A new report shows that there’s a skills-training gap in many U.S. workplaces. Employees who need training on various skills aren’t getting it, and employees who want training on various skills aren’t getting it either. This all, of course, affects internal advancement and building yourself as a more desirable candidate when it comes to looking for your next job.
The report, called “Future of Work and Employee Learning,” was from the Sitel Group, a customer experience management company.
The most surprising finding was this: a full 37% of employees would leave their job if they weren’t offered training.
And yet, 92% of employees say that learning something new at work makes them more motivated and engaged – so employers would do well do offer as much training and new opportunities to skill up as they can.
30% of employees say they have avoided asking their employer for training on a certain skill because it would make them look bad
46% of employees believe their employer penalizes them for not having certain skills at their job.
79% say that when looking for a job, it was important that the employer offers a formal training program to their employees
There is a training gap, Aaron Schwarzberg, COO at Learning Tribes USA, part of the Sitel Group, told Ladders. “Employees aren’t necessarily sure how to ask for their employers to address that gap. There is an issue of employees needing additional training, additional resources, additional support and they’re not a hundred percent sure how to ask for it.”
Employers need to step up
The responsibility, he says, lies with the employers. “I think it’s incumbent upon the employers to take responsibility for the dynamic and to provide comprehensive learning and development for employees,” Schwarzberg said. He suggests that employers reach out to employers to “proactively find out and uncover what additional services and needs there are” by conducting research and internal studies, for example.
In the report, it was found that 51% of employers don’t offer soft skills training. And while 33% of employees say they have had training on technology skills, only 17% say they’ve had management skills training.
When looking for a new job, candidates should be explicitly asking prospective employers about what training they offer employees.
“That’s one thing that employees should frankly feel very comfortable asking their prospective employer,” Schwarzberg told Ladders. The question can be asked directly: “What are they doing currently to invest in their employees? It’s OK to make it an open-ended question because they more pointed [employees] make it, the easier it is on the employer to speak to the direct question asked versus speaking generally.”
Other questions could be, “What are you currently doing right now to address development, to address training, learning, and development needs?” and “What practices are in place currently?”
If an employer spent a little time getting to know each candidate and their strengths and weaknesses, it would be a step in the right direction, said Schwarzberg. Nearly 35% of employees felt their employer did not take the time to get to know them in terms of their skills and how to help them advance.
“Without actually taking the time to ask someone what they need, or what resources they need, or where they feel that their gaps are, people feel powerless, they feel unimportant, they feel like a cog in the wheel – versus an important piece of the puzzle to each organization.”