December 2022
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TD Magazine

Three Ways to Nurture Skills Development

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Welcome employees' eagerness to upskill and offer learning and mentoring opportunities.

When it comes to upskilling and the quality and variety of learning resources, there's a disconnect between employers' and employees' perceptions. According to a global survey from recruiting and HR company Hays and e-learning supplier Go1, employers either don't know or underestimate employees' willingness to learn new skills. While 83 percent of workers said they are in favor of upskilling, only half of employers answered the same for employees.


"Our research clearly illustrates that people are eager to learn new skills. They recognize that upskilling, reskilling, and continual growth are the keys to job promotion, greater job satisfaction, and more career options," says Chris Eigeland, Go1 cofounder. "And we know that companies [which] are not doing enough to nurture their people are experiencing high levels of employee turnover and burnout, while also struggling to attract future talent."

Almost half of responding employers said they've offered more learning resources since the pandemic began, but only one-quarter of employees agreed. Additionally, three-quarters of employers said workers have access to learning materials, but only half of employees affirmed that. And one-quarter are not satisfied with the offerings.

Hays Chief Executive Alistair Cox suggests three steps organizations can take to rectify the situation.

Embed learning into the employee value proposition. Hays notes that doing so can help with both retaining and attracting employees. Research from Lorman Education Services found that 7 percent of employees would find a company more appealing if it offered staff additional skills training. And three-quarters don't feel they are reaching their full potential because they lack development opportunities.

Build a mentorship scheme. The survey found that although mentorship programs are scarce, workers find them helpful. "By encouraging executive levels of the business to create frameworks around intersecting with junior employees, leaders can also gain valuable insights into how the next generation is thinking and feeling about their work," says Shane Little, enterprise solutions managing director at Hays.


Set learning-based development plans. Survey results reveal that two-thirds of companies say they encourage upskilling, but only one-quarter of employees reported having development plans that incorporate upskilling. Cox urges employers to lean into employees' desire to learn new skills by implementing upskilling strategies with learning-based objectives. He also advises basing them on open communication to determine workers' preferred learning methods.

Workplace transformations aren't slowing down. "If we can get our upskilling strategies right, the benefit will be there for both employers and employees," Hays adds.

About the Author

Bobby Lewis is a writer for ATD; [email protected].

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