Four in five (86 per cent) UK workers believe employers which provided ongoing career development were less likely to have high staff turnover, according to a study released late last week.
The survey of 2,042 British employees by online training company Staff Skills Training found 90 per cent believed regular training was vital to their career.
“Staff want ongoing training, both to help them in their existing positions, but also to boost their own individual career development,” said Chris Morgan, Staff Skills Training CEO. “At the same time, we know that companies which invest in their staff through [L&D] programmes are less likely to have a high turnover of staff because their staff are more content and feel valued.”
The link between training and happy workers was even more prevalent for those aged 55 and over, with 90 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing there was a link between regular training and content workforces and 95 per cent believing L&D was crucial for their careers.
Naeema Pasha, director of Henley Careers at Henley Business School, told People Management older workers were often “switched on” to career development.
“Often with older workers, they have the benefit of hindsight, and they have had more experience to know how effective L&D and training is in their career,” Pasha said. “With retirement being delayed, older workers know even more that career development is needed to stay in the market and maintain economic viability.
While older employees have more experience, Helen Jamieson, CEO at HR and training consultancy Jaluch, said that everyone, regardless of age, is being affected by the changing world of work.
“The speed of change is so great that no one in work has the luxury of not keeping up with technology, new communication methods and increasingly diverse cultures,” Jamieson said. “Things are changing in every function of a business, and people need training, educating, supporting and coaching to keep up.”
However, the survey also found over half (55 per cent) of UK workers thought time spent training – and away from their jobs – was an issue, particularly when considering whether to attend training courses. This was more prominent for workers aged 18-24, with 64 per cent concerned about spending time away from their desks for training.
Andrea Gregory, managing director of HR and development consultancy People Business, told People Management staff sometimes need encouragement from managers and supervisors to “step back”.
“I think the reason why some workers at the early stages of their careers are hesitant to leave their job for training is because they’re often in the engine room of organisations,” Gregory said. “Stepping back is really key, and the role of supervisors and others should be to encourage their staff to keep their heads up to see how they can grow.”
Ros Toynbee, founder and lead coach at The Career Coach, said HR “get frustrated” by “misconception” that taking a course or time away from work is the only way to develop skills.
“This can be an inefficient way to learn,” Toynbee explained. “Managers and HR can explore the many options for on-the-job and collaborative learning as well as exploring more formal means of learning like books, face-to-face, e-courses and increasingly YouTube.”