is also mirrored on the management level, where 20% didn’t receive any training in the past 12 months. And 78% indicated that they would remain longer in their current job, if they had frequent opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
The findings of the study show that offering opportunities to learn and develop is vital to retain staff and prevent high staff-turnover. Especially in times when skilled labour is hard to come by, staff retention is very important.
We’ve seen the right enterprise learning strategies and e-learning technologies have a direct impact on both staff retention rates and overall employee job satisfaction, particularly among our larger multinational clients.Russell Donders, Director of International Markets at IMC
But having to hire and train new staff also comes with a cost. The British Business Bank estimates that hiring costs for an employee on the average salary are around £3,000. Training a new member of staff, the Bank suggests, comes with a price tag of about £1,068 per new staff member.
So providing training to existing staff could save small businesses money compared to having to hire new staff.
Training staff can also increase the performance of employees, which can lead to an increase in revenue. The IMC study found that 81% of managers saw a positive impact on revenue because of staff training.
L&D Opportunities Attract New Staff
The study also highlighted that learning and development (L&D) opportunities are now the most important factor for employees when looking for a job. With 92% of employees saying that training and development opportunities are a deciding factor in their job hunt.
This means that companies that offer staff training are more likely to attract talent with the right skills. In a labour market where talent is in short supply, small companies have to compete with other businesses to get the staff they need.
And offering L&D opportunities is a sure way to stand out from the competition. While small businesses don’t have the spending power of larger companies, training doesn’t always have to be expensive.
Funding for courses is only one way to provide staff with training opportunities. Managers can pass on their own knowledge via mentoring and coaching. This type of training does not cost anything and only needs passionate managers who are keen to develop their staff.
However, staff training alone is not sufficient. Businesses also need to give their staff opportunities to progress their careers. Especially when it comes to hiring new staff, but also to retaining staff, this can be a powerful way to get staff on board and keep them engaged.
The findings of the IMC study have highlighted that employees want more from their jobs than just a monthly salary and other short-term benefits. They want meaningful work that fulfils them and gives them a feeling of achievement.
This should be a warning call for all businesses. Even though current times are tough financially, it is worth finding money to put into staff training and development. Because this will increase employees’ job satisfaction, happiness and willingness to stay in their roles.
And happy staff perform better, which will eventually show in the bottom line of a company.