Supervisors have a large effect on employee perceptions of development opportunities.
Supervisor support is essential for an organizational culture that fosters training and development, according to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association. The study, which sampled more than 1,000 U.S. adults who were employed part or full time, found that 63 percent of participants believe their supervisor encourages career development.
That support, the study found, helps reinforce the training and development function's mission. Of the participants who reported supervisor support, 88 percent said their employer values training, as opposed to only 20 percent of those without supervisor support. Similarly, 73 percent with supervisor support said they are expected to participate in career development activities, compared with 12 percent without supervisor support.
Supervisor support for career development also improves how employees view their future at an organization. Of those with support, 43 percent said they'd remain with their employer because of development opportunities; of those without it, only 7 percent felt the same way. And 21 percent with support said they had considered leaving the company due to a lack of training opportunities, less than half the percentage of those without support.
Another benefit of supervisor support is increasing the likelihood of employees saying they're given sufficient opportunities to develop skills they'll need moving forward in their careers. Of those with supervisor support, 81 percent said their employers provide opportunities to build technical skills, 78 percent said they're given ways to build soft skills, and 75 percent said they have opportunities to develop leadership skills. Those numbers for employees without supervisor support are 15 percent, 20 percent, and 8 percent, respectively.
Not surprisingly, supervisor support for training and development leads to beneficial outcomes for both employees and their organizations. Of those with support, 88 percent said they are motivated to do their best work, 86 percent said they are satisfied with their job, and 79 percent would recommend their organization as a good place to work. Of those without support, 53 percent said they intended to leave their job within the next year, and 56 percent reported that they didn't trust their employer.