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Cath Everett

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Development focus welcomed by employees


In a happy marrying of priorities, three quarters of employees would be keen to undertake more on-the-job training, while four out of five HR professionals are making staff development a key focus this year.


A three-year research project commissioned by Middlesex University’s Institute for Work Based Learning among an average 4,300 workers per annum revealed that a huge 74% felt they were not achieving their full potential at work and, as a result, would value access to more development opportunities.

Nine out of 10 felt that training was important, particularly if it was delivered in the workplace, although 83% said they would consider undertaking a relevant course at home, with 72% even saying they think about contributing financially to do so.

The key motivation for most was to feel more valued or become more effective in their current role (44%), although 23% saw training as an opportunity to up-skill and change jobs.

The Institute’s professor Simon Roodhouse said: “It won’t be a surprise to anyone that staff want training and feel valued when they get it, but we were interested to discover that so many people were willing to contribute financially. And while they would prefer to develop their skills at work, many are open to learning at home.”

A second study undertaken among 144 HR managers by Taleo, a Software-as-a-Service-based talent management platform provider, indicated, meanwhile, that 82% considered staff development to have risen up the priority list this year.

Some 56% said they now considered training and development to be an essential business enabler, although 15% still saw it as a ‘nice-to-have’. Luckily, therefore, two thirds indicated that they did not expect their budgets to be cut in this area but to remain static instead.

Nonetheless, just over a quarter of respondents said that greater visibility of skills gaps within their organisation would help them in staff development terms as would more insight into workers’ existing skills.

3 Responses

  1. Thanks

    Thanks for that Charlie.

    The actual report is a bit disappointing though. I was expecting something with a bit of academic rigour, but it’s really just a marketing ploy to encourage businesses to get their internal training accredited by a university. While that’s not such a bad thing in itself, I was hoping for a quality longitudinal study regarding employees’ opinions regarding workplace development, which this unfortunately isn’t.

  2. interesting research

    I wonder, do you have the reference for this research? I’d be interested to read the full paper.



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