Employees Say Company Training Isn’t Helping

Companies are spending more on learning and development, but their employees aren’t feeling the results.


Companies may be offering their employees more workforce development options — even investing more in learning than in previous years — but employees say those efforts are not hitting the spot.

According to Spherion Staffing’s 2016 Emerging Workforce Study, nearly one-third of workers do not feel like their companies provide them with adequate skills training, nor do they think their current skills make them promotion-ready. Further, only 14 percent of workers surveyed said they’d give their organization an ‘A’ grade for learning and development programming. Even more troubling, some 45 percent of companies report they’ve increased their learning and development investments in recent years.

One potential reason for the gap in understanding? Current training offerings aren’t relevant to employees’ daily responsibilities, 45 percent of workers reported. The survey, conducted by Research Now, included 416 U.S. human resources managers and 2,810 employed U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

The dismal findings only build on results from the 2015 EWS study in which 35 percent of employees said it was hard to find time to keep their skills sharp, and 29 percent of employees felt their current skills were outdated, which jeopardized career advancement prospects.

The new numbers spell trouble considering the role an effective corporate learning and development strategy plays in employee engagement and retention and in driving business results.

“Employees who believe their workplace does not provide relevant and practical skills development tools are more likely either to become unmotivated to seek growth opportunities or look elsewhere for positions more suitable to their abilities and training needs,” said Spherion Division President Sandy Mazur in a statement.

Mazur said both companies and workers take a dangerous risk by ignoring this skills development disconnect, and it is incumbent on both sides to bridge the gap. “Through more frequent and open dialogue, both parties can identify which types of training and development programs are the best match for individual needs and examine how workers can enjoy continuous growth at their company.”

Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. Comment below, or email editor@CLOmedia.com.

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