Learning workers are happy workers.
In times of crisis, organizations understand that maintaining employee morale is imperative to productivity and bottom-line results. To that end, in the face of the pandemic, employers have been increasingly promoting beefed-up employee perks, including extended telecommuting benefits, flex hours as well as home office setup stipends. But with all that's going on, do employees want more?
That's the question researchers at ResumeLab sought to answer in a survey of working professionals. Researchers discovered that professional development tied with compensation and vacation days as important factors for job satisfaction. In fact, professional development is so precious to workers that more than half of those surveyed said that they would leave an employer that fails to deliver in that area.
Further analysis reveals that those who are quicker to jump ship because of an employer's lack of professional development opportunities include some of today's most sought-after talent groups, such as Gen Z and millennials and software and IT workers.
The chief reason workers value professional development offerings is plain and simple: It enables them to do their jobs better, they say. How's that for return on investment? Better pay as well as increased opportunities for advancement round out the top three reasons employees pursue professional development. And when asked about their preferred method of professional development, on-the-job training and mentoring topped the list, beating out industry conferences, formal workshops, and off-site company events.
With nearly 70 percent of respondents indicating that their employers extend professional development opportunities to employees, the risk of employers encountering a talent off-ramp for that reason appears to be low—at least for now. Plus, knowing that employees want to do their jobs better and prefer on-the-job training as well as mentoring opportunities rings out as good news for employers. After all, a more skilled workforce yields better results for businesses.
While professional development may be key to keeping the majority of workers satisfied, as talent development practitioners know, training does not always equal workplace advancement or higher wages for participants. In the final analysis, employers with booming participation rates in their professional development programs should also bear in mind that at least two in five of those employees will likely want something tangible in return.